Back to the example of the frolicking frog, oblivious to the gradual increase in the temperature of the water of his pond (in reality a pot of water over metered flame), becoming the centerpiece of the main course for eaters of boiled bufos. This time I would like to use this perfect metaphor for the inculcation of the myth of human exceptionality as it contributes to the formation of the big mistake of western civilization.
I remember the fifties when news reels gave us pictures of Suzie Spotless pushing buttons and pulling out food and stuff from the precursor to the replicator, of assembly lines devoid of human beings turning out infinite copies of the stuff just to show the secrets of the replicator, of the ultramodern living room of Bob puffing his leisurely pipe while meditating on the meaning of words he’d read in the weighty tome lying in his lap in his mind in its smoke amidst the rest of the happy, leisurely Dobbs family eating the automatic food and playing with all the replicated stuff at once. Hally Loo Yah, ain’t gwinna woik no mo. It was just a matter of time until the five day work week would shrink to four, perhaps three not too far down the line. This is the period of my life I consider the parboiling of the frog.
Parboiling is a process of conquoco interuptus discovered in an area of China where the humans heated their rice slightly loosening the husks leaving the seed soft enough to be slightly edible and particularly facile in being made into a traditionally more digestible boiled meal. I consider public education a parboiling process artificially ridding budding question marks of the natural protection offered by the sublime guidance of their genetic memory, intuition and instinct by burying such sensitivity to the big picture beneath a landfill of brand new concerns about existing in a world demanding it be seen correctly as soon as possible — period.
Instead of boiling them directly onto the edible condition of slavery or indentured servitude, later versions of those-who-would-be-master found there’s less uprising, less spoilage if one parboils the product and leaves it to feel free to turn up its own heat and choose what variety of meal it cares to be for them. Public education, the first hit’s free.
So sixty years after the relief from whatever oppression the grown ups were feeling then lit the fire with the promise of more leisure, stuff and trouble free food that parboiled the entire industrialized world, the softened product is left to choose to fill its promised leisure with more work to satisfy a developing dependence on all that stuff as the dog adjusts his leash of choice about his bloated neck in the mirror of his well appointed home cage, drives his overburdened transportation cage to his work cage lined with paper through which he must chew to earn such a cush set up as his own kennel and the society of so many other like minded, willing kennelmates.
The choice seems to be that we awaken or die in an induced coma. Waiting until qualified to retire to begin thinking about it is the carrot on a stick program of the great Amurkyan dream.