By Wil Forbis
January 1, 2005
|Humans persist in spreading the myth that living close to the earth is somehow desirable and pure. Here's what it really is: cold, dirty, smelly, disease ridden and dangerous.
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that a smile crossed my face when I heard the news that a tsunami had struck the coast of Thailand, India and Indonesia, gathering up tens of thousands of people in its murky claw and sucking them back out to sea. Sure, it was terrible tragedy; a Christmas catastrophe eradicating numbers of fellow humans so high as to be mind numbing. (Indeed, I was aghast when the first numbers of around 12,000 came in. When the death toll climbed to ten times that I greeted the news with weary, unblinking acceptance.) But as this natural disaster laid waste to whole villages and eradicated entire family lineages it struck a blow against two beliefs that I've long been at odds with. They are:
1) The myth often spouted by Christians and assorted ilk that there is a righteous God above who seeks to impart some form of social justice upon the world; to act as a sort of cosmic Super-man who uses his powers protect the weak and defenseless.
2) The argument that nature is benign and man has senselessly strayed from his primal roots by seeking to hold nature at bay with the forces of technology. If only, purveyors of this belief proffer, we could seek to live in harmony with nature then our footing on Mother Earth would become more spiritually and physically sound.
Both such belief systems now lie drenched by the onslaught of the Dec 26 tidal wave. I hold out no hope than mankind will come to its senses and accept the cold, amoral brutality of the Godless universe our tiny speck of a planet happens to float in – indeed, I don't really fault humanity for its willing donning of blinders. But I feel I would be remiss if I didn't take the time to ruthlessly taunt the followers of such belief systems by listing the ways in which current events expose the holes in the concepts of egalitarian Christianity and Terra-worship. It's just what I do.
First, lets look at the Christian ethos. As I've discussed before, Christianity is the source of the belief in what's called “social justice” in America. (Much to the chagrin of those Godless commies!) One of the founding beliefs of Jesus-freaks of all stripes and colors is that “the meek shall inherent the earth.” But the tsunami seemed to target its victims specifically to refute this concept. If a tidal wave or natural disaster came along to wipe out New York or Los Angeles or London (And don't worry – it could still happen!), people would be shocked, but also nod their heads sagely and put forth the theory that it was a warning from above for the mass-consuming citizenry of western civilization to end the folly of their ways. (Indeed, people practically creamed their pants at the idea with the release of the splendid disaster flick, “The Day After Tomorrow.”) But this tidal wave instead struck the weakest and poorest among us. It wasn't those who plunder the earth's crust for fun and profit who suffered, but those who barely survive on a few dollars a day. Hardly the sign of a God concerned with any form of justice, social or otherwise.
One can't help notice the timing here as well. The holiest time in the Christian religion is Christmastime. Yet God barely gave the world enough time to consume their holiday turkey before – WHAM! – he swept 150,000 people off the face of the earth. Thanks, God. </sarcasm>
Of course, the tsunami doesn't refute every argument for a higher power. The angry God, the vengeful God, the malicious God that populates the Old Testament and Viking and Norse mythologies (or the writings of H.P. Lovecraft) still exists, and indeed makes sense more than ever. But the “Just God” clearly has fallen asleep at the wheel.
But the Christian God isn't the only deity that modern man prays to. Over the years a form of earth worship has taken root among neo-luddites and other technophobes. It argues that man should leave his comfortable air conditioned house with his food preservatives and mass communication devices and “get back to nature.” Live like the Indians and Eskimos without any of the modern amenities that keep us fed and healthy and happy. These people see Mother Nature as a benign Goddess who only seeks to pull all the earth's inhabitants into her bosom and gently rock them to sleep while singing the sweet songs of the flowing rivers and creeks.
Of course, that is complete and total batshit. Man has been seeking to flee from or control nature since the onset of civilization because that's the only sane thing to do. In reality nature is an inherently chaotic, violent place (not evil, but certainly amoral) ruled entirely by the tenets of survival of the fittest. Ask a baby zebra being rendered alive by a hoard of attacking leopards about the wonders of living in nature. Ask the dinosaurs who were wiped off the face of the earth by some natural occurrence what their take on Mother Earth is. Humans persist in spreading the myth that living close to the earth is somehow desirable and pure. Here's what it really is: cold, dirty, smelly, disease ridden and dangerous. The more sensible denizens of mankind have rightly spent all their waking hours working to free themselves from the spindly claws of Mother Nature's grip. The misguided terra worshippers who oppose this are just as backwards as fundamentalist Christians - they've just replaced "God" with "Mother Earth."
In the days immediately after the tsunami I was interested, like many, to see where this disaster stood among the disasters of history, and was surprised to find that there have been many, far worse. Ever hear of the flood of the Yangtze-Kiang River in China that swamped 3.7 million people? Or the 1975 Tanashan earthquake that obliterated 655,000 people? (Jesus must really hate Chinamen.) Mother Nature, or God, isn't shy about rising up every so often and reminding us who runs the place. I'm baffled we think we owe them any fealty at all.
Wil Forbis is a
well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending
chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the
world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy,
he is making the world safe for democracy. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.