Some intellectual was on CBC with Michael Enright once talking about good bad books, like for example, ANIMAL FARM and 1984, books which he reminded us are inferior reads as literature, and yet which carry with them a perspective on reality that cannot be denied and makes the reading of these works actually worthwhile. That …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - The World Peace Diet: TLDR

The World Peace Diet: TLDR

Some intellectual was on CBC with Michael Enright once talking about good bad books, like for example, ANIMAL FARM and 1984, books which he reminded us are inferior reads as literature, and yet which carry with them a perspective on reality that cannot be denied and makes the reading of these works actually worthwhile.

That guy was an idiot: ANIMAL FARM and 1984 are fantastic books.

So I read this book somebody handed to me.

And it was stupid long. Like, literally, longer than any two given volumes of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It was one and half times the length of WAR & PEACE.

I’m not one to finger point; I know, I go on and on and on, as well. Um, it’s called “an editor”!

Also, I thought the book was lame. Like, in the way that the author calls Science to task, mentally walking the reader thru the Nazi medical experiment chamber of horrors set up by — you guessed it! – scientists!

So, you can’t really trust science. Right?

But the book did frighten me, on a real, spiritual level, and it reminded me most of the spiritual fear I had once felt when I read that we were not descended from Neanderthals, but had murdered them all out extinct, to evolve alone without them.

Team, that freaked me out. I admit it.

It made my skin prickle for a moment.

(Later, merciful Hera, I read that we and the Neaderthals had just orgied our way into a mongrel evolution together, which is why I look like Skeletor, and that version thrilled me mightily. I prefer to believe and reference that reading, not the earlier, unsettling reading.)

Referencing an author named Riane Eisler, this TLDR book suggests that gatherer-hunter tribes were wiped out by post-Agricultural Revolution humans who began to farm and slaughter animals – – and in doing so, in farming meat, learned domination over nature, and domination and supremacy over… the Other.

Cut to:

How totally messed up humanity is today:

Because humanity collectively chooses a furtive, “clandestine” cruelty to lesser species over the choice of compassion, we choose the psychology and meme-set and perspective and morality and spirituality that we have, and the accompanying relationships that we have which result from these. We scream at and oppress and enslave and play mindgames with and torture and deprive and hurt and taunt and kill and smack each other because we learned these things in dominating animals. We learned deviant, immoral behaviors and crimes against humanity from memes which originated in conquering animals.

Honestly, I thought there was something there which truly pierced my mind. It felt real, and true. I know it’s a big claim, and it may be a stretch even, it may be false. I don’t imagine we’ll truly know. Yet I sensed it was truth.

I read recently, just this summer, that Adam Smith had written before THE WEALTH OF NATIONS how humanity had probably been happier before the Agricultural Revolution, and yet, still, continues to choose this unhappier of lives. Adam Smith wrote that! Or, that’s what I read, anyway.

It’s certainly the same story we see in the third chapter of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY: Man learns to kill Animals, and in the next scene, Man transfers that new skill to the Other Man.

The World Peace Diet book was overlong and it went into too many segues without clearly, concretely developing and defining it’s most arresting suggestion: that we know the names of people like Shakespeare and Freud and Hitler and Plath and Moliere and Luther and King and Hemingway and Napoleon and Gandhi and Lennon and Frank and Hitchcock and Jeshua or Jesus and Confucius all because our common ancestors learned violence thru ignoring their consciences and stifling their compassion in order to confine and kill animals, and then used the resulting superpowers of nature-dominating civilization to conquer our common gatherer-hunter ancestors. Still, I’m glad I read the book, and I’m glad it was handed to me. It’s been a long time since I read a mental bombshell like this. I believe it’s been since high school, really.

So, that guy on CBC was right: there are really bad books which can still bring good things into your life. This book did put an earnest hand on my shoulder and ask me to think about things in a different way. So, I’m grateful that Will Tuttle wrote it, and grateful it was directed to me.

I’ll look up this Riane Eisler in more detail. Her idea is fascinating to me; I will know more about it.