Under the Sea, that Beast called Man

“In a Promethean sense, man is a God. But on an even more profound level, man is a beast. This primary contradiction has plagued mankind for millennia.
Man is a God. Man is a beast. These two aspects of his personality have been waging war with one another for countless centuries; a war whose casualties are seen everywhere and recognized nowhere. But there exists, however, a long forgotten place in the soul where God and beast intersect.
To go to that place is to witness the death of one world and the birth of another” – Boyd Rice, from the NON album God & Beast.

I invite you to consider the following fact; as recently as 2000 BC the entire world’s population of mankind may have only been about twice that of the State of Ohio.

Consider this, if you will. Somewhere out there, 40 miles or so out at sea, on the coasts of Africa, or Arabia, or India, or Europe, somewhere out there lies bones of forgotten ancestors and things we perhaps couldn’t fully imagine. Out there lies our history, the scraps of fossils, hints and traces of buildings inland, in the river valleys that formed human civilization’s first perceptible inland steps – these are but scraps.

Much of our history is dissolved into ether, buried under water, or otherwise inaccessible. We shall never be able to know the complete history of humanity in our early youth, or Paleolithic Golden age, because much of it is submerged in sea, or buried under desert sands in places we would not imagine to even look.

Consider this, most of our modern shorelines date from only 3,000 BC. Much of the world’s water was locked up in Northern glaciers. So most of our ancestors, as humanity, lived walked loved and laughed, and died, miles out at sea. Go to a shore, in Florida, or New York, or California, or Spain, or France, or England – and imagine the entire area from Columbus Ohio to Ft. Thomas Kentucky completely submerged. THAT was our ancestors home, for man and woman were beachcombers, and their bones are out there forgotten by their children.

Excuse the crude nature of this analogy, but we are a family collectively shitting in our kitchen. Depending on how cultivated and civilized we are, some of us prefer to just honestly squat and let it out on the floor, others furtively and hypocritically pull the table cloth over our laps, scoot the chair back a few inches, scoot ourselves over the seat and let a load out, and then slide back and pretend nothing happened.

Some of us go in, shove our hands in each others piles, and throw the poo at the more dignified furtive under the table cloth shitters, in any case this appears to be the collective state of humanity, and often it appears that those pointing this out in the most shrill terms (present company excepted, but of course!) are themselves floor shitters of prodigal – though self deceptive – nature.

Enough about Shit, I’m reading an interesting book.

I’m slowly reading an interesting book – The Long Summer, How Climate Changed Civilization. I think it’s essential reading, you can read it quickly trust me, but there are implications to the text that deserve slow digestion. While reading it I began to reflect on this; depending on how you calculate it, back in 10,000 BC the entirety of humanity was essentially the population of the Cincinnati tri-state area.

All of this is debatable, and the truth is that no one has a true or solid clue, but what seems likely – and and of course estimates on this vary and are based on assumptions that really are bad, maybe the only assumptions possible lacking real data, but still bad. But however you look at it the whole of the human race was maybe a million to 3 million people.

The vast majority of whom lived in Asia, mainly the fertile crescent Southwest Asia (the middle east and Southern Levant) though also many in South Asia, the Indian Sub Continent, and a few towards the north past the Zagros Mountains inching towards Europe, and a small number in East Asia and Siberia.

The races of Africa, and old Europe were miniscule. A few thousand souls at the most. No one in the Americas. There’s some controversy here of course, its possible that a few Siberian stragglers may have made it there this early but it is very, very, unlikely. The total human population of both Africa and Europe could have fit in – say – Georgetown in Washington DC, or Clifton Heights/Northside and maybe Cumminsville in Cincinnati. 9,000 – to 15,000 people on each continent.

At this point the so called “Races” of humanity were really, at best, just truly extended families then. I’d say Clans. A clan of 5,000 people who look and talk alike isn’t a race in the modern sense. It’s a clan or tribe. And probably a heavily inbred one, which would account for the differentiation in physical features (that and environmental pressure).

For the most part everyone pretty much looked like everyone else, because many of the morphological and phenotype differences between the “negroid” or “Caucasoid” or “mongoloid” peoples were probably subtle, and minor. There were differences, but we are talking about small matters of degrees. An example; the earliest skeletal remains displaying so-called “Bantu” negroid like features date very recently in history, the 3rd or 4th millennium BC, prior to that the remains found are of people who more resemble the modern Khoisan like people. The “Bantu remains” canard is in itself a barbarous bit of confusion because Bantu is a language family, the people now speaking those languages need not necessarily be the same as the original speakers.

Again we are talking about assumptions, necessary assumptions perhaps but assumptions pure and simple, but I stray from my point.

In the old sense of the word, and no one today even uses it this way – not even those who pretend to – every large family is a “race” a razza, in the original sense this was a people, a folk, a lineage. Even until 150 years ago it was customary to speak of “the Irish Race” the “Anglo-Saxon Race” the “Scottish Race” the “Norman Race” and so on. This is the historically correct usage of the term, the White or Black or Yellow races were understood to be supra-races encompassing the lineages of specific folk, specific people. The “Italic Races” and so on.

She who names and defines the terms wins the cookie. The power to name and define is 90% of the rhetorical game in such matters dealing with the origins of Man and his communities.

I believe that the sort of polite and veiled biological racists today, who complain about the increasing acceptance in Anthropology and Genetics of the usage of the idea of Hoplogroups as a more scientifically accurate rendering than Race, may just showing emotive biases. Some who claim to be traditionalists really, in a way, are far from traditionalist in that what they seem to hanker after are very specific, though dated, modern and socially conditioned understandings of human biology emerging out of specific circles and debates in Victorian England.

I believe that part of the problem of “Nature versus nurture” “environment versus heredity” debates on the nature and role of ethnicity and race in human affairs, is that the Modern Western discourses on race and biological differences have become bifurcated along rigid Liberal/Conservative, either/or lines.

That even those debaters who give lip service to the possibility of “well it could be both this and that, not either or” are sometimes lying out of their teeth – and I say ‘sometimes’, and not ‘typically’, to be charitable – in service to non-rational emotive agendas tied up in their identity. And that the degree to which we all “doth protest too much” strongly points to what our real fears are, in that what we protest most shrilly about seems to illustrate far deeper yearnings, longings, and passionate fears.

Maybe the true nature of the debate should be “neither, nor” not either or, or both. Beyond this though one thing is biologically and sociologically clear, we are all a family, though some of us of course are more distantly related to each others.

Also what is clear to me is that the true mainstream of humanity – historically in terms of sheer population and antiquity of civilization – is neither Europe, or American, nor Africa – it is Asia. And not Far East Asia, rather South West, North West, and South Asia. From the Middle East to the Indian Sub continent. This, historically in terms of sheer population size, and novelty of invention, advanced cultural and physical evolution, and continuity of culture, is normative humanity.

The rest of us are stragglers and outliers, this doesn’t invalidate what makes us special, but it does indicate that we are not the norm. We are all – as Homo Sapiens Sapiens (not Australopithecus or Homo Erectus or something, I mean Sapiens – as Mankind, as humanity as we know it. Neanderthals are not human in the sense I mean) children of Asia. The ancient Greeks and Romans even recognized this in their myths.

We also are all cousins.

Reflect on that deeply. We truly are all one shitty family. Some inbred cousins, some gibbering idiot cousins, some higher functioning autistic spectrum cousins, a few rich bastard scheming cousins, a few dirt poor but noble cousins, a few trashy cooking drugs on the kitchen store and pimping out the 7 year old daughter for crack/crank money cousins, but all one murderous feuding family falling far short of their potential.

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