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You are here Editorials Bob Alexander Not as Smart as Lemmings

Not as Smart as Lemmings

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An angry Rhesus monkey is apt to defecate in its hands and throw its feces at you. I think this accurately sums up the debating skills of the current crop of Republican cartoons currently vying for The Top Job. All except Rick Perry of course. He’s taken the deer-caught-in-the headlights stylings of George W. Bush to a whole new level by simply soiling himself on national television. But he’s not as smart as Mitt Romney et al because he doesn’t know what to do with his ammunition once he’s made it.

After watching the Republican Gong Show it’s obvious to anyone smarter than a goldfish that any one of these “leaders” of the Republican Party, if elected, will take this country straight to hell at roughly the speed of sound. The Democrats are the obviously prudent choice. Obama proposes proceeding down the road to perdition at the stately rate of only 55 miles an hour. Thank God our country has a two party system. We have the freedom to choose how fast we want to die.

Seemingly switching topics for a moment … did you know massive numbers of migrating lemmings do not commit mass suicide by flinging themselves off cliffs to drown in the sea below?

That particular fake fact was implanted in my brain because I grew up watching Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on a black and white Zenith television set. The 1958 Disney documentary, White Wilderness, staged the footage of lemmings jumping to their death during faked scenes of mass migration. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, Cruel Camera, found the lemmings used for White Wilderness were flown over 500 miles from Hudson Bay to Calgary where they did not jump from the precipice, but were launched off the cliff using a specially built turntable. Years and years later a couple of video games reinforced the notion that lemmings were prone to snuffing themselves but …

Lemmings do not commit mass suicide.

We do.

We’re in the process of doing it right now. And we’re more ambitious than the misunderstood arctic rodents. We’re taking as much of the planet as we can … with us.

We’re all marching steadily up to the edge of the cliff, surrounded by friends, family, and everybody else trapped in this insane culture. We’re at the point now where we can see where we’re going, and what’s going to happen once we get there.

We’re going to jump.

All of us.

Whether we want to or not … We’re going to jump.

It’s the classic nightmare. We’re going to our doom but we can’t seem to stop putting one foot in front of the other. Some of us are telling the others that we shouldn’t keep walking up to the cliff. And some of us agree that we should stop … but we just keep walking in the same direction.

Every day … all day … some yahoo like Rush Limbaugh pulls out a bullhorn and tells us to walk faster. This is the direction we’re supposed to be heading and we’ve got to pick up the pace to get there even quicker. Anyone who says otherwise is a dirty rotten liberal jihadist terrorist. And then a conciliatory voice from the liberal community advises us that we should possibly consider slowing down. Many of us agree. And the endless argument about speeding up or slowing down ripples through the crowd walking relentlessly towards the cliff.

As we march toward oblivion we can see, if we choose to look, the destruction we’ve caused everywhere we’ve been. Wherever we’ve walked, the fertile land has become a desert. With every step we can see it’s getting worse.

A tour of Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry begins with a small placard on a wall stating the Native People who greeted the American settlers had lived in the region for "… thousands of years." To be more precise, they had been living there since the end of the last glacial period over 10,000 years ago.

The Native People looked around and saw their home … and lived there for 100 centuries. The men who founded Seattle looked around and saw dollar bills. They brought the old-growth forests and salmon from unimaginable abundance ... to scarcity ... to near extinction in less than 100 years.

Derrick Jensen wrote in his book Endgame, “Do you believe that our culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living? For the last several years I’ve taken to asking people this question, at talks and rallies, in libraries, on buses, in airplanes, at the grocery store, the hardware store. Everywhere. The answers range from emphatic nos to laughter. No one answers in the affirmative. One fellow at one talk did raise his hand, and when everyone looked at him, he dropped his hand, then said, sheepishly, “Oh, voluntary? No, of course not.” My next question: how will this understanding that this culture will not voluntarily stop destroying the natural world, eliminating indigenous cultures, exploiting the poor, and killing those who resistshift our strategy and tactics? The answer? Nobody knows, because we never talk about it: we’re too busy pretending the culture will undergo a magical transformation.

And yet we walk on. Stopping is not an option. Anyone who thinks we should stop is delusional. The only societally acceptable argument is … what is the correct speed? Once that is determined everything will be just fine. But we know that’s not true. Regardless of what the feces flinging monkeys screech or the placating voices of liberals murmur … it’s not true at all.

So step by harrowing step the panic starts to build. Why doesn’t somebody do something? Why doesn’t somebody stop us?

Maybe if we change our lifestyle we can stop marching to the cliff. What if we all ran to our hardware stores and bought energy saving light bulbs? What if we all took shorter showers? Left the car in the driveway and took a bus? And if that’s not good enough … what if we went over to the breaker box and turned our houses … off … for 12 out of 24 hours each day? Would that finally work if we cut our energy and water consumption in half?


Each day a Palm Springs golf course consumes as much water as a family of four uses in four years and a U.S. navy destroyer uses the same amount of oil in a week that Huntington Beach California, a city of 200,000 people, uses in a year.

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, “It’s the Dominant Culture, stupid.”

We may have seen the beginnings of a way to stop The Dominant Culture. It’s going to take Occupy … Everything.


Occupy Everything. It’s as simple as Not Buying Anything for God's birthday and Staying Home on a national strike day … and the next day … and the next … until the psychopaths understand we’re not walking up to that cliff any longer. We’re going to stop. And talk about where to go from here.

Anyone who doesn’t agree had better come up with a different plan pretty quick. Because the feces flinging monkeys and the placating liberals are going to grab you by the throat and shove you off that cliff if you don’t voluntarily jump.

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