Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Are we not men?

By Capt. Fogg

Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men?

- H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau -

I'd hate to make anyone think I'm an optimist. I'm not even sure I care too much about the human race aside from a few individuals, but that's what pessimism is about -- a cosmic frame of reference that sees no permanence, that sees everything that is on the way up as inevitably on the way down.

Perhaps not caring gives a clearer vision. If it doesn't matter in the end that voting rights are in peril, or at least under continuing assault, then the failure of the Texas legislature to pass a bill further restricting abortion rights despite a ten-hour filibuster by Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis is less likely to be overshadowed. She might have gone on but was ruled to have drifted off topic amidst a chorus of boos and catcalls, and the bill was declared dead at 3 am.

For those of us who still hope for sweeping reformation and the triumph of truth and justice for all,  it's a little and perhaps temporary victory over the animal meanness of human nature and as Dr. Moreau learned, you can dress up the animal and teach it to walk on two legs, you can make it recite pledges and formulae, you can make up stories about divine origins, but the beast is still a beast and evolution is so slow.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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