Notebook Entries July 2006
Notebook entry, July 30, 2006
A really nice piece by Gina Kolata on The New York Times online edition about the general health and "evolution" of our species. It was found under the HEALTH section of the Times, and its date is July 30, 2006. Its title: " So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldn't Even Know You."
The article swirls around an German ancestor and his modern family living in Hamilton, Ohio. A brief description of "grandpa" Valentin Keller is given with the updated version of the modern Keller family. Here is an excellent excerpt:
"The Keller family illustrates what may prove to be one of the most striking shifts in human existence -- a change from small, relatively weak and sickly people to humans who are so big and robust that their ancestors seem almost unrecognizable.
New research from around the world has begun to reveal a picture of humans today that is so different from what it was in the past that scientists say they are startled. Over the past 100 years, says one researcher...humans in the industrialized world have undergone 'a form of evolution that is unique not only to humankind, but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of humans who have ever inhabited the earth.'
The difference does not involve changes in genes, as far as is known, but changes in the human form. It shows up in several ways, from those that are well known and almost taken for granted, the greater heights and longer lives, to ones that are emerging only from comparisons of health records."
The article continues with information regarding mental capacities and other physical comparisons. It's an excellent background article overall for health professionals and those of us involved in the evolutionary perspective.
Notebook entry, July 22, 2006
I was going through some of my old DOC documents -- cleaning out and discarding old writings that I didn't want any more and came across a short piece that I wrote in May of 2003 concerning homophobia. I think I was planning to write a book on the subject, but just ran out of time. It is good, and I do intend to expand it to an essay. Here's the piece.
From the New Yorker magazine, Oct. 5. 1998 issue
Story about Newton Arvin, one of America's most esteemed literary critic and lover of Truman Capote, writes about his early days and gives a description of his own physical appearance and sport abilities as compared with other males.
"I was certainly a girlish small boy, not a virile one, even in promise, and the world of boys being what it is, I was not long in being made aware of this. I was timid, shrinking, weak, and unventuresome; I had no skill in boyish games and sports, and no interest in them, and I was quickly penalized as a result - by taunts, jeers, and sometimes, though rarely, blows…And from then on I was never wholly without the sense…of radical difference from, and inferiority to, my male contemporaries, or the sense of the inimical in the social world around me."
"and the world of boys being what it is": from this phrase we can begin to see the possibility of what every young male most likely has an innate ability to know his place within the social circle that he has inherited. The second part of the sentence, "I was not long in being made aware of this." In the social structure of AMG's,( All Male Groups) it is strength that is the most important, and the all important, silent indicator of bonding acceptance. To be accepted is to mean survival. You survive by hunting the beast that sustains people of your clan or tribe. If your not able to help in the chain link that helps the survival of those people, that means that you are a burden to that task; if you couldn't help in an auxiliary way -- through gathering, sowing, nurturing the young and, in places of special talent -- like "talking to the great Gods that looked over you" by virtue of being a "priest" -- then the "decision" was made by the "group" sending those persons to the periphery of the herd. There you will learn to survive or perish. It was our ancestor's job to eliminate the weak and those who would "take away" from the tribe or clan by their "weakness" so that there would be more resources available so that the tribe or clan could survive. It is not cruelty, but survival that drives this innate behavior.
I speculate that since that AMG's (All Male Groups) left the clan or village to hunt for a day, or several days at a time leaving behind women, children -- and who else would be left? Old men too old to hunt, right? Of course, injuries and high chiefdom status, or "priestly status" could also be included, but the primary function for these older males would be the "protection" of the women and children.
I strongly speculate that this "homophobia" is innate in all men who bond. The other side of the coin also applies. The "shame" of not being able to "live up" to the expectations of the other tightly bonded males is also innate. Imagine yourself a young boy of 13 not being able to pass the endurance tests -- the initiation rites -- of passage into "manhood." (The rites, ceremonies, ordeals, or instructions with which one is made a member of a group and is invested with a particular function or status) Where does it leave you? What can you do?
The answer of course is that you spend your days alone trying to survive, or you drift off to other tribes or clans where you may be "allowed" to live. Or fast forward to today and you find those who have been "outcasted" or pushed out of their "masculine" groups to migrate to large cities where most likely they will find others like themselves. Since the human sex drive is strong in the human male, and since the negative "exclusionary social norms" having been removed, most likely sexual activity between males who have received the same "failing masculine grade" would become easier to perform.
At this point, I am not ruling out that homosexuality in males is innate or culturally enjoined, but I have no doubts that it exits because of the "hatred" and exclusionary practices of our ancestors, and our modern day social norms.
If the bonded groups of males today learned to tolerate and leave "feminine"(some scientists write that they really the more "highly evolved males -- or the modern sexual selection choice or preference of the modern female) males alone, I strongly feel "homosexuality" would be greatly reduced. Homophobia creates homosexuality. Just go ask the Bonobos. Hey, are you guys engaging in "immoral" sex?
Of course, my theory, must endure the test of time and debate.
Wow, that last sentence carries a heavy price. So my theory comes down to this: if males of today did not practice homophobia, then young males today who are ...girlish..., not...virile..., even in promise, and the world of boys being what it is,..." would not be pushed to the edges of society where they would find others like themselves. Thus, not finding, others like themselves, would have no need nor temptations for same-sex behaviors.
Notebook entry, July 21st, 2006
I'm on vacation this week because one year ago we planned a visit from my California daughter to come to Colorado to spend the week. We cancelled those plans because she planned instead to take the California bar exam and needed the time to study. Now, she tells me that she is not going to take the exam because it interferers too much with their business. It is at times like these when one wonders about the joys of gene transference. I guess the genes are happy, not I'm not. Oh well, I've made reservations for another visit the second week of August.
That is if my back holds up. It seems that the degenerative disc disease has advanced to a higher plane. I know that some of it is my weight (creeping up slowly since Emily came home from the hospital in March, but I know that it also is nerve related. The pain is about a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 being unbearable. I'll be seeing a specialist on Friday, the 28th, and will be scheduled for an MRI. So we will see what develops. I know that I can't keep delivering mail with such pain levels.
Even though I've decided to stop producing films for "breaking through" to the other side, I just finished another home movie of Emily and her clan. I'm getting quite skilled at the editing -- I am getting rave reviews from family and friends who are enjoy my work. At last, PRAISE, for a job well done.
Notebook entry, July 17th 2006
Diana and I just returned from a week-end stay at her time-share in Vail. We gave the rest of the week to Andy and Heather Ulmer whom have been a great help in building the handicapped ramp for Diana's daughter, who, as you remember, suffered a stroke on Dec 27th, 2005. It's been almost five years since we spent a week up in Vail, and it's always great to visit this magical place that reminds us a an European ski town.
Emily's baby boy, Ewan, born on Christmas day, 2005, continues to thrive with the great care that Diana continues to shower on the boy.
I've also been feeling so good about my decision to return to writing, correcting the broken links within the web site, that I took out a few advertisements with some blogs. One on Thom Hartmann's blog for a month, and another on a feminist blog -- Suburban Guerilla for two weeks. If I had more money, I would place them on more feminist blog sites -- after all, it will be the women who save our planet -- with the assistance of men who understand the evolutionary forces at work; those being progressive, political males.
Notebook entry, July 10th 2006
I've really been busy behind the web site. Almost six months ago, my son-in-law tried to help me put pod cast capabilities unto this web site and, me, the Luddite, the anti-technological old fart that I am, did not notice that things were not quite right. To be as non-technical as I can, it seems that he created a new local root folder and that all new files that I created were being stored under this root and I was creating two equal web site within my software. Talk about confusing. Well, anyway, it took me about four days or twenty hours to fix the problem. It did a wonderful job of re-establishing many links that were broken and simplifying my life on the web site. It also was a tremendous boost in self-confidence.
My film-making career has not been as exciting as planned. But, in hind sight, about normal for yours truly. What it means is that I will be spending more time writing then spinning my wheels with film making. I'm going back to what I know best -- studying and writing. I'm not an aggressive and overbearing personality which is suited for the film industry. Currently, I'm writing a book review of The Da Vinci Code and its relationship to feminism.
Notebook Entry, July 9th 2006
An excellent, New York Times online article on a series that the paper is doing: Title: At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust, by Tamar Lewin. It records the scene at many colleges about the rise of women in academia, including the false "crisis" for young males. Here's a good quote:
"Women now make up 58 percent of those enrolled in two- and four-year colleges and are, overall, the majority in the graduate schools and professional schools too."
It seems that the "crisis" that seems so shocking is that thousand of years of male dominance is now about to tumble, and that bothers the comfortable elite sisters who want to stay at home while the big boys bring home the big bucks that they only minimally deserve.
It's the women who prop up the system, sisters -- not just the men. Understand
this and you have the key to solving the disparity of gender discrimination.