Billy in Glass, Big Tree Lodge (IX.7.2010), Glacier National Park . . .
On the road in the Northwest of America. [ click photo for next . . . ]
Humans are the only beings in Nature
who are constantly
preoccupied with what they are not.
FOUR MINIATURES ON SALT & SUGAR MAN
(1) We shape the world and the world shapes us.
Just as an excess of sugar and salt in the diet drives appetite into
the much-will-have-more of culinary runaway, an excess of sex and
violence drives film and TV into the obsessive frenzy of too-much-is-
Evidently, imbalance seems strongly to favor a kind of
synergistic co-evolution in multiple, parallel dimensions simultane-
ously. Either way, junk food for the eye, or cheap thrills for the tongue,
both are not just, as the saying goes, ‘tasteless.’ More importantly, they
leave us with the sad, ever-dissatisfied feeling of self-abuse, an abuse
which quickly degenerates into the most hard and fast form of cultural
So the salt & sugar man develops hand in hand with the couch
potato sex & violence connoisseur, verily, an evolving subset of a
potentially new species, an Homo seduto shall we say. Yes,
“Man with his ass glued to the seat of a chair.”
(2) We shape the world and the world shapes us.
From the ecological, energy household perspective, a deficit of in-
put—especially of an absolute necessity—may become a major force
or drive behind creative leaps of the evolutionary process. Who is to
say that the wings of flight were not adaptations to the fact of great
distances between ever-scarcer sources of water?
(3) We shape the world and the world shapes us.
Humans are the only species that does not live in a world of fact.
Think of it. We do not really directly see the world as it is, but rather
as a complex map-like representation. A cattleman’s, a goldminer’s, a
developer’s, an ecologist’s or a conservationist’s map or representation
of exactly the same territory will look very different. That is because
they each abstract or draw out from any given territory a different set of
what they see as potentially relevant facts and features.
Because we possess this extraordinary capacity to create an unlimited
supply of these alternative representations, each with their own varying
degree of truth content, we are also provided with a unique and unlimit-
ed opportunity to falsify, ignore, deny or lie about facts. That is, as long
as we can get away with it.
So we play false, largely because of some form of self-interest, both in-
dividually and collectively, with our great natural gift of representation.
The task of Philosophy and Metaphysics is to help clean up the resulting
mess and keep as honest as possible the rules of the game.
(4) We shape the world and the world shapes us.
Adaptation? A million solutions to a single problem—
change to fit the fact.
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999-2011 picture-poems.com