Well, we’re at that part of the story; the tradegy part. The part when everything goes to hell in a handbasket for EBH. The part when he drives the bus over the cliff (intentionally). When he crosses a line he will never be able to retract from. The part where he aims his Titanic towards the iceberg; yes, aims, for the direction he chooses is no accident.
Beyond the obvious, this is tragic because, up to this point, EBH has managed to not only survive, but actually advance his societies to a reasonable state of tranquility and stability.
Not bad for a former “ugh, ugh” knuckle dragger.
For make no mistake, life on the rock has been, is now, always will be challenging to be sure. In his short walk so far, EBH has not only been threatened (constantly) by wild, hungry, predatory beasts of every description, at every turn, he has also had to endure (unceasing) catastrophic environmental changes that decimate his fledgling communities, villages, and entire regions.
More disheartening than property damage, is the loss of millions and millions of EBH lives to these events, these natural disasters.
Long term events, such as droughts, with their resulting famines, are responsible for the deaths of untold numbers due to starvation, dehydration, emaciation, and incubation of diseases, just as they continue to do so today.
Glacial periods, the infamous Ice Ages, made the land unsurvivable, forcing EBH to seek warmer parts of the Rock. Interglacial periods, the warm periods, like the present, resulted in extensive plain floods, forcing EBH to seek higher, dryer grounds.
Everything EBH had acquired, established, built, created, including his homes, roads, buildings were then, are now, and will be tomorrow, wiped away as if they never were.
Some of the more frightening events were surely the violent shifting of his Rock’s plates tectonic. The shifting of these plates (in theory) resulted, as they still do, in massive earthquakes, evoking the eruption of volcanoes, which spew incinerating moultan lava, lava that obliterates all in it’s path.
Strong earthquakes, epicenters deep on ocean floors, result in tsunamis, tidal waves, which wash entire coastal communities to sea.
For the irrefutable truth held firm then, as it does now; EBH is, will always be, not only anatomically and physiologically fragile, but emotionally frail. This was so obvious, a wise EBH once commented that only those EBHs with strong consciences, those with the will to survive, would.
The physically weak, more importantly, the emotionally weak, those EBHs who could not achieve personal independence, for whatever reason, much less maintain control of their own conscious being, were at a high risk for death.
Those who could not grasp the reality of being, achieving even the most basic level of existentialism, would, in some way, at some point, fall prey to stronger, quicker, faster thinking, more conniving, manipulating predators, EBH and otherwise.
For stronger, more confident, faster thinking EBHs quickly learned, the weaker, more gullible EBHs could easily be exploited; they could be conned out of possessions and funds. Worse, they could easily be subjugated, coerced and threatened into compliance and servitude (slavery).
The practice of identifying, classifying, and categorizing EBHs from birth, into their “rightful” designated social status, be it aristocracy or slavery, became the foundation for global social structure.
The justification? The sources? The authorities cited for such deep, philosophical, social designation and labeling of human life? Why the nonsense scribbled of self-proclaimed “philosophers” of course.
For the creative writers never slept, and their continued production of sophisticated, mind numbing glib flourished, readily accepted by Kings and peasants alike as unquestionable, irrefutable truths.
Even today, the likes of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, archaic, self-proclaimed philosophers that they were, are still revered, are still hailed, lauded as the “fathers” of modern humanity and community, of much of our governing politics.
In truth, these dinosaur sages of human existence and pseudo-existentialism, were simply EBHs, no different from any other with the exception that they could read and write a coherent sentence. But, they, and so many others that would follow, became to the ignorant, iconic figures, never to be questioned, never to be doubted, never to be challenged.
If these philosophers accomplished anything, they effectively damned EBH forever, embrazing political bias, prejudice, misogynistic and racial hatred into their gullible minds as a matter of social principle, a principle that would upset society, not define it.
This establishment of class, of privilege and stature, the creation of the elite, changed the social horizon forever. And this was ever so evident during difficult times.
During forced migratory periods, periods when displaced EBH’s were in desperate survival mode, having political control over food and water, as well as safe shelter, benefited this elite. This, of course, only served to create dangerous, rebellious sub-cultures that would, not surprisingly, create new walls and social barriers, soundly mortared with animosity and disdain.
But, there’s more.
For, as if starvation and dehydration and pestilence wasn’t enough, the physically weak, emaciated EBH was highly susceptible to a myriad of diseases and maladies.
Droughts did not only result in starvation and dehydration, inhaled dust from dried out fields could carry fungi which could result in the development of respiratory diseases, like Valley Fever (Coccidiodomycosis).
But a more clear and present danger was the close quarter living resulting from mass migration to urban settings. Tenement buildings packed beyond capacity, inadequate to non-existent sewage systems, poor garbage collection, and questionable potable water delivery systems equated to ticking time bombs.
The unsanitary conditions people were forced to live in were life threatening in themselves; when certain strains of viruses and bacterium were introduced, large cities essentially turned into proverbial death camps.
Important note. EBH eventually learned to build sailing vessels. This led to Kings and Queens, Emperors, Tsars, and Sultans, essentially everybody and their brother with money, ordered those ships to set sail across the oceans (hoping their Rock wasn’t really flat).
This age of exploration/discovery resulted in lucrative trade markets with the West–China, Japan, and Mexico, just to name a few. One of the most desired items being imported was Chinese silk.
But the dispatching and receiving of merchant ships was a double edged sword. For along with the coveted silk, the fine porcelain, and Japanese samurai blades, vermin infested with their own cargo were also sailing back on those ships.
No, I’m not talking about the sailors, although they did in fact bring back some interesting things of their own; I’m talking of the notorious Asian black rats and their cargo of disease carrying fleas.
Even if the rats succumbed to the fleas at sea, as often was the case, the fleas then sought out the human passengers and crew, not only ensuring their survival, but effectively transferring communicable diseases that would in turn be passed along once ashore.
The results could, and in many cases did evolve into full blown pandemics and epidemics. The most infamous, and deadliest of the pandemics being the bubonic plague, The Black Death.
Other diseases, like Cholera, bacterium Vibrio cholerae, contracted through contaminated food, water, and unsanitary conditions and practices, like not washing one’s hands frequently, especially after defecation, may easily, in the long run, top the body count of the Black Death, but only because cholera is the disease that keeps on killing. It’s not your typical epidemic/plague; that is to say, it has no distinct beginning, and it still claims, on average, 150 thousand EBH lives every year.
So, let’s review, 200 million EBH dead with one sweep due to bubonic plague; 150 thousand more dead every year due to cholera, and, we’re not even factoring in the incalculable deaths attributed to smallpox, measles, HIV, H1N1, and the slew of other viruses and bacterium that raged, and still rage upon highly susceptible EBH.
But let’s go back to the Black Death for a second, for this efficient killer, like cholera, never truly goes away.
Bacterium Yersinia pesti was first (officially) recorded in Constantinople (Byzantine Empire), in 541 BCE. It has been recorded many times since, each time claiming many, many lives.
In the early 1300s, it surfaced in China (Central Asia), and it was there, in about the mid-1300s, that sailors transporting cargo collected along The Silk Road (more on The Silk Road later), allegedly also transported Asian black rats infested with Yersinia pesti carrying fleas to Europe (via Sicily). I say allegedly only because there is still debate today as to whether the Black Rat is the rightful culprit.
Irregardless of how the bacterium made it to Europe, the ensuing Black Death pandemic (1346-1353), spread throughout Europe like wildfire; again, attributed with somewhere between 100 and 200 million lives throughout Europe.
The daily death count was such, wagons were wheeled through the city streets, with a cryer calling out to residents, “Bring out your dead!” Those EBHs that had succumbed to the Black Death during the night were carried out and tossed onto the wagon, simply tossed on top of all the other bodies.
The Black Death/Plague is still referred to as the single most deadliest pandemic/epidemic in EBH history.
But, we’re not done killing EBH yet, oh no. His already weary walk on Mother Rock was further riddled with yet more disparaging obstacles and personal challenges.
For EBH was not (is not) a perfect species by any stretch of the imagination. This is clearly evidenced by the multitude of genetically transferred (hereditary) conditions, including debilitating physical deformities and incapacitating cognitive deficiencies.
These conditions not only challenged EBH families, but entire community.
Sadly, as an effect (I’m sure) of the “great philosophers” master classifications and categorization system for all EBHs born onto the Rock, these unfortunate souls were seen as “burdens on society.” Considered unreachable, unteachable misfits, far to many were literally incarcerated in public sanitariums and mental institutions; and no, they did not receive five star care.
This was especially true, and in fact still is true of EBHs afflicted with Hansen’s disease, bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. This contagious disease affects an EBH’s peripheral nerves, skin, upper respiratory tract, eyes, and nasal mucosa (the lining of the nose), EBHs afflicted leprosy were/are placed in isolated colonies, homes, or institutions.
It actually wasn’t until recently that EBH children (and adults) living with physical and cognitive disabilities were provided formal educations, job training, and employment opportunities.
Sadly, in some EBH communities today, these individuals are still segregated and denied equal treatment and privileges.
And so, despite all his dreams and aspirations of ascending to the position of Grand Poobah; despite yearning to be accepted as the perfect EBH specimen, worthy of becoming the glorified ruler of all civilizations on the Rock. Despite his assertions of being indestructible, living and ruling for all eternity, existing even beyond death, EBH could not escape one nagging fact.
No; despite all his lofty claims, EBH could not escape the fact that he could, and often did, drop dead in his tracks without warning, escape the fact that he could cease to exist just as quickly as he had come to be, never to be seen or heard from again (with the exception of being “kept alive” through folklore, tall-tales, urban legends, and creepy songs).
With the ever growing number of tribes globally, expanding civilizations, environmental and biological calamities, increasing competition for food and fresh water, despite incomprehensible rising death tolls, EBH incredibly elects to shifts from a position of mutual cooperation and beneficial alliances with brother EBHs, abandoning dialogues that promote global unity and survival, and assumes a position of growing arrogance, and essentially, selfishness.
But, there was more.
Early in this series, I described EBH as a terminally frightened simpleton; while he did initially fumble and flounder, he was able to achieve and prosper, establishing himself as positive entity on the rock.
It actually seemed he was connecting with, acknowledging his consciousness, coming to accept his reality and seriously focusing on his here and now.
But, no. He only reverted back to the terminally frightened simpleton, allowing himself to be distracted. He allowed himself to be fooled by fictitious, mythological tall-tales spewed with false authority by conniving creative writers. He allowed himself to be suckered by the slicked hair Shaman, preaching from their lofty pulpits, selling their cartoon character supernatural spirits, demons, and gods. Their false, albeit convincing , influence effectively, easily driving EBH to a terminal state of delusion.
And so, once again, and pretty much for the final time, stranding at the proverbial pivotal crossroads, EBH makes the greatest bonehead decision in the history of bonehead decisions.
Instead of electing to dedicate his existence in continued service to his fellow EBH, to the advancement of community and state, instead of electing to be a responsible custodian to his only hope for continued survival, his sustaining rock, instead of making the right choice, EBH unbelievably opts to walk away from everything he, and all before him have struggled for, everything they have sacrificed for, everything countless have died for, leaves it all behind in quest of, in anticipation of, adorning himself in glistening trinkets, dining in grand palaces, and publishing volumes in personal glory and conquest.
In actuality, EBH incredibly chooses to totally abandon reality. He ignores the fact that his rock is simply that, a rock, floating, spinning, locked in a monotonous orbit around a blazing, dying star. He ignores the glaring fact that everything he knows as “truths” in life, he has in fact fabricated, like his own fantastic, creatively scripted genesis, and his crude concept of “time.” He ignores the fact that he can, and does, fall over dead from little more than the common cold, not to mention sharp objects in the hands of other (angry) EBHs.
EBH effectively shucks all to instead embrace a fictitious, ridiculous, almost comical mythology based entity that would prove far more costly in terms of lives than any Black Death, far more costly in terms of property loss than the most powerful, catastrophic tsunami or earthquake.
EBH would embrace, tolerate, support a growing cult built on a foundation of deceit and treachery, and in doing so would bring upon himself, and every EBH on the Rock, unspeakable horror; a horror of such magnitude, of such unconscionable inhumane acts, a black shroud of death would, and still does, cover every nation, every tribe.
With one decision, EBH lost his advantage in life. With one decision, EBH gave away his Rock, and the consequences became immediately evident.
EBH not only still feared the unknown, the unseen, above and below him, he came to cower in fear before the very evil incarnate he invited into his gates. Evil, that like the Black Death, like Cholera, began to kill, and has not stopped since.
EBH has started to lock his doors and shutter his windows. He has started to build his walls, lock his gates against this Death. But posting of guards isn’t enough. Adopting a philosophy of territorialism and isolationism isn’t enough, for like the bubonic plague, like cholera, this Death will never truly go away.
No, EBH is no longer in control of his Rock; he has been reduced to a spectator. He has no voice. He has no function except to watch and wait for death to arrive.
EBH no longer has the privilege of being content, or not being content.
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