I had a quick visit with the grandkids in Portland on Sunday after my workshops in Eugene and we decided to go to the zoo. When we got to the chimpanzees, I told 6-year old Zadie that they were her cousins. She gave me a kind of “what are you talking about?!!” look and I had to give a brief lecture on Darwin.
Now the Homo-Sapien-Centric reaction to Darwin’s idea back then—and remarkably, still now in some backwaters of intellectual capability—was that it was an insult to pair us with monkeys. A wider view would not only acknowledge that every living form has its own dignity and its proper place in the ecology of sentient beings, but also suggest that perhaps the chimpanzees were far more evolved than us humans who constantly foul our own nest, mindlessly kill, maim or sue our own family members, waste our lives chasing after dollars and vote for idiots, for starters. But the one thing we have is the power to put chimps in cages and gawk at them to entertain ourselves and to pat ourselves on the backs to see how much further we have evolved.
So that got me thinking about the zoo of the future and my fantasy that my grandkids will take their grandkids to see the (thankfully) endangered species on their way to extinction. Here’s what I hope they will see locked in cages:
1) Homo Racistiens— This weird species sometimes dresses in white hoods and shouts angry slurs to people with different skin colors. Their faces grow red from hate speech, their hearts are ten sizes too small and many have the intelligence level of dirt.
2) Homo Greediens—This group dresses in suits and ties and spends their day stealing money from each other and everyone else. Watch them connive and plot when the zookeeper throws in a barrelful of dollars.
3) Homo Sexistiens—Watch these males grope and grab the female mannequin in the cage and say mean and demeaning things to her. Women visitors, be prepared that they may hurl out catcalls.
4) Homo Silenciens—Watch these animals sit silently by while those in neighboring cages commit their unspeakable acts.
5) Homo My-God-Is-Rightiens—This group will pray to the altar of the God who lets them do any evil thing with excuses from Scripture—including killing others worshipping at the altar of their different God.
6) Homo Ignoramusiens—This group thrived on the notion that their ignorance was as good as (or better than) their neighbor’s education—and they were proud of it! And allowed to vote!
7) Homo Trumpien—This is the lowest life form in the entire history of evolution. A specimen that evolved with a human brain and refused to use it, a human heart and refused to open it to love and compassion, a human body and gorged it with nighttime cheeseburgers and used it only to steer his golf cart. And he was supported in all of this by his friends in the other cages.
PARTING NOTE FROM THE ZOO:
All you have seen here once roamed the earth and almost brought human life to extinction. But thankfully, real human beings saw the danger, educated themselves and others and now all that remains of that dark time are these last remaining survivors, safely locked away in cages so they can cause no more damage to others and displayed as a reminder that they should never come back again.
We hope you enjoyed your visit.