I have been, for many years, a frustrated scientist. To be happy, I probably needed to be a marine biologist. I have no time for most of what we call society. This is a dull place, full of people scared of each other, so devoid of pleasure they need ‘entertainment’. Orwell was right about News and Doublespeak, but only got the half of it. I have a thesis our lives are best described by pornography, something we think we hide, but is really the driving force of our interactions. There is now nothing more ludicrous in the world than an honest man, even the term ‘man’ ludicrous in excluding more than half our population, yet inclusive of all.
I prefer the world of mud dragons and penis worms, the latter, sadly for vengeful feminists, not some infection of the male vehicle covering the intrigues of sperm wars and selfish genes far more cunning than human slaughter strategies we revere as history. We have recently found a close relative of these ugly chaps, the latter looking rather like sad venereal-infected specimens in MOD films shown to sailors to put them off sex just before being issued with condoms as shore leave beckons. The fascinating thing about the new guys (actually very ancient) is not that they look like the male appendage around which men believe entertainment is built (for Cheryl Cole is surely ‘constructed’). Like the monolith of supposed thrusting pleasure that must be obeyed, these ‘new’ creatures are ‘all animal’ and do not breathe oxygen. Their energy system is based on hydrogen.
The new Loricifera species have structures called hydrogenosomes, which are found in some single-celled organisms and require no oxygen to produce chemical energy. Some of them are so cute they look like they were knitted somewhere in Peru. They have been found in a high brine concentrated lake below the Med, and are fortunate not to be on holiday there with ‘Sun For You’ or any other package holiday merchant gone bust. There’s a great pic at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727721.400-hydrogen-bombshell-rewriting-lifes-history.html – and some explanation of the evolutionary significance.
My psychology has been conditioned by such issues as wondering whether chimpanzees have a theory of mind, and long ago I determined they do and that many humans lack anything as sophisticated, driven as we are around the ‘pleasures’ of the worm and defence reviews that will put the ‘cold war to bed’. It still isn’t a no brainer to us that we should put war to bed, or that life constrained by forces of “reproduction” is cosmetic, pathetic and as brainlessly libidinous as what we call economics. I would be swimming with the dolphins if they hadn’t commercialised that.
Deep in scientific fantasy, and stuck on a far away planet on which the locals have produced technology so brilliant they could get me ‘home’ in a whisker, I don’t expect I’d be there with a vapid actress (Janeway) incapable of dropping her knickers to get hold of the technology, or that the planets inhabitants would want to give it up for a dose of Shakespeare or further developments in soap opera. I’d be ‘home’. What, in its right mind, would want to get back to all this?
Yep, that’s right. I’d rather spend my time with mud dragons and penis worms than Cheryl Cole, though she’d be better than watching her soon to be ex-husband playing whatever has replaced the once noble game of soccer. I should be so lucky, some might say, especially as I am now old, fat and worthless. Like any old fool, I might remember when I might have had my turn. I wouldn’t have been in the queue. Even before I realised something other than my brain dragged me around, Loricifera, resplendent in Peruvian garb would have distracted me. I never aspired to live in Eastenders or Dallas, but on another planet. Science is just better literature than literature, better art than art, a better lay than a mobile cosmetic and hair-piece shop.
After two hours demonstrating some basic chemistry to give a school-teacher friend a break, doing most of the explosive and bright-light stuff I could muster to retain interest, a young girl answered her teacher’s question on what makes iron rust with the phrase ‘because of the magnesium Miss’. She was as pretty and determined in look as my sister in her youth. I burned some more magnesium and explained why she could have been right and the girl then told us all she had been wrong. She tugged at my arm as I was leaving and asked ‘Miss’ if I could come back. There was science in her smile.