[Somehow, my wife's impromptu garden assemblage, "Veggie Face", seemed appropriate here.]
When did I begin to dread August? The infernal heat, destructive grip on cars, appliances, pumps and human health caused irritation pretty early on. August is punishment, delay, a time to brood on what must be done but can't because of heat from a weatherless sky. I associate it with blacktopping, roof repair, broken cars and other entropic manifestations that threaten not only to run overlong but to become a way of life. August is an awful month valuable only to teach us entropy is always accompanied by heat. Why were so many lovely people born in it?
In Doyle's "Silver Blaze", Gregson remarks the dog did nothing in the nighttime, to which the detective replies, "That is the curious incident." We're using negative information here and its usefulness depends upon brain size. Where humans have brains, treefrogs have empty space. This allows treefrogs to colonize my air-conditioning fan box every year and have horrible accidents in there. They never learn. They are useful, gentle creatures who deserve better. They do no wrong, yet they are punished. Is it fair that creatures directed by peaceful, empty cranial space suffer more than those brainy enough to commit crime?
The United States Of America was founded on the principles of Natural Law, specifically that its citizens are autonomously equal under it. But some people always abandon it for some deception that seems to elevate them. Is freedom impossible while we are still dishonest, or only good loans?
Recently I have read several articles in which archaeologists opine that beer served to unify prehistoric savages into cohesive, diplomatic, social and political groups. The collection, cultivation and preparation of grains purely for food may not have been the entire object. Brewing and fermentation resulted in great parties at which intra-and-inter-tribal friendships were forged. Civilization followed.
Reverse could be equally valid. When humans discovered brewing and fermenting they needed the social stability in which to do it properly without having to move their crocks and vats around with every nomadic episode. Savagery is very aerobic and one's things are jostled. Getting civilized was the obvious solution.
We can imagine a typical prehistoric domestic exchange:
She: I'm having some neighbors over this evening for pot-luck.
He: Good! Oh wait, you haven't invited the Savages, have you?
She: You always ask that but you always compliment what they bring over.
He: Well, yes, I like roast enemy as much as any fellow but enough's enough!
She: Then you'll be pleased to hear the Savages have got civilized.
He: Great! They can help with the beer then.
So the question is: does the eons-long, astonishingly arduous ascent of humankind into civilization owe its success to the fact that guys will do anything, even become civilized, for a beer?