Words written: c30000
Stories completed: 2
Earth 'entering new extinction phase', screamed the BBC news headline.
Except it didn’t.
When I first stumbled across the story it was number four in the pecking order, somewhere behind a baby being chewed by a terrier. All highly unfortunate for said baby and its family, but not really on an all-enveloping scale compared to the story that caught my eye.
Later that day it fell to number eight, and was thence ejected to the ‘magazine’ section.
Douglas Adams would have loved it.
I’ve always been impressed by the human animal’s ability to see the relatively-trivial here-and-now and miss the glaringly relevant on the horizon. A case of admiring the tattoo but not seeing the skinhead.
It’s inextricably tied up with wanting our jam today rather than the full cream tea tomorrow. Human foibles that have a genetic basis in wanting our jam today because by tomorrow we’ve probably become somebody else’s cream tea (just ask that baby).
We may have invented the internet and self-checkouts and mortgages, but genetically we’re still hunting mammoth. Talk about a species getting too big for its boots. And we know where such hubris leads to, don’t we kids? If not, cast your eyes back to the title of this post…