I wonder what if doing the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all
I confess that when I was younger, I would frequently do the
hokey-pokey, but I turned myself around.
I spend a lot of time thinking about frogs.
The Boiling Frog Party occupies a dark green corner of my warped
As a wise frog once sang, "It's not easy being Green." The Boiling
Frog Party is a political organization that seeks to unite
amphibious citizens of the world who would prefer to have the
thermostat turned down slightly on the global hot tub that we all
share, before we all croak. Boiling Frog Party members are
concerned about global warming, stovetop warming, amphibian rights,
preservation of endangered species, water pollution, conservation
of wetlands and other natural habitats, human overpopulation, and
the disturbing habit of Peruvian street vendors sticking frogs in
blenders. We demand a global ban on French restaurants serving frog
The Boiling Frog Party: because there's more to life than just
freezing toads. Come on in. The water's fine!
I also think about storks. If the theory of human sexual
reproduction is taught in public schools, I firmly believe that
schools should give equal time to the equally plausible theory that
human babies are delivered by storks. There is at least as much
empirical evidence for the existence of storks as there is for the
existence of human sexuality. If storks did not exist, then how
could you explain where pickles come from?
I wonder what sort of future prospective parents see for the
children they have storks deliver to them in the 21st Century. The
average American life expectancy is about 76 years for men and 80
years for women. Do parents expect children born today to live
long, healthy, happy lives?
Woody Allen once said that “more than any time in history, mankind
faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter
hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we
have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
Our reliance upon fossil fuels has allowed human impact to
overshoot the long-term carrying capacity of our environment.
Recent studies by NASA and MIT show we are rapidly approaching a
perfect storm of converging ecological catastrophes.
Life on Earth exists within a narrow range of ecological
parameters. We are rapidly unsetting those boundaries. Despite the
fact that snow still falls in the winter, climate change is
happening now as a result of human industrial activity, setting in
motion a chain of self-reinforcing feedback loops that will be
irreversible on a human scale time frame. Once the ice caps melt
and release massive amounts of methane, it will be "game over" for
most life on Earth. Climate change researcher Guy McPherson has
projected that our current course will lead to the extinction of
the human race by 2040. I hope we can reschedule; I have other
plans for that year.
Petrochemical agriculture threatens our health, food security and
the environment. The livestock industry contributes to global
warming, land degradation and air and water pollution. Hydraulic
fracturing presents a critical threat to our water supply. The
Earth is now experiencing the Sixth Mass Extinction of animal
species due to habitat destruction caused by human overpopulation
and over-consumption. The worldwide population of vertebrate
species has declined by 52 percent since 1970.
This includes mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.
Meanwhile, the Earth’s human population has grown from one billion
in 1804 to two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960 and more than
seven billion today.
Overpopulation is a product of the number of people multiplied by
their per capita consumption and waste production.
The World Wildlife Foundation’s “Living Planet Report” estimates
that human ecological impact now exceeds the Earth’s carrying
capacity by 50 percent. If the average person on Earth consumed as
much as the average American, the Earth could not support more than
one and a half billion people. A recent study by MIT on the limits
of growth concluded that if we continue on the path of business as
usual, that the global economy will collapse and the Earth’s human
population will start to die off by 2030.
I find it amazing that people who live in a society that is
technologically advanced enough to split the atom and manufacture
Pop-Tarts can still be so primitive and ignorant that they pretend
to believe in ridiculous Bronze Age fairy tales. I don't suffer
from the delusion that "a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own
father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh
and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he
can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity
because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a
If, as Jules Feiffer has said: "Christ died for our sins. Dare we
make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?"
We live in an age where pretty much the entire repository of human
knowledge is instantly accessible to us on laptop computers, which
we use primarily to look at cute cat photos.
Religion, politics, patriotism, militarism, racism, perpetual
growth within a finite ecosystem, the imaginary "war on terror,"
and so forth. It's all such a load of rubbish. At least nobody
could be gullible enough to believe that a small band of terrorists
armed with box-cutters and led by a kidney dialysis patient hiding
in a cave in Afghanistan could outmaneuver the most powerful and
invasive military intelligence establishment the world has ever
known, to hijack three commercial airliners, with pilots who aren't
competent to fly crop dusters successfully executing a steep-angled
270 degree spiral descent to crash one airliner into the most
securely defended building on the planet, and crashing two others
into two steel framed skyscrapers, causing the massive explosive of
those skyscrapers along with the total implosion of a third steel
framed skyscraper in the style of a classic controlled demolition
that would normally take weeks to set up. Jet fuel doesn't burn hot
enough to melt steel beams.
I think a lot about breakfast cereal.
Here is a fictional short story that I recently wrote about cereal.
(I also have a recent, very serious account that I wrote about my
unsuccessful attempts to pursue polyamorous relationships, and how
that impacted my life.):
Confessions of a Cereal Monogamist
In theory, I consider polycerealism to be a philosophical ideal. I
would prefer not to make an exclusive commitment to just one brand
of breakfast cereal. There is nothing that brings more joy to my
Life than curling up in bed and spooning with a delicious bowl of
cereal. Yet, I value my freedom. I would like to be able to share
this joy with a variety of different cereals. I enjoy experiencing
different flavors and I feel that no one breakfast cereal can
provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals that I desire in
Nevertheless, whatever my philosophical preferences might be, my
actual breakfast food experience in life has more often been
characterized by cereal monogamy. I would totally fall in love with
one particular cereal, and crave nothing more than to be alone in
private with that cereal. But after a while, I would start to get
bored with always eating the same breakfast, and I would start
looking around for other cereals. I might encounter some new cereal
at the supermarket one day, and find myself irresistibly attracted
to this new cereal’s flashy, colorful packaging. I would check it
out and impulsively take it home with me, thinking, oh, this will
just be a fun one-morning stand. I would tell myself that it’s just
a little fling; there’s nothing serious going on here.
But that first tasty rendezvous would arouse a “new breakfast
energy.” I just wanted more and more of the new cereal, and I would
find myself less and less interested in the old cereal to which I
had previously been committed. For a while, I might alternate
between the two cereals. I might even try having both cereals
together at the same time. But before long, I would form a new
commitment to the new cereal and simply leave the old cereal on the
shelf. This pattern would repeat itself time and again.
Some cerealphiles practice cereal monogamy as a deliberate
lifestyle choice. For those who might be unfamiliar with the term,
Urban Dictionary contributor Grinning Cat defines cereal monogamy:
“The custom or practice of eating only one type of cereal at a
time. Cereal monogamists view the casual alternation of cereals, or
worse, mixing different cereals in the same bowl, to be simply
wrong.” Grinning Cat goes on to provide this example of cereal
monogamy: “I eat Cheerios for breakfast. I eat only Cheerios; no
other cereals. Cheerios are the greatest thing since sliced
bananas! Wait – I’m out of Cheerios… time to get more cereal… I eat
Frosted Flakes for breakfast. No other cereals; just Frosted
The great love of my life was Cracklin’ Oat Bran. I just couldn’t
get enough of it. I felt deeply committed to Cracklin’ Oat Bran. We
were life partners for seven years. I thought we would be together
forever. I was addicted to “Crack,” as I affectionately called my
one true cereal love.
But money became an issue, as it so often does in long term
relationships. With my modest income, I came to feel that I just
couldn’t afford Crack. Crack was taking too much of a toll on my
Life. So I started looking around for something cheap and easy. For
a while, I even started to turn Trix, just so I could get some
different cereal on the side.
Then I found generic raisin bran. I started sneaking around to hook
up with generic raisin bran. Over and over again. It was a fun,
simple, and passionate “no spoons attached” relationship.
Meanwhile, Cracklin’ Oat Bran and I grew more distant. Eventually
we parted ways entirely.
I was happy with generic raisin bran for a while, but then I
started getting tired of its lack of sophistication. I wanted to
try something new. I began to develop… particular tastes… that
generic raisin bran just couldn’t or wouldn’t satisfy. Then one day
I met a new cereal that was all too willing to satisfy my cravings.
Some might say that my connection with Honey Smacks was disturbing,
perhaps even abusive, but it was fully consensual. We had a signed
contract. We even had a safe word in case our activities went too
far. The things we did together… I could really Dig ‘Em.
As I grew older, my passion for the wilder side of the cereal scene
subsided. My tastes became more “vanilla,” so I moved on from Honey
Smacks. I started talking with Rice Krispies. I enjoyed the
straightforward communication we shared. We had a staple
relationship for several years. Then one day, my partner caught me
in bed, eating another cereal, and demanded to know what I was
doing. I said “Nut n’ Honey.” After that, our relationship just
went Snap, Crackle, and Pop!
I felt traumatized by the explosive end of our relationship, and
deeply ashamed of myself. For weeks, I had nightmares haunted by
Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry. My cereal love life
went through a long dry spell. I became lactose intolerant, living
a bland, entirely milkless existence. I had meaningless encounters
with generic cereals in poorly lit grocery store aisles. I would
fist these cereals straight from their boxes to my mouth, with no
lubrication. I didn’t even use a bowl.
Then I discovered non-dairy beverages. Soy milk. Rice milk. Almond
milk. Coconut milk. Even cashew milk. This exploration of toying
with different beverages brought the excitement back into my cereal
love life. I came out of the pantry closet, admitting to my friends
and family that I felt drawn to polycerealism. I looked for new
ways to get my Kix. I sowed my Wild Oats. I had a primary
relationship with Quaker Oatmeal Squares while I maintained
secondary relationships with Cheerios and Oatmeal Crisp. I became a
cereal slut. I sought more varieties of cereal. I went granola.
Sometimes I would Go Lean. I found Hidden Treasures. I was always
after me Lucky Charms. They were magically delicious.
I lived the polycerealist dream. It was fun… for a while. I enjoyed
Life. I went for the Total package. I had a good time with many
different cereals, yet I found that I didn’t really have a deep,
meaningful connection with any of them. I felt like I was living a
lie by pursuing polycerealism. I missed Cracklin’ Oat Bran, but my
life with Crack had ended up a big, soggy mess. I knew there would
be no going back.
During my period of exploring alternative breakfast beverages, I
learned that I had a strong preference for chocolate. I simply
loved chocolate. Once I tried chocolate, I never went back. I
settled down with chocolate almond milk as my breakfast beverage of
choice. I would only eat my cereal with chocolate almond milk; no
other beverages. Just chocolate almond milk. I wondered what it
would be like with a chocolate cereal.
Then one night out on a local tour of cereal bars, I encountered a
deliciously irresistible cereal. Truly ‘the one.” I just went
cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! I went home with Cocoa Puffs that night,
and we’ve been together ever since. Now I only eat Cocoa Puffs.
There is no other cereal for me.
Oh no! The grocery store is out of Cocoa Puffs, but they have
Double Chocolate Krave. Wow, that looks yummy!