Go to the Dark by Malangay da Zamanay

Special Guest blogger Malangay answers The Edge Annual Question—2005 


I believe all biological life forms will be prey to the fundamental sacrosanct laws of physics, chemical and evolutionary biology.

It doesn’t matter if sentient beings develop deeper consciousness, awareness, and understanding.   No amount of reasoning or elevated states of consciousness/awareness will ever dissuade the current bio-king, Homo Sapiens, from disobeying Darwinian evolution.
Nor will the first law of Newtonian motion and the second law of thermodynamics stop the species from being a pestilence to its brethren and its environment.

Therefore, I believe it to be a Utopian pipe dream that Homo Sapiens will achieve a harmonious equilibrium with its species and its environment.

As much as the social and environmental liberal in me hates to admit it, Homo Sapiens will continue to be the biggest parasite on this planet.

As a result of Darwinian natural selection, this species has currently achieved dominance over all other life forms and knows no predator.   The propellant for this dominance was its genetic material that permeated it with a superior instinct for survival and replication.

All species, to survive, thrive and obey its genetic code, need to overcome their inherent inertia by absorbing a net input of energy.

However, that net input of energy must obey the second law of thermodynamics. The net entropy of the closed system/environment must remain constant.

As one species or sub-group of species triumphs, it does so at the expense of others.
As the Homo Sapiens species knows no predators and is chemically compelled to propagate and overcome inertia, it does by absorbing more and more energy which then comes at the expense of the surrounding environment.

This natural parasitic cycle is a priori and in evidence all around us. Can I prove that this will forever be the case? That Homo Sapiens or any other superior life form without a natural predator is doomed to be a pestilence to his environment?

Can the a priori evidence of Homo Sapiens’ past forever be a linear correlation of his future?
Can a species achieve a level of consciousness that will allow it to rise above these laws?

I’m afraid not.

While we haven’t scratched the surface of the underlying roots of consciousness, it is my belief it will be proven to be any other innate quality of living organisms alongside biochemical instincts of survival, replication and the laws of physics.

Consciousness must obey the natural laws. Therefore, it won’t be able to trump them in the hierarchy of the human condition.   So, where does this leave us? Should we continue our rampage mindlessly towards chaos?

Although, we might be slaves to the natural laws. There is another force that acts to apply a brake to the parasitic cycle.

There is the force of humanity that compels us to take stock of our destructiveness and slow down the cycle.

Much as the mysterious gravitational force of “dark matter” keeps galaxies from flying apart; it’s the “dark matter” of humanity that has sustained the species.

It should be the quest of every sentient being to apply the force of humanity for as long as possible to delay the inevitable.

By  Malangay da Zamanay

Just another terrestrial parasite transplanted from the plains of the Hindu Kush masquerading as a malang in the [stolen] lands of transplanted Franks.

What’s in a Name, N–ger?

I’m always amazed when black people say the N-word is a term of endearment or familiarity.  However, they rarely use conventional spelling to indicate their belief. Same with this painting that hangs in Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The artist, Barkley Hendricks, says he means to be provocative, but the spelling of the portrait’s name, “New Orleans Niggah”  reveals otherwise.

From the placard:

“There’s a saying in the black community:

You put it out there and let others deal with it.

The realist style of New Orleans Niggah invites viewers to contemplate how they engage issues of identity, black masculinity, racism, and the politics of language.

Jules Easton Taylor, an art historian, is the subject and Yale classmate of the artist.

Instead of identifying Taylor by name or profession, Barkley Hendricks chose to refer to him by a derivation of the explosive racial epithet.

Although used here as a term of familiarity and endearment, Hendricks does not ignore the complex history of the word.  Taylor had achieved much professionally, but he would not escape the racism that existed in America at that time.

photo of painting New Orleans Niggah by Barkley Hendricks
“New Orleans Niggah” by Barkley Hendricks – oil and acrylic on canvas on loan from the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio