It is a well-known fact that near the arctic and Antarctic poles, there are extended day/night cycles. Six months of each, if we’re high enough up there. The nights, of course, aren’t all that dark, however, since the moon is always full (because your vantage point is effectively on the ‘top’ or ‘bottom’ of the earth, and from that angle of observation the shadow of the earth never covers more than about 1% of the moon’s surface), and the full moon is always in the sky (again, because you are standing on the earth’s point of rotation, you can effectively see 360° and thus have the moon in your view at all times). Of course, the same thing happens when the six months of ‘day’ arrive since your 360° view assures that the sun is always in the sky.
A little logic takes us a long way. While that Zen poop would tell us that maybe we should go up (or down) (or, if a ‘Zennist’ was saying it, ‘all-around’), to the poles and see for ourselves, we can simply use our powers of science and logic, and clearly deduce exactly how things are without having to make obnoxiously long treks in dogsleds.
The same goes for anything in life. Take . . . Rice Chex. Read the name. Chex made of rice. Yes, it’s true that a few constituents have been removed from the rice. Fine, fine, all that’s left is starch. Which is chemically identical to corn starch. Or the inner flesh of a potato if you removed all the potato’s vitamin and mineral contents. Yeah, so maybe we should call the darn things Potato Chex. Or Starch Chex. But heck, it doesn’t sound as good – you’ve got to admit that! There’s marketing to think about here, folks!
Okay. How about human progress? Yeah, you know –advancement of the human race? If we followed the Zen stuff we’d all just sit around in a sort of zombie bliss and never get anything done! I mean, sheesh! Thanks to logic, thanks to our penchant for always wanting more, we’ve done great things! Think about medicine! More and more of us can now live into our nineties and have some cute nurse clean our diapers for us. That’s our god-given right, darn it! And how about cars! We can drive anywhere we want – plus the car accidents keep our population down. We can mow our lawns so that we have a constant grass height of 1.75 inches at all times! How did humans survive before that?
The point here is that our motivations and goals and desires, which the Zennists say are bad or something, are what have brought us to where we are. A place where we are infinitely more happy and well-off than we would be if we were sitting around in states of bliss.
Think of a day in your life. Think of how wonderful it is! All the stuff you have, the richness of your food! Anthropologists tell us that when we were hunter/gatherers, we only worked 2-3 hours each day to provide for our needs. Now we work eight hours or more, right? Okay, point taken. But think a bit further. We work in climate-controlled environments, get to eat pre-packaged foods, and we get to drink out of clean plastic bottles instead of dirty, icky streams.
Need I go on? Yes, I do. The Physician’s Desk Reference on my shelf next to me is seven times as big as the Bible. This is just a list of our drugs. Drugs that we’ve invented! Drugs that are very, very important. Drugs that help us deal with the evils the natural world otherwise plagues us with! Like drugs to suppress skin cancer which everyone is getting now that we have spewed millions of tons of carbon dioxide into . . . um . . . okay, forget that one. How about the Patch to deal with the horrid addiction to cigarettes, which we advertised to teens until just a few years ago . . . hmmm. Well, you can’t argue with the antidepressants now on the market! I mean, the cavemen probably walked around in a stupor all day because they didn’t have Paxil!
Clearly, human progress has lifted us far beyond the drudgery of any sort of ‘natural’ life.
I’ve thus abandoned the ‘A Zen Helper’. All the future publications will deal only with real, important issues, like how we can eradicate evil from the world (praise Bush), how we can develop better drugs to conquer all disease (and thus breed more humans until the world is packed, edge to edge, with human bodies, just as God desires), how we can banish all darkness (perhaps by putting a huge halogen light on the moon so that we can complete the project we’ve begun in our cities with those wimpy streetlights), and get rid of all those nasty trees and bushes which force us to rake leaves and operate weed whackers. Imagine, a life without mosquitoes! It’s possible, my friends! While we’re at it, we could eradicate all insects! Well, except maybe butterflies. But actually, come to think of it, when you pull off their wings they’re really just icky looking worms with legs, anyway, so we can get rid of them, too.
A world pure. A world clean. A world of peace, with no terrorists or people to disagree with us. This is where progress is leading us!