The Sturgeon Moon Meander

Over the long span of history, people have come up with a large number of ways to differentiate the Humans and the other Animals. These differences may or may not be universally agreed upon; in fact, sometimes they are flat-out incorrect, or mutually contradictory. Primary among them are:
  • Humans have souls, while animals do not.
  • Humans are imbued with the moral sense, while animals are not.
  • Language is innate to humans, but is not to animals.
  • Animals live in the moment, while humans can remember the past or think about the future.
  • Humans make tools, while animals do not.
Why people have felt the great need to make this distinction is the subject for another Maundering; this time around, I simply want to play along, and add to the list.

My theory is the main thing that differentiates humans from the other animals is our obsession with creating and destroying (and our lack of desire to maintain things). You'll never see greater glee in the face of a child then when she builds a beautiful sand-castle ... except, perhaps, when she jumps on it, reducing it once again to a pile of sand. You'll never find a programmer happier than when he's talking about creating a new system from scratch, or gloating about decommissioning the work of his predecessor. And you'll never, ever, hear a politician talk with enthusiasm about enforcing laws, merely passing new ones or repealing old ones.

Animals seem to lack this fascination with creation and destruction. The Beaver spends most of its time fixing its dam, not moving off to new ponds. Coral is quite content to build upon the work of the previous generation. Trees will pick a spot, and stick with it, come hell or high water.

Indeed, once you make the allowance for the fact that ants and bees are basically small humans, you'll find that this rule is an inviolate Scientific Natural Law.

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The newly fenced-in bluffs of Zuma. Can you simultaneously feel free and constrained?
  • "Fidelity" by D. H. Lawrence from Pansies
  • "Tourists" by D. H. Lawrence from More Pansies
  • excerpts from Souled Out Department by Roy Rivenburg from Off Kilter by Los Angeles Times
  • "An Eating Contest Begun in the Summer of 1996 and Continuing to this Day" by Levi T. Stahl from
  • "She Being Brand" by e e cummings
  • "My Life" by John Lennon was performed by Spencer
  • "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis was performed by Spencer
  • "Hound Dog" by Elvis was performed by Spencer
  • "Everybody tryin to meet my baby" by Beatles was performed by Spencer
  • excerpts from Bliss by Peter Carey
  • "The Ocean Below" by Jim Carroll from Void of Course
  • "Interview with Keanu Reeves" by Chris Heate from Rolling Stone
  • "Plenty of Thyme" by Ani Nicole
  • "Make your Bed the River" by Nico Case & Her Boyfriends was performed by Christine & Joseph
  • "Wrecking Ball" by Neil Young was performed by Christine & Joseph
  • "Jet Age" by Dennis O'Driscol from Weather Permitting
  • "To a Love Poet" by Dennis O'Driscol from Weather Permitting
  • "I Don't Want to Know" by Spencer Aaronson was performed by Spencer

All misspellings, misattributions, omissions or errors in naming should be construed as Acts of God, directed through yours truly (for reasons at which we as mere mortals may only guess...)