Memorial Sunday, DOUBLE Memorial Sunday – sniff –
Written by Agent 47 on March 5, 2018
Pour some out for our Homies!! This show was originally streamcast May 28 of last year (2017). The two year period of 2016 through the end of 2017 saw an inordinate number of musical luminary deaths. This was the Sunday after having Chris Cornell and Gregg Allman release from this mortal coil only 9 days apart from each other. It’s been a rough couple of years for music fans. Hour 1 (this show post) is dedicated to the Seattle sounds of Mr. Cornell and hour 2 is all about that Southern Jam.
And now to continue our fictitious speech from the novel The Story of B by Daniel Quinn.
The Great Remembering
What was forgotten in the Great Forgetting was not that humans had evolved from other species. There isn’t the slightest reason to think that Paleolithic humans or Mesolithic humans guessed that they had evolved. What was forgotten in the Great Forgetting was the fact that, before the advent of agriculture and village life, humans had lived in a profoundly different way.
This explains why the Great Forgetting was not exposed by the development of evolutionary theory. Evolution in fact had nothing to do with it. It was paleontology that exposed the Great Forgetting (and would have done so even if no theory of evolution had ever been proposed). It did so by making it unarguably clear that humans had been around long, long, long before any conceivable date for the planting of the first crop and the beginning of civilization.
Paleontology made untenable the idea that humanity, agriculture, and civilization all began at roughly the same time. History and archaeology had put it beyond doubt that agriculture and civilization were just a few thousand years old, but paleontology put it beyond doubt that humanity was millions of years old. Paleontology made it impossible to believe that Man had been born an agriculturist and a civilization-builder. Paleontology forced us to conclude that Man had been born something else entirely—a forager and a homeless nomad—and this is what had been forgotten in the Great Forgetting.
It staggers the imagination to wonder what the foundation thinkers of our culture would have written if they’d known that humans had lived perfectly well on this planet for millions of years without agriculture or civilization, if they’d known that agriculture and civilization are not remotely innate to humans. I can only conclude that the entire course of our intellectual history would have been unthinkably different from what we find in our libraries today.
But here is one of the most amazing occurrences in all of human history. When the thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries were finally compelled to admit that the entire structure of thought in our culture had been built on a profoundly important error, absolutely nothing happened.
It’s hard to notice nothing happening. Everyone knows that. Readers of Sherlock Holmes will remember that the remarkable thing the dog did in the night was … nothing. And this is the remarkable thing that these thinkers did: nothing. Obviously they didn’t care to do anything. They didn’t care to go back to all the foundation thinkers of our culture and ask how their work would have changed if they’d known the truth about our origins. I fear the truth is that they wanted to leave things as they were. They wanted to go on forgetting… and that’s exactly what they did.
Of course they were forced to make some concessions. They couldn’t go on teaching that humans had been born farming. They had to deal with the fact that farming was a very recent development. They said to themselves, “Well, let’s call it a revolution—the Agricultural Revolution.” This was slovenly thinking at its worst, but who was going to argue about it? The whole thing was an embarrassment, and they were glad to dismiss it with a label. So it became the Agricultural Revolution, a new lie to be perpetuated down through the ages.