WITB : What The Hell Was In Their Bag? (hour 1 – Laurel Halo)

Written by on March 31, 2018


On my show, Box of Chocolates you really never know what you’re gonna get, and that little line of lame marketing works on so many damn levels. One show concept I like to pull out now and again centers around these videos posted by mega indy record/media/ephemera store Amoeba Records. While not a monolithic global chain, they are a small regional (if you want to accept the state of California as a region, which Californians would argue with because the people of the Central Valley feel dissed by the rest of the state and NorCal and SoCal have been at a war of sensibilities for as long as I can remember) chain with stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood.


So on their YouTube marketing platform they post videos called What’s In My Bag. Where just a delightful mix of artists come to the store for a shopping spree and then show you/us what they decided to pick up. I then take some of these and turn them into playlists. This episode was especially awesome because Laurel turned me on to some pretty cool shit that was completely unbeknowst to me. Well obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have needed to be turned on to it. This episode of Box of Chocolates was originally streamcast on the second of July 2017.

And now back to the long running fictitious speech from the novel The Story of B, authored by Daniel Quinn.


Questions from the Audience

 Q: Are you identifying what religionists call the Fall with the birth of our culture?

A: That’s precisely what I’m doing. The points of similarity between these two events have long been noted, of course—the fact that both are associated with the birth of agriculture and both occurred in the same part of the world. But the difficulty in identifying them as a single event has been that the Fall is perceived as a spiritual event whereas the birth of our culture is perceived as a technological event. I fear I shall have to come here another time to explore with you the profound spiritual ramifications of this technological event, however.


Q: You say that Man lived at peace with the world during the millions of years that preceded our agricultural revolution. But hasn’t recent evidence revealed that ancient foragers hunted many species to extinction?

A: I believe I can still recall the words I used just a moment ago, when I said that Man lived at peace with the world: “This doesn’t mean he walked the earth like a Buddha. It means he lived as harmlessly as a hyena or a shark or a rattlesnake.” Whenever a new species makes its appearance in the world, adjustments occur throughout the community of life—and some of these adjustments are fatal for some species. For example, when the swift, powerful hunters of the cat family appeared late in the Eocene, the repercussions of this event were experienced throughout the community—sometimes as extinction. Species of “easy prey” became extinct because they couldn’t reproduce fast enough to replace the individuals the cats were taking. Some of the cats’ competitors also became extinct, for the simple reason that they couldn’t compete—they just weren’t big enough or fast enough. This appearance and disappearance of species is precisely what evolution is all about, after all.

Human hunters of the Mesolithic period may well have hunted the mammoth to extinction, but they certainly didn’t do this as a matter of policy, the way farmers of our culture hunt coyotes and wolves, simply to get rid of them. Mesolithic hunters may well have hunted the giant elk to extinction, but they certainly didn’t do this out of callous indifference, the way ivory hunters slaughter elephants. Ivory hunters know full well that every kill brings the species closer to extinction, but Mesolithic hunters couldn’t possibly have guessed such a thing about the giant elk.

The point to keep in mind is this: It is the policy of totalitarian agriculture to wipe out unwanted species. If ancient foragers hunted any species to extinction, it certainly wasn’t because they wanted to wipe out their own food supply!


Q: Wasn’t agriculture developed as a response to famine?

A: Agriculture is useless as a response to famine. You can no more respond to famine by planting a crop than you can respond to falling out of an airplane by knitting a parachute. But this really misses the point. To say that agriculture was developed as a response to famine is like saying that cigarette smoking was developed as a response to lung cancer. Agriculture doesn’t cure famine, it promotes famine—it creates the conditions in which famines occur. Agriculture makes it possible for more people to live in an area than that area can support—and that’s exactly where famines occur. For example, agriculture made it possible for many populations of Africa to outstrip their homelands’ resources—and that’s why these populations are now starving.






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