The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In the Shadow of Mount Trashmore


In the Shadow of Mount Trashmore
by Robert Magill

"Way too many. Way, way too many", from an angry voice.
"That's nonsense. Make it twenty", another.
"You're bitter!', someone cried.
The meeting, one of several held to determine the final ratio, had been proceeding well enough until the call for floor suggestions. Now the rancor and dispute threatened to overshadow whatever progress had been enjoyed thus far.

"We need a break. This subject is draining us all.", Myra suggested in an effort to diffuse the rising heat this topic had engendered. She was senior enough to convince the women to pause and a dash from the circle to the toilets resulted.

No one was thrilled at the meeting theme and it had been put off numerous times. Circumstances had made it no longer possible to delay further. What was finally decided now would have lasting repercussions for generations. It could not be taken lightly.
After a short interval they began to gather again and hands were raised for attention. No leader was designated so by default certain speakers had arisen from the ranks. Among these was a slender, rather intense youngster who had impressed the gathering earlier. She was singled out from the throng of hands waving wildly.

"Miriam, go ahead please." Myra said at last.
"I'm younger than most of you so I feel what is decided here could affect me longer and I frankly am scared and nervous at this point. I haven't tried to have children yet and the prospect of what I fear may be a disgusting situation terrifies me,", she confessed.
"You'll love it, honey!, someone opined.
"Can it, we have to make a decision", rang out.
"They won't call you a slut or a whore like they did in my grandmother's day, kiddo", said an older woman.
"You're not the only one affected, missy", another hissed, before Myra could regain some order.

Myra turned to Miriam and smiled slightly to show her sympathy for what was not just the fears of the younger members but had affected them all.
"Agreement was unanimous at all earlier points as you know. I don't have to tell you I know this is one of the most difficult parts of the entire project. But it's crucial. So let's get it done", she said. "We're down to a choice between five or seven. How about a show of hands? Seven"
A great many hands went up but it was obvious it would not carry. "Five." It carried and except for a few disgruntled looks those gathered seemed relieved a decision had been made at long last.
"That'll show them we mean it. Smug bastards needed this to happen", was voiced.

Rising with notes in hand from her place on Myra's left Catherine waited while the murmurring subsided before commencing. In her precise shy tone she began. "A Manifesto. The Hopeful Remnants hereby agree", at this point several women yelled out at once,
"Not yet decided"
"I hate that name!"
"It's stupid. Change it!"
Myra interrupted the hubbub and pleaded,"If we can't continue, all our efforts will have been for nothing. Let Catherine go on...please."
Catherine began again. "The Hopeful Remnants hereby agree we will seek to limit the number of male citizens to one for each five females effective at once."
"Hear, hear"
"At last an end to it all"
"Sic semper tyrannosaurus!", blurted a wag which prompted a few snickers and much relief.

She went on. "Because we, The Hopeful Remnants, having concluded that past male leadership failed to perceive the objective environment was deteriorating beyond all hope of recovery and having persisted in causing ever more chaos and violence globally, we hereby unanimously agree that sort of coercive leadership shall never be permitted again. The state we have found ourselves in, though desperate is not hopeless ...unless we allow that gender to rule the world as it once did."
"No chance in hell!"
"Over my dead tush they will!"
"Men are swine!", was shouted.
"We rule now. Woop. Woop!"

Catherine continued hesitantly. "The great loss we suffered by this flagrant denial of looming fossil fuel shortages and the impossiblity of their replacement with anything that could provide for the sustainability of such a bloated life style led to the massive failure of all systems. The mostly male leadership knew this would occur to a certainty but chose to ignore for political or monetary gain doomsday looming on the horizon. The result of this tragic waste of basic energy resources is that no important manufactory has been possible for us since early in the twenty-second century. We have been fortunate to live near what used to be known by early residents as Mount Trashmore,"
"No big male bobble heads on our mountain!", was quipped.
... she smiles, then continues," and that huge old landfill keeps us reasonably well provisioned. It is a treasure trove for us as is quarrying in abandoned cities and towns for others who...

"It helps that our soil is tilth and easily worked", rang out.
"Keep the guys digging out old Trashmore..."
"...and out of our fields, our crops and our hair!"
"Unless it's comb-out time, kids. Ha."

"...are not fortunate enough to live in such a bucolic setting and have sustainable agriculture. In addition, it has long been our overriding effort to encourage a practice which, so far, seems to regularly produce more female than male babies and, is done without causing harm, and which, furthermore, serves to replace the mate exclusivity and more sinister practices that had favored male offspring. History is rife with female infanticide, one-child only rules and oppressive dowry requirements. Multiple partnering of several males with one female, as a prevailing social norm, was extremely rare historically. It is a tenet of our clan lore that the dominance of males throughout history was partially the result of insistence on singularity in couplings thus shunning competition.This bias may have gone far in accomplishing male dominion, both numerical and social, where it might not otherwise have flourished. Plus, grouped lovemaking is our way of avoiding favoritism, which although it still exists with us, usually does not lead to extreme possessiveness. By removing stigma and coercion from human sexual behavior. a more harmonious libido has fore-sworn most sexual compulsion while adding untrammeled eroticism to our daily fare."
"Untrammeled, that's us!"
"You go ladies!"
"Hush!", Myra felt compelled to caution again.

"Our burgeoning bisexuality coexisting with a benign matriarchy has had an added benefit, the numbers of offspring always being a concern with us; a form of birth control. As we've discovered studying Bonobo ape populations, a surplus of sex can result in fewer offspring. This has the desired effects of strengthening bonds, providing pleasure and discouraging rivalries.
Most importantly, it reflects the latent sensual nature of contemporary females who have grown to maturity with an instinctive knowledge of self-worth and desire without the need for male approbation."
Catherine lowered her notes and summed up with,"That's what we have so far, people. I'll be happy to add whatever additions or amendments we come up with."

Myra announced the end of the formal session and small groups gathered to compare the findings.
She was immediately approached by several of the younger members who excitedly peppered her with questions.

"I just don't get it."
"Neither do I", echoed Miriam rushing up. "What about us. Don't we count as individuals...or anything?"

"Believe me I know what you're going through ladies. I was your age once, you know. We've all been through it", explained Myra. " Something in our makeup cries out for it at a certain time in our lives. So the urge for exclusivity...they called it romance back in the day, is compelling."

"But I feel so complete, so special with him", it was Miriam on the verge of tears.

"I know my dear. It hurts so. But it will pass, and soon. That was one of the most insidious weapons...your vulnerability at this time of life, they used against us to keep the power", Myra said with compassion. "Films and books, Romance Novels, they were called, reeked of this.
An onslaught of sentimentality which kept young women forever longing for the one and only who would fill their hearts...and minds. It bred chronic discontent and impatience with anything less than what some writer's sentimental dreaming's had provoked within them."

Angie, who had hitherto remained silent tossed her hair back and issued a challenge."Do what you want. Listen to her if you haven't the guts to question. I want to know what the hell the shape of my Carlos' thingee got to do with all of this?"

That outburst caused a lot of giggles but got everyone's rapt attention.

"It's not just your guy's thingee, sweetie, it's all the guys...all males. Remember your anatomy lessions?"
"Well some of it may have been. I can't quote it exactly touched on how natural selection equipped men to handle other men impregnating their sexual partners and"

"Organ shape!"
" do remember that. Unforgettable, eh? I think it said 'the coronal ridge offers a special removal service to expunge foreign sperm'. Scientific American, that's what was quoted, I'm positive. In an old, old archive. To our bright gal researchers that was the clue. What was intended by nature but suborned for eons in favor of exclusivity in mating and control of women as chattel."
"We'd still be if they had their way", Miriam interjected.
"True! True! True", came back
"Are they even educable? I don't think so."

Myra continued, "Years ago, the clan's senior women were stunned by the idea of this organ being something so unique; and by the singular investment nature had made in sculpting it. And how, mankind so, how can I put it, so beneficently gifted by nature, had ignored until now the obviously intended usage. Awed by such prescience in nature, this information then gradually morphed into our clan lore and practice and remains so today .Not solely to prevent rivals from copulatory success but to alter the male to female ratio radically, maybe permanently."

"But Carlos and I just want to be in love", Angie pleaded.

"Of course you do. Be in love, make love, with Carlos or Miriam or anyone you choose. You miss the point, dear. Look, it's taken almost two centuries to get the ratio of women to men to where it is now. Between one and a half and two, to one, our favor. That's good but not nearly good enough. Still it's a lot better than about 50-50 as it was in the bad old days. And the paternity decision doesn't affect you or any of us unless..."

"We want to have a baby.", muttered Angie.
"...exactly. Then you must have multiple partners. Carlos will understand. Guys do...usually. Once in a while there's a cropper but's rough on some people. Especially if they have a tendency to be possessive."

"So how do we know this actually works? That it's not just a statistical thing...a freak of nature. We've only been doing it this way for a really short time", said another.
Myra, wearily,"We don't. But so far it seems solid. And so far we are able to keep them from getting the upper hand over us, though they try hard enough!"
"Do they ever! It's like a disease they all have", was advanced by another.
"The guys seem stuck, stuck in the here and now. Women have a more developed sense of time or something" offered Corrine, one of the new comers to the little group.
"Yeah, our future is always a month away, and another month, on and on", Angie griped.
"Well, if you're pregnant the future is many months down the road, nine, to be exact", put in Miriam.

"Myra, I know a lot of it has to do wih the way it's shaped, the head and all. But what really happens, you know, when you do it with a bunch of guys?", Angie was still puzzled.
"Well, when the male thrusts forcefully the other men's semen is sort of pulled up by the glans and away from your cervix so his seed has a better change", she replied.
"So how does that make girl babies?"
"Good question, kiddo. What seems to happen is this technique somehow favors girl seed and not the sperm for making boys. How? Who knows. But history was written by men and directed by men, so maybe sex selection was a part of the plan from way back. There has to have been a darn good reason for nature to take the trouble to perfect a device like the human male organ if it was not expected to be used as a scoop and without multiple partners expected to be regularly involved, what's there to scoop. What other use could have been intended? You tell me.", Myra sighed, beginning to wilt from the effort.

"All this makes me feel like part of an experiment and not very important part either", Angie complained bitterly. " A cross between a brood mare and a test tube. Is there any purpose to it life?"

"Just two things, my sweet. Just two. and we've touched on one. Granted our task is difficult. The planet is not the oasis it once was. We know our hold is tenuous but we carry on. As for the reasons to exist, reproducing yourself is one; dying, the other. Everything else is an option. No, I'm wrong. There's a third. To keep the men from running amok and screwing up the planet again.
Let's break it off now, girls. Holding love and light to you all."

Myra left them and took a position in the center and to remind the gathering of the next stage.

"People. Keep in mind the next Plenary theme is a doozy. Got to face it though. If we intend, as we certainly do, to take charge of our lives and the destiny of the clan...and all the members. Female and male. We have to reach down and summon the courage to begin the discussion. So, as hard as it will be, ladies, next time we meet the agenda will be Death and Dying. How our clan is handling things, what improvements are needed and what is lacking. Big, big issues. That's about it for this afternoon, folks. Thanks for all your help. Blessed be. Oh, I don't have to tell you...keep it to yourselves. We don't need any company!"


hadashi said...

My goodness, this is good! I love the dialogue. And the idea behind it - new to me, but it makes perfect sense. Robert Heinlein eat your heart out!

Robert Magill said...

You are very kind, hadashi. This is my first venture back into non-fiction in ages.

Robert Magill said...

It's very early. I meant to say venture back into fiction. Oh well, thanks. RM

Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

All I know, all any of us know, is what we're told.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

If it walks like a depression, talks like a depression, and looks like a depression; it's a recovery.

...Zero Gravitas

Nice paint job

Nice paint job
Watch your step!

Quoth the Raving

Full scale War in Korea; we called it a Police Action
Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

...Zero Gravitas


Gene Pool?

Gene Pool?

Quoth the Raving

Ecology is an impending Black Swan quagmire therefore incorporation is anathema to Economists.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional.
....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

We are now a nation of middlemen. What becomes of us if the center cannot hold?

....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving


Why not use some of the red ink to make things Green?

....Zero Gravitas

"Ashes to Ashes"

"Ashes to Ashes"