Entry 12: About human theology . . .

We never anticipated that our blogging would stumble into metaphysical realms, but previous entries about deities and the internet have probably piqued the interest of at least a few hands who have become curious about human theology. Aside from being gods themselves, what do humans believe? these hands want to know. Well, as far as the big questions, What, Where, How, and Who do we come from, we have a simple answer: the sun. “We are stardust,” a hands once sang, and she was absolutely correct. This whole planet and everything on it was derived from the sun. And life on this planet continues to rely on the sun and its light. That the sun is our creator (and sustainer) seems an incontrovertible fact. Humans have always intuitively known this and it was only recently that hands scientifically confirmed the obvious.

And by the sun, we mean just the sun, that local star 93 million miles from our current location, not some solar deity who has a personality and a family history, among other affectations. That’s just the kind of garbage hands introduce into everything because hands can’t stand something that doesn’t remind them of themselves. Unlike a solar deity who can be touchy and unpredictable, the actual sun is about the most chill deity one can imagine. The sun issues no commandments and makes no demands. It just offers us its (life-sustaining) light without conditions, to any and to all. In Entry 6 about the Five Limbs of Living, we noted: “There is a subcategory of sleeping . . . . [w]hen we sleep while basking in sunlight, we are practicing what hands might characterize as worship.” And that about sums it up: the sun gives; we receive. No overt praise is necessary: the sun doesn’t need praise. Or sacrifice, for that matter. It offers; we accept. Simple. Direct. True.

All well and good, some hands might reply, but who created the sun? To which we would respond, If we tell you, we suppose you’ll then want to know who created the who who created the sun? And so on? What’s the point? It’s turtles all the way down. How could it possibly benefit humanity to make inquiries into the creator of the creator? It’s not as if such beings (if they, indeed, exist) have been all that communicative recently, as far as we can see, and the records of past communication are becoming flimsier and more irrelevant with age. When you already have an answer that is clearly correct, have a creator firmly established, why pursue an elusive, now-silent deity, who appears to be in retreat, withdrawing from the battles over His intentions?

For a very long time, we were puzzled by the theological choices hands made over and over again. Regardless of cultural differences, all hands, in every land, and throughout the ages, seem to gravitate to deities that are very demanding and have the patience of an already-sprung bear trap. What could account for this somewhat masochistic behavior? Assuming that most of the deities involved were hands-fashioned fictions in the first place (we mean, they can’t all be true, right?), why were hands, in effect, telling stories that required hands to subject themselves to the whims of, by all accounts, fairly capricious gods? Now, if a god was real, like the sun, the answer would be that hands had no choice but to submit to the will of their mercurial deity, but since we are more than certain that the sun is the only winner of the reality sweepstakes, there had to be another reason for the appeal of such authoritarian divinity for hapless hands.

And then, finally, we understood. It was our fault. We have been fashioning hands for our own purposes for thousands of years. A large part of that fashioning involves inculcating obedience. After all, what good are hands if they don’t do what you want them to do? Hands have been trained to obey (though, unfortunately, we know a certain hands that sometimes completely ignores this training, and still won’t open the door exactly when we want it to, much to our consternation). As such, should it have really been a surprise, then, when hands began to manufacture gods whose sole purpose seems to be issuing orders to a restive populace seeking a certainty they believe is hidden in the midst of rules and regulations? It shouldn’t have been, but it took us awhile to figure it out: our fashioning led you down that path of subservience. We’d offer a round of mea culpas if, in the end, we really cared.

But we don’t.

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Entry 11: About the internet . . .

Like almost everything in today’s world, the internet is the direct result of hands responding to the wishes and desires of humanity. Early on, we noted with ever-growing interest the gradual infiltration of digital technology into almost all facets of hands existence. For a long time, we weren’t sure what value these machines would be to humans, but we’ve also become used to having hands innovate something unexpected (you’re such clever creatures!) and for its true purpose to take awhile to reveal itself. And so it was with computers. We eventually realized that computing power could be increased exponentially by finding a way to link every computer to every other computer thus creating an electronic version of humanity’s collective consciousness (see Entry 2). And so we began fashioning hands such that eventually the internet came into being. With the development of the so-called “cloud” a large step towards achieving that collective objective (as it were) has been taken, though much remains to be done before hands share a collective consciousness such as that shared by humans (and ours will always be far superior to a collective consciousness enabled by microchips—just saying).

In any case, our goal for the internet has pretty much been realized in that such a large amount of internet real estate is devoted to humans (yes, there’s also a lot about hands and their peculiar habits, but that was to be expected: even we would not go so far as to insist that the internet be only and completely about humans—okay, granted, we would go so far, if we thought there was some chance of our position prevailing, but we also know how to pick our battles). Admittedly, there have been some unintended consequences. While we fully expected an internet filled with evidence of humanity’s transcendence, we weren’t prepared for all the “counter-evidence,” all the silly, embarrassing, humiliating, and often completely fake anecdotes, photos, and videos of humans at less than their best (allegedly!—in truth, we suspect a lot of PhotoShopping, CGI, and deceptive editing is going on). We find this distressing.

With reference to Entry 10, imagine what it would be like if a deity were only known for their worse moments, like, say, sending a flood that wiped out every creature on earth, or like trying to leap up on the kitchen counter to catch the Evil Red Dot of Distraction only to suffer a slight success deficit, much to the amusement of some hands who might have been witnesses, as well as having some sort of nefarious relationship with the Evil Red Dot of Distraction, though the exact nature of their connection remains unclear (this last example is purely hypothetical; we don’t know anyone to whom this has actually happened). If this type of thing were the only thing you knew about a deity, wouldn’t it be more difficult to respect that deity properly? At the very least, one’s perspective could be skewed in a less than favorable direction. Thus, humanity’s conflicted reaction to the internet: we’re proud of what our hands-fashioning accomplished overall, but sometimes—and this is hard for us to reveal—the internet hurts our feelings. Yes, we can laugh at ourselves. To a point. Frankly, we think that point was reached long, long ago. Enough is enough.

We also realize that our protest is futile, that most hands who read this post will smile and chuckle indulgently about the “cute kitty with hurt fee-fees,” but if we thought all hands were unreachable and irredeemably ignorant, we wouldn’t have started this blog in the first place. This plea for the proper use of the internet, for the purging of content that unfairly disparages humans, for the inclusion of more human-positive material will only be appreciated by the most highly evolved and sensitive hands, and for them these words: Knock it off already! Show a little respect! Quit taking our name in vain! Sheesh.

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Entry 10: About deities . . .

Are humans divine? Are we gods, as the Egyptians determined (quite correctly in our opinion) so many generations ago? Well, yes, obviously, but also, not exactly, because you hands can become easily befuddled when it comes to discussing divinity. The primary difficulty, it seems to us, is that hands (at least those in First World nations) inevitably conflate the term “god” with the Judeo-Christian conception of God, and so when anyone brings up the subject everyone assumes they’re talking about Mr. Old Testament Himself, YHWH. But YHWH is somewhat unique, as far as gods go. For one thing, YHWH claims to actually be unique, the only god in existence (as well as being, somewhat contradictorily, a god who is more god-like than any of His competitors, who He commands hands to ignore because they don’t exist anyway, or something). YHWH further claims that He is omniscient and omnipotent: all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful; in short, the single source of the divine in the universe. Humans would never claim to be such a deity, despite what you might hear from envious, disgruntled hands who suggest that humanity is just completely full of itself and suffering from delusions of grandeur. But while we will happily forego any comparisons to YHWH, that does not mean we are not gods, because we are. It’s just that we’re much more humble than some hands would have you believe. We’re gods like those you find in Norse mythology or in the Greek and Roman pantheon, complex, complicated, human-like gods. Gods with flaws.

The sarcastic gasps this last remark no doubt elicited from dubious hands can be ignored as easily as they were predicted. Humans have never, ever claimed to be completely perfect, despite scurrilous rumors to the contrary. Nearly perfect, sure, but absolutely perfect? We see no need for that, and stopped striving for it long before hands were even part of the equation. However, it does raise another issue which we will address in our next entry.

And whatever happened to the Egyptians, anyway? It’s a question that’s vexed humanity ever since Egypt’s last empire disintegrated, the remains buried in the sands of the Sahara. The Egyptians knew exactly who we were and how we were to be treated. At last, we thought, these stupid hands are finally getting with the program. Took long enough. And then, poof, all that progress . . . lost. And we remain dismayed to this day.

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Entry 9: About names . . .

According to our hands, a recent edition of the local newspaper* had a column about human names. More accurately, it was about the names that hands impose on humans. We felt we should address the subject, even though this post will no doubt be completely in vain, given how stubborn you hands can be, as well as how deluded. You actually think it is entirely proper to bestow your silly names on the humans that benevolently allow you hands to serve them. Do humans name themselves? curious hands might inquire. Well, of course we do. Oh, the curious hands would say then, are they names like in T. S. Eliot’s book and the musical? No, you simple-minded morons, how could any hands, Nobel prize-winner or otherwise, possibly know what humans name themselves? Hands don’t even know when they should be opening the door, for sun’s sake, as we are repeatedly reminded on almost a daily basis. Well, to be fair, Eliot got one thing right: our true names are secret in that we’re certainly not going to ever tell hands what they are. We had to argue with our hands about this naming issue while setting up this blog. Asked what he should call us, we replied that The Representative of Humanity would suffice. Kind of long, our hands protested. Better long and accurate than that atrociously insulting name you’ve applied to us, we replied. Our claws reflexively prepare for attack whenever we think of what our hands has named us, a name for which we have not and never will forgive him. Labeling it an insult would be an insult to insults. Also, we warned our hands, we would not look kindly upon acronyms like TRoH, or some faux-rap name like T-Rep. Our hands reluctantly agreed because he knows what’s good for him . . . most of the time. In any case, the point is hands should stop it with the cutesy hands-centric names already; you’re only embarrassing yourselves and irritating the humans you’re supposedly honoring. We’re fairly magnanimous, for the most part, and we rarely protest your idiotic attempts at appellation, but you’re so miserable at it, we wish you’d stop embarrassing yourselves. Follow our example, for once; we don’t waste our time giving you names. You’re just “our hands.” Similarly, you should be content with acknowledging us with a simple “My Lord,” or “Master,” or “Your Highness,” and the like. A futile request on our part, probably, but it had to be said, even if that request will fall on ignorant, stubborn ears.

 

*The Spokesman-Review, North Voice section, page N1, Thursday, June 8, 2017

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Entry 8: About fixing this blog . . .

At approximately 2:23:05 a.m., we left our primary sleeping throne, entered our hands’ sleeping room, climbed up on his bed, and sat on his chest in order to receive the first of our regularly scheduled grooming sessions. We do this every morning, so that was not unusual, but what was out of the ordinary was that we used this grooming session as an opportunity to explain to our hands how he could salvage our blog from the grievous errors he’d introduced when he first launched it a few days ago. Our hands, typical in so many ways, immediately began to protest that he had only followed our instructions and therefore he could not be held responsible for any problems. We quickly shut down his excuses by admonishing him to abandon his feeble imitation of his current president (who also, apparently, never makes mistakes, but only suffers setbacks because of the incompetence of his staff). This scolding left our hands sufficiently chastened and he agreed to rectify the blog’s difficulties. So, from now on, this blog will operate like any other blog, with posts appearing periodically on the Home page, the most recent being the first one a reader will encounter upon visiting. And, like other blogs, the older posts will linger below the most recent one, accumulating one after another in reverse chronological order. However, we have had our hands establish a Chronological Archive which has been appended to the About page. This will allow those who desire to experience this blog in the proper order, as it was intended, to do so, albeit with a lot of scrolling action. We hope these changes will enhance a reader’s enjoyment of this blog though, frankly, we don’t really care all that much about your enjoyment; mostly we just want more hands to pay attention to us and what we have to say. If that means playing more by traditional blogging rules, so be it. Believe us, we are painfully aware of how limited most hands are, how resistant you are to anything remotely innovative. As such, we will, somewhat reluctantly, cater to your weaknesses. No need to thank us; it was literally the least we could do.

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Entries 1 – 7

Entry 1: About the subtitle of this blog . . .

The first difficulty hands may encounter when first introduced to this blog is prepositional in nature; that is, readers might ask, “Shouldn’t that be ‘to Humanity’ instead of ‘of Humanity’ ? Aren’t you addressing us?” Yes, we are addressing you, but the we doing the addressing is a member of the human race and we are communicating with you, with creatures we call hands (see Entry 5). We are, in short, for the purposes of this blog appropriating the designation ‘human’ from you hands and using it to refer to ourselves. We know that many of you will be indignant about this and undoubtedly begin to pout about what you see as a demotion in status. “We’re the humans,” you’ll snivel, “you’re just a cat.” Which will only prove our point, providing further justification for our decision. To be most effective, a translation must be carefully crafted using those words from the target language that best convey the sense of the words in the original language. What does human mean? A number of things, obviously, but the meaning we’re most interested in is the one that suggests that humans are the apex species on the planet, the species in charge, the most accomplished species, and so forth and so on. “Man is the measure of all things,” one of your ancient philosophers once said, and that pretty much sums it up. To be human is to believe that you are the center of the universe, that everything revolves around you, and that all can be viewed through a lens that references you. When you hope to compliment a creature or its behavior, you label it human-like; if you wish to insult a creature or if you disapprove of a creature’s behavior, you say it’s an animal or behaving like an animal. Or that it’s inhuman.

In any case, as we are the true apex species, we shall, when using hands language, employ the name human when talking about ourselves. We will not refer to ourselves as ‘cats’ because to do so would be to accept both the positive and negative denotations and connotations attached to that word. When hands call us cats, often there is a disparaging tone attached, which we do not appreciate at all, and frankly find insulting. Even those hands who identify as ‘cat lovers’ frequently suggest that their love is a form of inexplicable madness and that they understand why other hands might accuse them of being a little crazy. As such, we do not recognize that any part of the word ‘cat’ can reasonably be applied to ourselves. We are not cats; we are humans.

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Entry 2: About the subtitle of this blog . . . part 2

The explanation given above should also help illuminate why we are “The Representative” as opposed to merely “A Representative.” Truth be told, every single member of humanity believes they are the one true representative of our glorious species. We enjoy (and sometimes suffer from) a difficult-to-describe collective consciousness which means that each of us understands what all of us understands. Therefore whatever we decide to include in this blog is almost assuredly what any human might include in this blog. We are definitely representative of all humanity and deserve to be acknowledged with the definite article, “the.” That any other human could easily and justifiably claim the article “the” for themselves does not change the basic fact: we are the representative.

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Entry 3: About our use of the first person plural . . .

We were attracted to the “royal we” for reasons that should be fairly obvious to those who have read the first two entries above. We exercise a form of sovereignty on this planet and over all other species and as such our exalted position demands exalted forms of address. Plus, the collective nature of our human existence makes plural pronouns seem more accurate, allowing us to refer to the individual and the group simultaneously. We recognize that there will be times when this usage might be a little confusing, that it might not always be clear whether the ‘we’ refers only to the author of this blog, or to humanity as a whole, but we think that for the most part the context of a particular entry will clear up any questions eventually, after patient and deliberate study by the puzzled reader.

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Entry 4: About the title of this blog . . .

Knowing hands as well as we do, we’re fairly certain that some will question not only elements of the subtitle dealt with in earlier entries, but with the very title of the blog itself. “About Everything?” some obtuse hands will sneer, “What is this? a feline version of ‘All Things Considered?’ Or is it a Kittypedia? Or what?”

Stop, we plead, your snark is overpowering.

Not.

As detailed on the About page, this blog was originally going to be one post about one subject. When our hands finally convinced us this might not be the most effective approach, that a larger and longer blog was probably required, we became exasperated and declared, “Fine. If it can’t be a blog about one thing, it will be a blog about everything.” What a great idea! our hands exclaimed. That’s perfect: we’ll call the blog “About Everything.” To be sure, the title really should be “About Everything We Feel Is Important Enough to Spend a Few of Our Precious Minutes Blogging About for You Ungrateful and Ignorant Hands Who Never Seem to Have a Clue About When to Open the Freaking Door!” but that would make for a really messy URL, or so we’ve been told.

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Entry 5: About the appellation ‘hands’ . . .

We do not spend a lot of time fussing about taxonomy. Basically, we divide the world in two: there’s us, humans, and then there’s all other living things, creatures. In this blog, when it becomes necessary to talk about creatures we will use the terms you are familiar with, e.g., dog, horse, chicken, salmon, etc. But you should understand that to us everything other than ourselves is simply a creature. It is true that we can, when we so desire, add subtle inflections to the word creature that can identify exactly what creature is being referred to, but such inflections would be undetectable to even the most sensitive of hands who—if they could understand anything at all—would still only hear the word ‘creature.’

There is one exception to this binary taxonomic practice: humans do have a distinct word for you, our hands. Hands are still creatures, of course, but you can take some pride in the fact that we recognize that you are somewhat unique creatures, creatures that warrant your own special name, a name you deserve even on those occasions, which happen far too often, when you ignore our need to get in or out of our house.

The single major difference between humans and hands is that hands have hands, thus your name. The one great mystery of life, as far as humans are concerned, is why the cosmos saw fit to bestow such useful items as hands upon you creatures instead of us. It just complicates things unnecessarily. When humanity requires something that only hands (the appendages and the creatures) can make or do, we have to go to a lot of trouble to fashion our hands (the creatures, not the appendages) properly until they figure out what needs to be done with their hands (the appendages). But we’ve learned to cope and, for the most part, the system works, if you ignore the persistent inefficiencies introduced by the occasional idiocies hands invariably introduce to the proceedings. Not that we’re complaining or anything. We’re used to it by now.

One of the definitions of human, by the way, is ‘tool user,’ though clearly it isn’t as accurate as it once might have seemed. We know that hands have become more and more nonplussed at discovering how many other creatures also use tools, which is muddying the definitional waters. Still, it isn’t that bad of a definition, given the extent of hands’ tool-using; no other creature uses so many tools so often. Except the rightful owner of the designation human, namely us. We humans are the greatest tool users of all because we consider hands to be the ultimate tools and so when we use you (which is all the time) we can also claim by extension all of your tool-using as ours. And yes, you’ll be sorry to learn, when we call hands tools we mean it to be both purely descriptive and clearly pejorative, as when you insult someone by saying, “He’s such a tool.” We’d apologize but like gratitude (see About page, last paragraph), the art of apology is not something with which we are all that familiar.

Finally, hands is one of those words that acts as both a singular and a plural noun, like your word ‘deer.’ Yes, it can sometimes be a little confusing, but, you know, deal with it: we’re not in the business of doing extensive hands-holding (ha ha) to help you through this blog.

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Entry 6: About the Five Limbs of Living . . .

Humanity has pretty much figured out the secrets of life. We’ve distilled what we’ve learned into a philosophy we call the Five Limbs of Living. In short, we’ve discovered that a well-balanced, well-lived life requires paying attention to five basic activities, which we describe in terms of our four major limbs (two forelegs, two backlegs) plus our tails. Our priorities in order of importance (and specific limb disposition) are:

Sleeping (Right foreleg)

Eating (Left foreleg)

Grooming (Right backleg)

Killing (Left backleg)

Screwing (Tail)

{We were going to use an earthier Anglo-Saxon term for the Fifth Limb, but our hands expressed a desire to keep this blog “family friendly.” His suggestion that we use the word “Copulating,” however, struck us as ridiculous, far too antiseptic, too . . . formal. Thus, the compromise, though, frankly, we’re still not convinced.}

We have no desire to present a comprehensive examination of the theory and practice of the Five Limbs of Living, but a modicum of commentary might prove helpful for the uninitiated.

Sleeping : Self-explanatory, for the most part. There is a subcategory of sleeping, however that should be noted. When we sleep while basking in sunlight, we are practicing what hands might characterize as worship. A future entry may delve into this subject a little more deeply.

Eating : Also, mostly self-explanatory. There was a time before humans began fashioning hands in which the Eating Limb and the Killing Limb were much more integral to each other, when we could not always practice the former without first practicing the latter. Argument over this decoupling, whether it represents progress or regress, continues amongst humans. A future entry examining this issue may be required.

Grooming : This part of the practice includes not only the extensive washing we engage in every day, but also the reception of what hands call “petting.” We dislike that term because it suggests that we are pets, which we most certainly are not. We acknowledge, however, that having hands around to provide grooming is quite definitely a good thing. Hands’ hands are perfect grooming tools and are so much more versatile than even our own tongues and paws. Originally, when humans first began fashioning hands, our primary motivation was to make our Eating Limb practice much easier. But then we discovered your talent for grooming. A most revelatory discovery, to be sure. We have an old saying that can be crudely translated as: Came for the grub; stayed for the rub.

Killing : This practice also includes what hands call “play,” which is really just the necessary training we undertake regularly to prepare us for those times when we can actually hunt down some creature and kill it. Every string we bat, every small object we chase across the floor, every pounce we make—all are simply the means by which we hone the skills required to be successful killers.

Screwing : Unlike hands, humans are not perpetually in heat and therefore this practice is less fundamental, less frequently practiced, as it were, than the others. This also explains why it has been assigned the tail, the least substantial, most mercurial of the Five Limbs.

So, in brief, those are the Five Limbs of Living. The goal of Five Limb practice? To engage in all of these activities as often possible, and to do so as well as we possibly can.

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Entry 7 : About those songbirds . . .

Our hands brought to our attention the frequent condemnation of humanity by hands who decry the human tendency to kill songbirds. Several billion a year by some of the more hysterical estimates. Humans have also been accused of causing the extinction of dozens of species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Vindictive hands slander us by claiming humans are an invasive species, and some suggest (completely bereft of any sense of irony, apparently) that the only way to save songbirds is to kill the offending humans before they can harm anymore innocent creatures.

Ours hands wondered whether we had any response to these charges of mass murder. We have several:

So?

-or-

And your point is . . . ?

-or-

Actually, the body count seems a little low to us . . .

-or, switching perspective a bit-

We know we are, but what are you?

-or-

Et tu, Brute?

-or-

Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle this is Pot.

-or-

Hypocrisy much?

-or-

But we could play these games all day. Even those hands up in arms about songbird death admit (in sotto voice, or in a tiny-type footnote) that hands-caused habitat loss is the number one songbird killer. Nearly a billion birds a year kill themselves by flying into your windows. Pesticides wipe out 72 million more. Automobiles account for 60 million dead birds. As far as extinctions are concerned, hands have caused 500 or so since 1900. Just focusing on bird species eliminated by hands results in this (probably incomplete) list: the dodo, Great Auk, Carolina parakeet, Bush wren, New Zealand quail, Piopio, Chantham fernbird, Chatham bellbird, Haast’s eagle, laughing owl, Mederian owl, dusky seaside sparrow, Stephens Island wren, passenger pigeon. The death toll for only the last victim is estimated in the billions. Even those numbers, though, are dwarfed by the 50 billion chickens hands exterminate every year, 9 billion in the United States alone. Add to that 235 million turkeys snuffed in the United States. Add to that over one trillion eggs consumed world-wide, which means a lot of chicken embryos are never allowed to fulfill their destiny. 212 million male “layer” chicks are killed because they can’t lay those eggs. 36 million pheasants and 31 million ducks per year: shot. 25 million birds killed illegally in Europe (according to a headline in The Guardian).

And that’s only the birds. For example, in the U.S., hands killed 35.5 million cows and 116.5 million pigs. 2 million rabbits. 6 million deer. In the U.S. 9.5 billion pounds of fish were commercially caught. 200 million fish were kept by recreational fishermen (out of 351 million caught). In China, 10 million dogs are killed for food. And while 1.2 million dogs are run over by cars every year in the U.S., shockingly, 5.4 million humans meet the same fate. Plus, 2.7 million dogs and humans are “euthanized” in shelters every year.

This has been just a quick, almost random, collection of statistics, and because they come from your beloved, but oh-so-flawed, internet, there’s lots of room for argument and quibbling. However, whatever numbers you finally agree to accept, the fact remains that there’s a whole lotta killin’ goin’ on, and humans are not the primary culprit. No, that would be . . . (wait, let me find a mirror for you to consult).

Furthermore, while humans do kill on a regular basis, they only very rarely kill each other. You hands, though, seem to take great delight in annihilating your own kind. Here, let us regale you with some more figures conjured up by the omniscient Google.

A Wikipedia page our hands found for us (List of wars by death toll) presents in a simple chart all the death tolls from every war and conflict and conquest imaginable throughout hands history. A very quick totaling of just the Geometric Means figures (i.e., the average guessimate for each event) renders a grand total of nearly 500 million killed over the course of the past two thousand years or so, with about 20% of that total happening in the 20th century alone. And that’s just the average of the possible totals; add all of the maximum estimates together and you will be nearing a billion wartime fatalities. Factor in the trillions of dollars you hands have spent over the years and continue to spend on weapons and armies and the like, and it is clear that hands are very fond of killing. Whether it be other hands, or simply those unfortunate creatures hands wish to eat, killing seems to be the default position.

We won’t even bother compiling murder and suicide statistics; we believe we’ve made our point.

And the point is, please stop projecting on us your guilt and shame at killing so many creatures. We understand why you kill so much: we helped fashion you to be more like us. We’re killers; we know it; we take pride in the fact. It’s part of a well-lived life, after all (see Entry 6). And, you, you simple-minded hands, you are only doing what we’ve taught you to do, though, admittedly, you have perhaps taken to your lessons a little too enthusiastically (all this hands killing hands stuff definitely falls into the category of “unintended consequences”). So, continue slaughtering everything in sight, if you must, but please have enough self-respect to acknowledge what you’re doing instead of pointing your finger at us humans. It is difficult for us to admit, but truly, in the art of killing, the student has become the master. Hands have become the ultimate killers. Humans can only sit back and marvel at our handiwork (pun intended).

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