28 May 2022

 Good morning, America! This is God speaking. No, not the one that you keep inventing and re-inventing to serve your own purposes, but the one you keep claiming is the one and only true one. I know I’m not talking to most of you, because most of you seem to have your heads up your… Well, no sense dwelling on that. I’m addressing this to those who have ears to hear.  (That’s biblical, by the way - Matthew 11:15, and a dozen or so other places.)

   So, anyway, I have some good news for you. Although the stock market in general is on the ropes, and inflation is as high as it’s ever been, several commodities are soaring. You are in deep clover if you’ve invested in the making or selling of stuffed animals, or in florists and the nurseries that supply them. Oh, and of course, handguns. In the last few days, sales have surpassed most past records. (They’ve been especially brisk in Texas.) As you say, it would be an ill wind indeed, if it didn’t blow somebody good.

   Look, even though I’m God, I have to admit I’ve made a few mistakes in my lifetime. Take Mars, for example. That was supposed to be “Earth,” but… Well, no sense dwelling. Oh, and Venus: talk about a fiasco. I just didn’t consider how close it was to the Sun. But, on the other hand, my work with Earth was going really well, until I got to Humankind. I think my idea was pretty good, overall, but at the last minute, I made one pretty bad mistake. I meant to give the species a gene that made you particularly compassionate and rational. However, when I reached in the bag of traits, I pulled out the Stupid gene, instead. That would have been bad enough, but it turns out that it is a particularly dominant gene. Through evolution and natural selection, it has gotten stronger with every generation. By some quirk, its dominance became especially strong in the United States. To paraphrase an old tune: I meant to make a beautiful baby, but, baby, look at you now!

   One of the other manifestations of the Stupid gene is that it makes you forgetful of past mistakes. That’s why it’s sometimes called the Patriot gene, because it makes it impossible to think that America could ever have done the wrong thing. That has helped you forget your Native American genocide attempts, slavery, internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, the Iraq War… Well, I could go on, but you wouldn’t remember, anyway. In fairness, I believe you when you say you didn’t know you were about to kill the last passenger pigeon, but the other things? No compassion, no rationality, lots of patriotism.

   As for the little problem in Uvalde this past week, it was big of you to admit that you made a mistake, letting a gunman keep killing kids and teachers for a full hour before you acted. And I appreciate that you feel you’ve done everything possible to head off this kind of a massacre. Still, I’m puzzled by the fact that the United States has had 101 mass killings with firearms between 1998 and 2019, and the rest of the developed nations combined for only 38 such events in the same time period. Is this just a manifestation of the Stupid gene being much more dominant in the United States than in the rest of the world, or have you maybe missed something in your analysis?

   I know it’s a complicated issue, and usually suggesting some simple solution isn’t helpful. Still, I wonder: have you considered restricting the availability of assault rifles? You may remember that there was such a federal law between 1994 and 2004. It wasn’t a complete ban on such weapons, and the results were inconclusive, but several studies seemed to indicate that mass-shooting fatalities were much less likely to occur during that time period than before or after. Yes, I realize that, if you can’t prove the reduction, it’s probably not worth considering. And I know that killers could still attack school kids, church goers, supermarket shoppers, etc., with handguns or knives, but maybe the loss of one or two lives in such an attack might be better than losing 10, 20, or 30. Just saying…

   I don’t really know why I’m thinking about this particular issue, today. You’re going to take care of the problem, yourselves. If you don’t kill each other with assault rifles and nuclear wars, climate change or a pandemic - or something else you didn’t consider important enough to take action on - will do the job. Once you’re out of the way, I’ll figure out what to do with Earth. With the higher world temperatures – more favorable to cold-blooded creatures like rattlesnakes -  it might be worth considering bringing back the dinosaurs.




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