greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Old Jingleballicks

"Man has solved his problems," Old Jay went on. "Predators he has removed from the earth; heat and cold he has turned aside; communicable disease he has practically eliminated. The old live on, the young do not die. The best wars can't even balance the birth rate. There was a time when a small army could cut a population in half in a year. Starvation, typhus, plague, tuberculosis, were trusty weapons. A scratch with a spear point meant infection and death. Do you know what the incidence of death from battle wounds is today? One percent. A hundred years ago it was eighty percent. The population grows and the productivity of the earth decreases. In a foreseeable future we shall be smothered by our own numbers. Only birth control could save us, and that is one thing mankind is never going to practice."

"Broth-er!" said the patrón. "What makes you so damned happy about it?"

"It is a cosmic joke. Preoccupation with survival has set the stage for extinction."

Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck (1954)
Tags: homo frelling sapiens, steinbeck, sweet thursday

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