Are All Lions Mormon?
On werewolves and murder-kiddies
While writing the second part of my series, The Devil Incarnate, I found myself trying to untangle a blizzard of same-y words and their antonyms (human/inhuman, humane/inhumane, non-human, anti-human, etc.). A thought occurred to me, and — in keeping with our age of technomological wonders — that thought led immediately to a web search, which in turn produced an article confirming my biased and barely researched point of view. Dopamine hit achieved!
All lions face high mortality as cubs, for a variety of reasons, including injuries, lack of food, illness and being killed by adult lions — more on that later. But when male lions begin to reach sexual maturity around age 2, the older males within the pride kick them out, Dereck said. The female lions, which are usually all related to some degree, typically stay behind…
After being kicked out, the young males roam the countryside solo or in small bands, often with their brothers or cousins, negotiating the no-cat's-land between territories of other lions… If they stray into these territories, they are likely to be attacked and/or killed…
When male lions take over a new territory, they almost always kill the prides' cubs, since they are not biologically related and do not want to spend energy ensuring that other lions' genes will be passed on. "They can't be stepfathers," Hunter told LiveScience. Female lions also will not be receptive to mating while they are nursing, so killing the cubs enables the male lions to procreate…
When dreaming up a title for this, I realized I had a few options. Also on the table were, “Are All Lions Muslim?” and “Are All Lions Nazis?” Ultimately I decided I was being unfair to all of these groups (Yes, even to the Nazis. They at least outwardly seemed to respect the bounds of monogamy, if little else).
But I couldn’t just drop the premise entirely (because lolz) so I stuck with Mormons. Sorry, Mormons. But if the creators of South Park have proved anything, it’s that those motherfuckers know how to take a joke!
Anyway, perhaps the better question is something along the lines of, “Are some humans lions?” Not literally, of course. But then again, also kind of literally, if we look at the question from the perspective of various religious faiths that practice zoolatry. For example, take a look at Tocharus’ account of some bad, bad boys over at “Forbidden Knowledge”.
For many months of the year the boys would run wild, covered in varying degrees but mostly nude, covered only in a belt that held their weapon of choice as well as a wolf cloak, and sometimes carrying a small shield as their only protection. These boys would raid neighboring societies but never their own, raping women, killing the men during ambushes in the night, and howling in ecstasy as they plundered their wealth. For a short while each year they would return home again respecting the laws of their home, and removing their wolf cloaks. Though forbidden from such acts in their host society, the boys would not have viewed themselves as law-breakers for what they had done in the months prior, for during that time they were neither human nor were they in the reach of the law, they had been wolves.
In this case, the emulation was of wolves, whose group dynamics flow across a different hereditary substructure than that of lions. Perhaps the most interesting part is that the werewolves of the Koryos were given periodic breaks, where they could return to their tribes and become human again for a little while. It’s unknown to historians whether they continued to scrape their asses on the driveway during these vacations, or if they were whacked with broomsticks for doing so.
But I digress. The point is that the substructures and group dynamics of animals are recognizable to humans as patterns. Being reflective creatures, we often consciously or unconsciously adopt those patterns of Nature that seemed to lead to success.
Not a problem.
Being abstracting creatures, we will also confuse a matrix of immediate successes with a deeper meaning or ideal that we dedicate ourselves into the service of.
I’m not going to touch on the Satan-thing here, other than to say I see some parallels.
As a young visual artist (portraiture and figure painting) the most striking difference between man and beasts of similar size was how comically weak humans are. It’s not just our elongated developmental cycles, or the total absence of natural weapons and armor (unless you think molars and thick-ass dreadlocks count). It’s that we — through grooming, dressing, piercing and other rituals — actually labor to make ourselves even weaker.
We trim our finger-and-toenails, shave our heads, wear elaborate and expensive garments which restrict our already laughably underpowered speed and agility. I got into a debate with the wife recently about whether men or women were the greater fashion victims. She complained about the lack of deep pockets in women’s wear. I complained that men were coerced into wearing strangulation devices around our necks. I leave it to you to decide the case in the comments.
But my main takeaway, then and now, went something like this:
omg huminz r todally ghey!
I mean, seriously: What the fuck?
The mad lads of the Koryos and Viking berserkers probably wouldn’t even see us mods as "human” any more than they saw themselves that way. Whether on or off their LSD trips, I have a feeling we would frighten them. Not in the way a hungry bear would. In the way an alien sick with infectious super-cancer would. But they’d get over it, once the initial shock wore off. Like lions or wolves, they would swiftly incorporate our ridiculous species into the pyramid of potential prey. Unlike with lions and wolves, I believe we would shoot right to the top of it.
Conjure if you will the image of your average, postmodern SJW protestor, armored in her signs and sandwich boards, knapsack filled with ethically sourced Apple Pay purchases, green-and-pink fauxhawk wagging limply in the autumn breeze...
No, scratch that. Picture the strongest possible member of that clade, the way they likely see themselves in their own minds. I’m talking a hardcore, Antifa, Black Bloc shocktrooper, the kind who looks like a boots-and-braces Skinhead (and probably would’ve have been one, a generation ago). He’s armed to the decaying teeth with molotovs, bike locks, and maybe a chunk of pavement he found when his cohorts knocked over a tulip planter (in the name of diversity and inclusion, of course).
Now imagine what our band of Teen Wolves would make of him, having stumbled upon this freaky mutant in the woods.
Short work, is my guess. And perhaps a nice soufflé.
Don’t be ashamed, prep-school proletarians; It’s possible even a battle-hardened Navy SEAL might not fare well in that tactical environment, especially minus his tools. And while those tools (however sluggishly) advance, the tool makers and users are gradually getting weaker — physically, psychologically and spiritually. We have become domesticated, and the murder-kiddies of the distant past would likewise see us all as livestock. At best.
As for the one advantage we might possibly gain over them — moral strength — we seem to be largely failing that exam too. Everywhere we look there is the signaling of virtue, but little sight of the genuine article. It isn’t even that virtue is incompatible with civilization. For example, in the dustup between our feral Koryos and a phalanx of Roman hoplites, I’ll take the hoplites at -175.
It’s not that I’m claiming the Romans were extraordinarily virtuous (although, I might be able to make that argument). But regardless of other flaws they may have had, they anchored their culture and worldview in the conceptual sea of virtue. I suspect this was the main underlying factor in the breakneck pace of their emergence as the dominant regional (and, soon enough, supraregional) power. Others will point to their superior military technologies, and I suppose we could play “chicken or egg” with that all day. Point is, they should not be entirely discarded; we have something to learn from them, and that something is grounded in their humanity.
Until then, I’m betting on the lions.
No, not these lions…
Not until they get their QB situation sorted, anyways.
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Odds adjusted slightly downward, due to John Carter’s comment below.