One of the first novels I was inspired to write, and for now, we’ll just leave it at inspired, and maybe one day I’ll get around to it, we’ll see, that inspiration involved a work of SciFi called Fitness, and it was going to be about people living greatly extended lifespans needing permission to reproduce, and voluntary death, kind of like Soylent Green, and there was going to be a committee, the gods, if you will, who decided who got to live, who got to die, and who got to reproduce.
In other words, there was going to be a panel that determined evolutionary fitness.
Sick, aren’t I?
At any rate, the trait that was going to be the no brainer, you win, you get to reproduce and carry on the species, was going to be the willingness to die for the good of the whole. Altruism. That was going to be my number one no brainer trait that conferred fitness.
Perhaps it’s a good thing I didn’t devote a lot of time and effort, beyond thinking about it quite a bit, to that particular work, because as it turns out, all that thinking about it has led me to another conclusion, or at least it’s added a whole lot of traits to the game for consideration by the panel.
Yeah, I’m still sick, what of it?
Well, my sick little panel is not going to go all competitive on y’all, don’t worry, altruism is still way, way up there on the list of characteristics that confer fitness, at least for the freaking species, and oh, guess what, maybe just maybe the whole point of the novelty of that sci-fi, funny how often sci-fi comes true, but the whole point of it in terms of its novelty and things like the world we live in and government and economics and social structures and such is that maybe survival of the species is of higher priority than survival of any individual or family or group, but I suppose I could be wrong.
Let’s see how the animals we’re trying to keep alive in zoos being fed and pampered and having sex slaves brought to them and selective breeding and such are doing relative to their cohort still alive in nature. Assuming we can find a cohort alive in nature, in a place not devastated by man. I won’t wait, because if I do, there won’t be a place not devastated by man. But I digress.
So altruism might remain the number one characteristic that confers fitness, but number two (and don’t giggle, not poop), the number two priority is going to be about getting up off your ass and taking care of yourself, doing what needs to be done in a given situation and not wimping out, saying that hurts, or it’s hot, or I don’t like my toast without avocado spread.
And yeah, I had to throw that in there.
You can have avocado spread, as long as you live in a place where you can grow avocados, or you can take the time to understand what it takes to grow avocados, maybe work the avocado orchards for a while and see what it takes, or maybe you can sit around and whine about it being unfair that that person who is doing the work gets to eat avocados and you can f**k well die of starvation.
The day that the migrant farm workers of the world tell their overlords to f**k right off and simply take the food that they’ve been growing for generations, take it home to their birth defected children, the kids suffering the consequences of the herbicides and pesticides, or perhaps just giving it to the neighbors kids, because, hey, they’re sterile, lots of those farm workers, because that’s what those nasty chemicals that bring you avocado spread do to the folks who grow those crops.
The folks who really grow them.
So the Hunger Games, I know nothing about them at all except that they made braids quite popular, but my impression is that there were overlords and slaves and competition for who gets to eat and who gets to win and such. Silly, really.
Who gets to eat is she who knows how to feed herself. From an evolutionary perspective I suppose the person with the gun can kill and steal the food of the person who knows how to feed herself, but eventually that gun toter is going to run out of folks who know how to feed themselves to kill. That would be clever. Or I suppose we can continue with the slavery that exists now. Or we could actually figure out that we’re not f**king helpless, and help ourselves.
Fitness isn’t about how often you go to the gym, or how many smoothies per week you consume. It’s not about your family, or your tribe, either, not at this point. Maybe it’s about your humanity.