This weekend, in honor of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, I read "On Natural Selection," a small book excerpted from The Origin of Species. "Read" is too strong a word, as, the further I got into the book, the less I understood. I got the basics, I guess, but 2 things struck me as interesting:
1) Darwin often talks about "Nature" as a personalized, almost godlike entity, as a "she" who seems to have a consciousness and intention. I realize this is probably just a literary convention, but in light of the idea that Darwin somehow was instrumental in killing off God, I found it interesting. Maybe God's not a man with a beard but a woman with a billion children. Or a carny hiding behind a curtain.
2) As a gay man, I feel practically invisible in Darwin's world, since everything comes down to propagating the species. I realize that even people who don't reproduce can help in building our society, which is a way of keeping the species going, but still, I wonder, since homosexuality hasn't died out as most of Darwin's "injurious" features have, maybe Mother Nature thinks we're helpful in some way. Maybe she harbors a love of musical theater?
And a shout-out to the other Chuck D. from Public Enemy, whom I will always remember fondly for his deathless lines, "Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me/Ya see, straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain/Motherf**k him and John Wayne."