Opinion » Bill Cope

One Big Stew

Was Stella made by starlight?


For my erudite Idaho friends, my perspicacious Idaho friends, good news! Reports pour in from around the country hinting most encouragingly that in comparison with other states' legislators, Idaho's lawmakers may not be the dunciest in the land.

This is not to say we don't have some top-notch contenders--e.g., Sheryl Nuxoll, a senator from Cottonwood, who suggested Electoral College members should refuse to cast their ballots for Barack Obama, thereby denying him the presidency otherwise accorded him by the popular vote. Or Sen. John Goedde (from Coeur d'Alene) who ensured Idaho a spot on the dumbass map by authoring a bill that would have made Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's sloppy paean to the glories of not giving a crap about one another, required reading in Idaho schools.

But unless there's a story or two that has escaped my attention, our in-state cretins and cretinesses still haven't descended down the Babbitt hole quite as deeply as various specimens from other regions of America. (Texas! Gugh! I've come to regard Texas as the Western Hemisphere's spawning ground for witless boobs.)

However, the blithering idiocy which caught my ear most recently comes from New Hampshire. A legislator there by the name of Stella Tremblay has confirmed in her own mind, if no where else, that the Boston marathon bombing was staged by the U.S. government to deflect attention away from... well, away from what isn't exactly clear.

Undoubtedly, it has something to do with Obama, thinks Madame Tremblay, who has a history of believing the worst about our president--from the place he was born to the Muslim Brotherhood company he keeps. However, the very fact we don't know what the Boston incident was meant to mask is proof in itself that the deception was successful, isn't it, as whatever it is those damn feds don't want us to know about remains unknown to us?

Oh, and the evidence (to the satisfaction of state Rep. Tremblay) of this insidious conspiracy? Ah, maybe you saw it, too, but didn't realize what you were seeing. Remember that picture of the man who had both of his feet blown off? (Jeff Bauman is his name, and pictures of him being pushed out of the carnage in a wheelchair were widely circulated.) Well then, wondered Stella--aloud, on a talk radio show where other human beings could hear her--if his feet were really blown off, why wasn't he screaming in pain?

"If I had had those type of injuries, I'd be screaming in agony," reasoned the representative. (She also insists she could tell he wasn't in shock. How she can tell from a picture if a man is in shock or not, she didn't explain.)

This all leads me--and you too, I'd wager, my discerning Idaho friends--to two pertinent and unavoidable questions: 1) How is it that a species that can produce a Stephen Hawking (or for that matter, a Barack Obama) produce at virtually the same time, on the same planet, a Stella Tremblay?

And 2) How in hell does a moron like Stella Tremblay get elected to office?

The first question isn't as complicated as it may seem. If we know even the most basic of evolutionary principles, we understand that each and every species is being tweaked, tuned and tested continuously. Every moment of the world's existence, another particle of quantum dust or beam of exotic radiation is bombarding yet another DNA charm bracelet--in you, in me, in our neighbor's pregnant dachshund.

The outside universe, with all of its sun flares and gamma waves and supernova effluvium, is forever at work twisting our genetic futures this way and that, entirely indifferent as to what comes out in the wash.

Not to mention the influences of nutrition, climate, environment, breeding, cross-breeding, in-breeding, over-breeding, chemicals, economics, culture and society in general. The result is an eternal evolutionary stew that is ever on simmer, bubbling up a constantly changing combination of tastes and talents, of physical traits, of emotional capacities and, of course, intelligence quotients.

Some of these mutations work, some don't. Some branch off into successful life forms, some branch off into dead ends. We continue to find fossil remains of multitudes of different elephantine creatures and horsey-like beasts, not because Nature is partial to one sort of critter over another, but because Nature gives everything that comes down the evolution chute the same chances. Pointed tusks; shovel-shaped tusks. Cloven hooves; retractable claws. Six-foot wings on which an albatross can soar all day; vestigial wings which a dodo bird probably flapped uselessly as it was being clubbed to death. Bright, efficient minds; dull, dysfunctional minds.

So there you have it. Stephen Hawking's brain and Stella Tremblay's brain both come from the same soup, and each in its own and different way will either benefit the species as a whole or detract from the species as a whole. Nature doesn't care which, and unfortunately, Nature is a slow cooker. It's unlikely that either you or I or the neighbor's dachshund will live to see which has more lasting influence in the future prospects of Homo sapiens: Tremblay's little pea of a brain or Hawking's giant cabbage of a brain.

Now, as to how a Homo sapiens such as Tremblay can be elected to office?... gad, don't ask me. I don't have a clue.