First Observations

One of my first observations of tribal America is that no one here swings a stick or throws a stone. The level of civility in this world is mind-boggling. It was not too civil where I came from (a world in which the wheel had just been invented by a geek named Goodyo, who sadly was later fatally mauled while trying to escape a saber tooth tiger on his infamous invention rather than running with his own two legs like the rest of us did). Where I came from, men fought each other with fists to earn a date with a woman. Today men are cordial and can sometimes be found drinking beer together at the corner pub, even while one is dating the other’s ex.

1 sidewalkAround this city jungle I still find it startling that I don’t slam into another person while on a narrow path called a sidewalk, crowded with people moving at full walking speed. It’s a self-managing phenomena, that people maneuver around each other so swiftly yet without even once looking up at each other. Where I come from, when two homo sapiens cross paths on the plains, they’d stop for a social grunt or two until the sun moves at least half way across the sky, then they’d go their separate ways to finish their hunting and gathering. Here in tribal America, a fraction of a second seems too precious to spare a quick hello or a friendly nod. Modern people here seem to be focused on their own hunting and gathering with the urgency that would give my people heart disease. Full-on mobility on a crowded sidewalk free of accident and bloodshed is an absolute miracle. I’m amazed there’s not more head-butts here, like there was back at home on the plains with those damn neanderthals.

1 motelThis is a place of progress! No fist fights, no pounding of the chest to impress the women, and maximum hunting and gathering efficiency. Things are so efficient that any dispute, no matter how big or trivial, can be solved with a nifty little tool called a handgun. It’s quicker than a fist fight and leaves no ambiguity. And, as consideration, men here tend to sneak their intimate times with another man’s wife quietly at cheap motels. Less chance for man-to-man confrontation.

But I can’t say that this is any better than an honest fist fight.

Ultimate Fighting Liddell Ortiz

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