SnakPak Editorial Page

A Note from the Editors

We at SnakPak studiously avoid commenting on ever-fleeting current affairs and the vicissitudes of day-to-day developments—instead transcending the immediate discourse and taking a bird's-eye view of history, and focusing rather on subjects that have a shelf-life of more than a few moments or—at most—a few weeks.

We leave the attention-deficit literature to the political blogs (in the classic [read 2004] sense of the term) with their RSS feeds, widgets, and what-nots.

So, it is our desire to occassionally put forth a comment or two, meant to offer a larger-scale perspective on life as we know it. In that spirit, we present the first of our essays. Enjoy.

Current Essay
The United States of America is a Big Baby

Swirling rings of red and blue cradle the true power-broker in America

The United States of America is a Big Baby

posted: Early 21st Century

(Note: This essay is edited down from a 702 page transcript of a speech delivered to the Rotary Club of Normal, Illinois, and originally appeared in SnakPak's hardbound, ninety-six-volume Guide to the Universe and Chinese Snuff Bottles. Some logical leaps may appear a bit vast when contrasted with the original.)

With such audacity right off the bat—brashly appearing in the title of this [essay]—you'd think we were making a negative judgment that the U.S. is an infantile, self-absorbed country. Well...yes and no. While the description rings true, it is not inherently negative. In fact, what all individuals, groups, nations, and ultimately civilizations share, is the common trait of the desire for self-sustenance. And self-sustenance is always job one. That's all we're saying. That reality is as true for America as it is for Japan, Zimbabwe, al Qaeda, ad nauseum.

[...break in transcript...]

To bring it back home, please look at it this way: regardless of which political party is in charge (itself a fallacious concept—politicians are always nervous about the elusive electorate), there is a roly-poly center to America that simply wants nourishment. And while it doesn't particularly care where it gets it, it knows when the milk has gone sour. The temporary rise of any ideology (neo-conservatism, liberalism, etc.) is never more than a short-term fix.

[...break in transcript...]

All of this is to say, don't fret about your political nemeses getting ahead in one way or another. Let go of the idea of trying to have any kind of political control. The big baby that is truly running this country will guarantee that things will stay on course. When one teat fails to satisfy, the big baby will switch to another. When both appear equally inadequate, a third will magically emerge. (This is where the metaphor departs from familiar biology).

[...break in transcript...]

Now, you're probably raising several questions in your head—questions that are designed to blow our thoughtful argument right out of the water. Questions like:

  • If the US is a big baby, what about all of its relationships with other countries—democracies and otherwise?
  • How can you suggest we let our baby do whatever it wants when it may be doing harm to itself or others?
  • What about the countless historical examples, like Nazi Germany, where simply letting the baby do as it pleases could have horrific unspeakable consequences?
  • And more.

All good questions. Very important, and very logical.

[...break in transcript...]

The truth is—all of human civilization is one big super-baby. As undeniably awful as many historic events have been, they are part of the development of a still very young life form. You simply can't expect an infant to make mature decisions. Babies have a sense of wonder about everything. They have instinct. They have desires. But they slobber, and soil their diapers. And they are just beginning their lives and have no frame of reference.

[...break in transcript...]

Is this a nihilistic message? Are we suggesting you give up altogether? No. We can't stop people from trying to make the world a better place any more than they can keep the giant baby from dictating the terms of the process.

[...break in transcript...]

What we are saying is that, for those of you who do care enough to try, remember that good parenting means paying close attention to who the baby is—and who the baby is becoming. Even though you may share some DNA, the baby is an individual—existing independently of you.

[...break in transcript...]

You can try with all of your will and knowledge and skill to guide the baby. You may even have some apparent success with that. But the baby will only develop at its own pace, in its own way. In time—perhaps millions of years from now—it will reach adolescence; then young adulthood. Maybe someday it will have a baby of its own. On another planet. And life will go on.

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