From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:

Missing links run the world

by Don Harkins

It seems that every year I get sick for two days. That is my cue to drop the world of opposition publishing long enough to dive, congested head first, into a good book. In fall, 2000, I read, “HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy,” by Jerry Smith; in fall 2001 I read, “Final Report on the Oklahoma City Bombing,” by the OK City Bombing Investigation Committee. This year's sickness hit me in mid-January and I spent two days reading, “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates,” by Tom Robbins (2000). Though the entire book was a fun read, a particular passage so grabbed my attention that I interrupted the flow of novel reading to read it over three times. I think Robbins is right: The missing link runs the world.

Maestra's missing link:

“What is it,” Maestra had asked quite rhetorically, “that separates human beings from the so called lower animals? Well, as I see it, it's exactly one half dozen significant things: Humor, Imagination, Eroticism (as opposed to the mindless, instinctive mating of glow-worms or raccoons), Spirituality, Rebelliousness, and Aesthetics, an appreciation of beauty for it's own sake.”

“Now,” she'd gone on to say, “since those are the features that define a human being, it follows that the extent to which someone is lacking in those qualities is the extent to which he or she is less than human.


“And in those cases where defining qualities are virtually nonexistent, well, what we have are entities that are north of the animal kingdom but south of humanity, they fall somewhere in between, they're our missing links.”

In his grandmother's opinion, the missing link of scientific lore was neither extinct nor rare. “There are more of them, in fact, than there are of us, and since they actually seem to be multiplying, Darwin's theory of evolution is obviously wrong.”

Maestra's stand was that missing links ought to be treated as the equal of full human beings in the eyes of the law, that they should not suffer discrimination in any usual sense, but that their writings and utterances should be generally disregarded and that they should never be placed in positions of authority.

“That could be problematic,” Switters had said, straining, at the age of twenty, to absorb this rant, because only people who, you know, lack those six qualities seem to ever run for any sort of office.”

The exchange above was taken from page 100 of Fierce Invalids. Maestra is Switters' grandmother from Seattle. Switters is a CIA agent whose parrot-related curse caused his life to take some unexpected turns.

Have you ever wondered how people who seem human on the outside are able to live with themselves when their actions repeatedly damage the lives and property of others? Within the framework of Maestra's definition, how many people in public office at city, county, state and federal levels are subhuman?

Regardless of the science behind Maestra's missing link theory, the most important lesson here is that missing links' writings and utterances should be disregarded and they should never be placed in positions of authority. I am not sure how to prevent subhumans from occupying public office, but disqualifying anyone who is actively seeking a career in public service is probably a good start. (DWH)

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