What’s Natural?

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Rousseau could be so nasty! “Everything,” he famously maintained, “degenerates in the hands of man. He forces one soil to nourish the products of another, one tree to bear the fruits of another. He mixes and confuses the climates, the elements, the seasons. He mutilates his dog, his horse, his slave. He turns everything upside down, he disfigures everything, he loves deformities, monsters. He wants nothing as nature made it.”

He was right about us. More or less.

And yet it’s still so odd to hear someone who lives in the 21st-century West talking about what’s natural. Sorta like hearing Rick James tell someone to ease off on the coke at Studio 54.

It’s not that lovers of all things natural are wrong; it’s just that we’ve been on this road for awhile now, and, if memory serves, we left the Great State of Natural a long time ago. I vaguely remember, at some point, crossing the border into whatever-the-fuck-this-is, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, retrace my steps. “We have,” as Nietzsche put it, “left the land and have gone aboard ship! We have broken down the bridge behind us, nay, more, the land behind us!”

This freak show you see around you: it’s home, friend, it’s home.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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