[-empyre-] The Pollinator's Dilemma: A Theoretical Quasi-Fiction, With Blossoms

Richard Doyle rich.doyle at gmail.com
Wed Sep 11 11:14:56 EST 2013

Lively friends,

 A response of sorts  to some of the lovely questions, with pollen on
my hands...mobius

The Pollinator's Dilemma

"... indiscriminately valuing all life without any regard to species
distinctions lands one in the same problems discovered by early Deep
Ecology theorists: i.e., an inability to make distinctions, so that
one is forced to end up valuing, say, anthrax as much as the cattle or
humans that anthrax kills." Rob Mitchell

"Never send a stone monument to do an insect's job!"
As cited in ""On the Distinction Between Anthrax and Pansies, and
Which to Kill", The Empyrecist,

Clear eyed and rested,  and, according to several peer review
commentators, absolutely and unusually capable of differentiating
between Anthrax and a pansy, or a pumpkin and a human, the Empyrecist
took one last sip of green tea before stirring himself from a half
lotus, stretching, and striding downhill to the Garden.

The pumpkin - a volunteer from a neighborhood Halloween prank of years
past, a smashed, grinning and rotted Jack O' Lantern  hopped up on
compost and energetically invading the zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes,
peas and radishes that made up the fading summer crop and new fall
hopefuls, sneaking in before the first Pennsylvania frost - was
blooming. The blossoms, plucked and stuffed with grated jack cheese
and tomato, conformed to the general culinary rule that everything was
delicious when it was fried and served on a stick. This did not
present a conundrum to the Empyrecist, whose first published axiom
declared that potato chips and beer were the very foundation of the
Football State, and thus either to be defended at all costs or
destroyed with malice, depending on your point of view. Football
Americain was a game of inches and distinctions - "Did the ball break
the plane of the goal line?" - and here the Empyrecist was in his
element. "It's Up to You: Potato Chip Fanciers and the Biopolitics of
Hopped Yeast" was now one of his most cited publications, second only
to "On the Distinction Between Anthrax and Pansies, and Which to
Kill", which had rocketed up the charts during the Great Vegan
Distress that ensued after "Plant Signaling and Behavior"  released
results suggesting that plants grown in bioethicist's homes suffered
from "asymmetrical stress disorder" when subjected to thought
experiments fabricated entirely for the propagation of bioethical
discourse and the correlative demand for the (now plummeting) stock of
Humanities Institutes and their recidivist, repeat visitors. Computer
models of citation clusters and the Big Data of Natural Language
Processing  of Reviews  indicated either that "On the Distinction
Between Anthrax and Pansies, and Which to Kill" established once and
for all that anthrax was not a breakfast food, or that more research
was needed, depending on your point of view, and whether or not it was
fried and served on a stick.

       The Empyrecist paused before the enormous stone monument in the
likeness of Adam Z, the Empyrecist Bioartiste who had been
definitively diagnosed by bioethicists as "pure liquid" and "mostly
salamander, but free to adopt any political position" by the
Department of Flat Ontology and Its Critics, which now took up most of
the Earth not occupied by Sport Utility Vehicles, the armored
personnel ( and salty snack) carriers of the Football State. Much of
the rest was taken up by the sprawling pumpkin and the enormous stone
monument of Adam Z. The Empyrecist paused to offer a gassho to the
BioArtiste, whose words had been sonically fed to the pumpkin and
encouraged its originally volunteer invasion.

But the words, even as they flowed, could not produce a pumpkin. The
male flowers opened for a day before being stuffed with cheese and
tomato, and the females gaped, devoid of pollination." Never send a
stone monument to do an insect's job!"was one of the Empyrecist's tag
lines, appearing as a section epigraph in both "It's Up to You: Potato
Chip Fanciers and the Biopolitics of Hopped Yeast" and "On the
Distinction Between Anthrax and Pansies, and Which to Kill."

Working the latch on the garden gate, the Empyrecist stepped lightly
toward an open male flower, a brassy megaphone thing of pollen. He
thought of trumpeting  it like a ceremonial conch, but slowly ran his
fingers over it, surrendering to a  shiver at the smooth, returning
caress of the anthers and their now spilling treasure. The golden,
dusty granules seemed to sparkle, and they might look alluring cut
into lines on a mirror.

A hand now tugged deliriously like a bent rod toward a female bloom,
with the telltale bump of a becoming-pumpkin on its stalk,fishing
fingers encrusted with iridescent pollen dust now ecstatically finding
and entering, undulating through, the swelled lips of the pistil.

 The Empyrecist vanished, absorbed into the ubiquity of plant joy.

The gate, still ajar,  was shut. The Empyrecist pondered this latest
challenge to his Anthrax/Pansy distinction, the bedrock of his
proprietary brand of Bioethical Software that even now traded against,
among an extraordinary array of other things, the predicted price for
the fluctuating energy load of current coma patients against
electricity costs for hydroponic medical cannabis installations needed
to treat  pain suffered by former coma patients, in widely held
derivatives of biocapital futures. Heavy trading in pumpkin futures
sent models plummeting  on rumors of increased supply due to incipient

Intertwingled by IPhone

More information about the empyre mailing list