I had only spent a couple of days in this campsite, and I was already sad to be leaving. Funny how the emotional-territorial mind attaches its neural hooks onto a place, even after brief exposure. It’s not difficult to see why patriotism and politics exists. Lions excrete fluids to mark territory- the home range. They roar to impose boundaries and let others know where those boundaries lie. An emotional-behavioral center attached to survival is a good way of defending one’s home without actually spending resources in a fight. There is always cowardice, of course, which is just another squirrelly strategy to ensure continuation of one’s structural integrity and that of the species.
The need for territory and boundaries doesn’t stop at physical geography. We also use our mammalian apparatus to demarcate mental boundaries. Politics, for instance, is the human behavioral equivalent of a lion’s excretions and roars. Politics are the mental secretions that demarcate cultural and social boundaries. Just look at the metaphors we use when talking about politics. Some of us are on the right, left, or center. We mark our boundaries with votes, campaign slogans, memes, debates, and so forth. It’s no coincidence that we often say that our opponents are full of shit, or that a politician’s promises are bullshit. When in disagreement, we tell each other to piss off and take it somewhere else. Politics is the expression of mammalian territorial behavior. This is not to say that politics don’t serve a purpose in our culture. Clearly, they do. But it is illuminating to see them in the proper neurological context from which they arise. Home is where the brain is.
We packed our backpacks and then looked around us.
“Goodbye site,” said Pluma.
“Goodbye lake,” I said.
“Goodbye crazy ducks.”
“Goodbye Singing Creek.”
We grabbed our trekking polls, and like a couple of quadrupeds, we headed back down the trail, our eyes set on a new home.
The Bad Touch- Bloodhound Gang