Wednesday, May 26, 2010

rubbing, rubbing, rubbing.....,

organelle | What transforms the relatively benign grasshopper into the apocalyptic swarms of soldiers we call locusts is a simple thing: proximity to other grasshoppers initiated by feeding behavior.
From Wikipedia (locust):

“Research at Oxford University has identified that swarming behaviour is a response to overcrowding. Increased tactile stimulation of the hind legs causes an increase in levels of serotonin. This causes the locust to change color, eat much more, and breed much more easily. The transformation of the locust to the swarming variety is induced by several contacts per minute over a four-hour period. It is estimated that the largest swarms have covered hundreds of square miles and consisted of many billions of locusts.” (italics added)

From WIkipedia (Desert Locust):

“When vegetation is distributed in such a way that the nymphs, usually called hoppers, have to congregate to feed, and there has been sufficient rain for a lot of eggs to hatch, the close physical contact causes the insects’ hind legs to bump up against one another. This stimulus triggers a cascade of metabolic and behavioral changes that cause the insects to transform from the solitary form to the gregarious form.”
From Arundhati Roy:
“It is not a coincidence that the political party that a carried out the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire was called the Committee for Union and Progress. “Union” (racial/ethnic/religious/national) and “Progress” (economic determinism) have long been the twin coordinates of genocide.

Armed with this reading of history, is it reasonable to worry about whether a country that is poised on the threshold of “progress” is also poised on the threshold of genocide? Could the India being celebrated all over the world as a miracle of progress and democracy possibly be poised on the verge of committing genocide?

The mere suggestion might sound outlandish and at this point in time, the use of the word genocide surely unwarranted. However, if we look to the future, and if the Tsars of Development believe in their own publicity, if they believe that There is No Alternative to their chosen model for Progress, then they will inevitably have to kill, and kill in large numbers, in order to get their way.

In bits and pieces, as the news trickles in, it seems clear that the killing and dying has already begun.”

— Field notes on Democracy
Listening to Grasshoppers
Arundhati Roy, Haymarket Books, 2009, pp 153