Complex bullshit forms developed in lockstep with our own evolution as a species. As societies become more advanced, so all the bullshit surrounding said society becomes more complicated. This seems to be a universal law, but it seems to me that we could have an advanced bullshit free society if we really all wanted one badly enough. Since that has never happened, not going to hold the breath, and the Law of Ratios: Complexity of social structures to bullshit stands unchallenged.
So when and where did complex bullshit forms begin to emerge? We can’t know. But we can make some shit up!
The planet was pristine, full of animals and even though bullshit capable hominid species were starting to populate the earth, the bullshit was still pretty basic. Of course, at the time there was a greater variety of species-specific bullshit. You had your Neanderthal bullshit, Denisovan bullshit and other hominid bullshit going on as well as our Homo sapiens bullshit.
But it was all pretty much the same basic bullshit revolving around the four pillars of Hominid Life: Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Sex.
Oh, I see a hand raised. Yes, ma’am, you have a question? Sex isn’t a pillar you say? Well, the fact that we are here means that there was a whole lot of people and pre-people doing a whole lot of fucking, literally all the way back to the beginning of time. Anytime people are fucking that frequently there is going to be bullshit. Moving on.
So people were easily drawn together by those four essential flavors of bullshit. And by the need to protect one another, seeing how we had yet to kill off most of the beasties that find people tasty. Probably the beginning of military bullshit. Certainly the beginning of tribal bullshit, that ever-present delineation defining “Us” and “Those people over there”.
Conceptualization Exercise: Caveman Bullshit
Enter the cave, in southern future-France. A primal bullshit collective, say, sixteen people, bound by tribal connection and necessity, sitting around fires alone or in small family units. It is in this group that we will observe the emergence of complex bullshit forms.
One guy, we’ll call him *Indecipherable Grunt* is sitting contemplatively by a fire. In his mind – an abstract concept appears, though it appeared as impressions rather than words, it went something like this. “Hmmm. these clowns really suck at the whole hunter-gatherer thing. They can benefit from someones… L… Lea…LEADERSHIP!, that’s the word. Wait, I know. I’m just the guy for the job. I can be in charge. Ch…Chi… Chief… yeah, that’s it. I’ll be chief.”
And there, political bullshit was born. The very next day Grunt spent trying to spread his brand-new bullshit about the cave. When bullshit didn’t work, he could hit really hard.
He wasn’t alone, there on the other side of the cave a woman, indecipherable Squeak, sat and contemplated. She was having her own little abstract epiphany as she sat doing an inventory: food, clothing, and shelter were right there sitting passively, as usual. But sex had a lovely pink glow. She smiled, you know, that “I know something” smile that somehow only women can pull off? She had just figured out how she could use sex to bulk up the other three pillars a bit. There, as she beheld in wonder, new bullshit, formed. Sexual dynamic bullshit that finds its insidious way into a lot of things.
Naturally, the collective that formed around Squeak did so much more quickly than the one forming around Grunt. Squeek’s little collective included Glag. Glag was her best, um, client. So impressed was he that Glag began thinking his own little abstract thoughts.
He knelt gazing on Squeak in rapt adoration. And then it just popped right out of the dumb-asses mouth “Goddess.” And so, with several orgasmic spasms, religious bullshit entered the world as in Glags headspace Squeak became the pure embodiment of the earth and all its bounty. And the storms and earthquakes too, since when little Squeak went on a tear even Grunt found important things to do elsewhere.
At the back of the cave is a guy, His name is George. George is quiet, introverted and intelligent. He didn’t talk, words being so valuable when all you have with which to communicate is a few grunts and growls. Though he had already invented a language of his own, he simply didn’t feel inclined to share.
He had already made several abstract leaps of intuition and had become THAT guy. The one who knows things about plants and animals, the world’s first botanist. Also, he was THAT guy who solved practical problems and made handy tools, The world’s first engineer. Thus he was that guy who by virtue of his intellect neither hunted nor gathered, yet still reaped a goodly portion of the mammoth. While doing whatever the hell he wanted, which at the moment was to try and catch fish fucking. And George wasn’t past rolling out his own advanced bullshit forms in explaining why it was necessary for him to continue to invest in such important endeavors.
And so in his explorations and experimentations George found a happy plant and noticed when you throw the dried flowers on the fire and BREATHE, it seemed to make the cave a better place. Even Grunt became less of an asshole. Enter the stoner bullshit, which he kept to himself, only sharing with Squeak, well, for the obvious reason, and because she was as almost as smart as he was. He even taught her his secret language. He adored her giggles when he drew word pictures for her, like drawing the metaphor between Grunt and a giant mammoth penis. It’s where the word “king” came from.
George was the very first Bovine Fecologist, Bullshit observer. While his world didn’t have what we would call a domesticated bull, they did have aurochs, which was a freakishly huge prehistoric super-cow. Well capable of expelling prodigious quantities of raw material for speculation. George liked Aurochs’. He painted pictures of them on the cave wall, but that’s another story.
So there’s George. Breathing happy flower fumes and observing. Quietly contemplating the ramifications of the simultaneous birth of political, sexual and religious bullshit. He uttered three of his precious words. “We’re so fucked.”
Bullshit is far from done with our happy band of cave-dwelling hominids. Subscribe to be notified when the next episode out!