May 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Da Ritzenator | 1 Comment

We could learn a lot from ants. These nimble little creatures build massive, cavernous homes inside of wood (carpenter ants), down in Argentina (argentine ants) or in fires (fire ants). And they do it without out-bidding other ants for contract work or worrying about the state of their economy. Because, to an ant, the only thing that matters is a job well done. They all work together and know their place in their ant world. They don’t try to drive the biggest car, or live in the hugest house, because ants can’t drive and they don’t need homes. They live like hippies, laid-offers, or foreign travelers in large communities that they construct themselves. Each ant has a specific job, be it digging out tunnels, searching for food, doing it with the queen, or watching the eggs. And their services are rewarded with a free meal (that they have foraged for themselves) and shelter (which they have constructed themselves). Ants are taught at a young age through intensive training and mind altering drugs to do one specific task and that their work benefits the whole. Even the janitor ants that are trained to empty toxic ant fecal buckets into a nearby river are proud to serve.

If this sounds a bit like communism, then you are correct: Marx got all his communists ideas from ants (especially from red ants, who spend their time making vodka, standing in line at the McDonalds, and buying low-end jeans at high-end prices). The list of similarities is just eerie. For instance, when one ant is stepped on, they, like communists, will appear 10-fold to carry the dead body back down into the commune. They don’t even sense the irony that they themselves will probably be killed by the same sneaker as they retrieve their fallen comrade.

Also like communists, ants do not have individual names. At birth, they are given an identity number. If we could decipher the ants’ secret language of dancing and lateral movements, then we’d probably see a conversation such as: “Number 16598732 gave notice that a snow cone was dropped 200 paces to the right. We are to go there and collect the syrup crystals to fuel numbers 23656494-23657500 as they are hatching now.” This tedious message, delivered through motions and movements, is proof of the ant’s incredibly poor economy. You see, ants don’t have enough money to invest in wi-fi or e-mail that could streamline their communication. In the time it takes one ant to dance a message of impending doom to another ant, and have the message danced to a third ant, the doom has most likely stuck. Instead, ants could invest in a bare bones video phone service plan or a web cam blog site, and have one ant send its dance out to multiple recipients.

Finally, I’d like to point out that both ants and communists are strong. The villain of Rocky IV was originally scripted to be a human sized Big-Headed ant. But because the producers saw opportunity with the current global climate to make a cold war tie-in, they decided to go with a Russian metaphor instead. But to keep the story line as close to the original script as possible, the villain Ivan Drago could carry 20x his own body weight. This fact made Rocky fear Drago, as we witnessed how much Rocky had to work out in the emotionally tear jerking training montage just to stay competitive. In the original script, Rocky was supposed to defeat the Drago character with a large glass lens and a beam of light focused through it to burn Drago’s writhing corpse to the ground. But because they could not realistically capture that on film, Rocky just beat him up in a much less suspenseful boxing match – Da Ritzenator

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  1. Oh, I loved that! Thanks for a good chuckle!

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