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HUMAN ARTISTS 40,000 YEARS AGO!!

THE HUMAN RACE

FRENCH AND INDONESIAN CAVE PAINTINGS PROVE

THAT HUMANS EXISTED 40,000 YEARS AGO.

     The never-ending debate about the origin of our species and all living matter will never be resolved by words alone. What do you expect? It’s biblical mythology versus anthropology.  

     Same as politics, it would require more than a magic wand to get the human race to agree on anything. What’s scientific logic for one side is spiritual reality for another. When theists like those who believe in Intelligent Design are convinced that a scant 6,000 years ago God created man, woman and the whole shebang, why fight it. That’s their doctrine.

     But if what they preach is fact, why is there a cave known as Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in Southern France that contains more than 100 wall paintings that anthropologists and paleontologists using radiocarbon dating claim were created by human artists 40,000 years ago?

     The cavernous cave, about 400 miles from Paris, was discovered by three French speleologists, or scientific cave explorers: Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire. On December 18, 1994, they found an air current coming from the side of a cliff. They dug and crawled through narrow passages and traversed into pitch-black recesses where they came across an anthropological treasure of prehistoric paintings.  

     On the jagged rock and limestone walls of the hermetically sealed cave, the explorers found meticulously drawn paintings and sketches of galloping horses, cave lions, bison, bears, woolly mammoths, hyenas, rhinos and an engraved owl. It was like Paleolithic man was preparing an art show some thirty-thousand years ago to prove, at least intellectually, that the Neanderthals had lost the evolutionary human race.

     Sadly, there were no paintings of humans on the undulating limestone walls. One artist with a damaged pinky finger left his signature: hand prints throughout the prehistoric bear cave that was curtained in icicle-shaped stalactites hovering above floors cluttered with thousands of animal bones.

     The reason these cave painters created such a show of art is unknown. But there’s no doubt that their gallery was haunted by thoughtful ghosts of the past whose artistic ability rivals contemporary painters and sketchers.

     If it was possible to bring their work to “The Antiques Roadshow,” the value of their creations would leave Picasso, da Vinci and Michelangelo in the cultural dust of time.

     Of course, these ancient people weren’t using brushes, palettes, tubes of color they could purchase from art suppliers the likes of Aaron Bros. or Michael’s. Their “canvas” was a slab of rock. And they worked by torch-light rather than incandescent lamp. Thomas Alva Edison wasn’t even a twinkle in those days.

     Plus, they created their own colors: ocher, red, blue and shades of gray, brown and black.    

     Now, reports the journal Nature, there’s another 40,000 year-old cave art discovered in Indonesia by Dutch archaeologists more than a half-century ago. Finally, through a new U-series dating technique, the reddish-brown hand stencils and paintings of prehistoric animals on limestone cave walls on the island of Sulawesi are scientific time period proof of authenticity.

     What more biblical mythologists biblical say regarding their

claim that God created man a mere 6,000 years ago? They’ve gotta go back to the drawing board and come up with a more logical-sounding approach. “Whoops!” won’t do the trick.

                 — Boots LeBaron —

(“THE HUMAN RACE,” Boots’ new Kindle and

Amazon paperback book covers life, women’s rights,

faith, business, art, showbiz and courage featuring

many human-interest stories, essays and light poetry)

FOR CLYDE GIPSON, LIFE WAS AN OPEN BOOK.

THE HUMAN RACE

A SHOESHINE MAN WITH WORDS THAT SPARKLE

      As if controlled by a heavenly spigot, the rains abruptly ceased and the dense cloud cover cracked, allowing a stream of sunlight to filter across the asphalt where Clidell Gipson was standing beside his shoeshine stand.  

     Nothing supernatural. It happens all the time. Even in Gardena, California. It was a lousy afternoon until Clide, 60, a black man with a goatee, wearing a cap, Levis, a blue shirt and sweater, opened his mouth. The words flowed easily. His essay was hope. He was a beam of sunshine standing on the asphalt beside a carwash in a pair of unshined shoes.   The sixth eldest in a family of 22 brothers and sisters, he was born and raised on a cotton farm just outside Shreveport, Louisiana. At the age of seven, he began shining shoes with his brother, Willy. He had no formal education. But when he turned on his spigot, a torrent of love and street wisdom flowed out — almost like poetry.

     When I interviewed Clide a number of years ago, lived in a small apartment in Watts, had 17 grown children and 29 grandchildren. Ella, his wife and the mother of his entire brood, was dead.

     “My daddy used to tell us, ‘If you learn a business, you can live anywhere, stay honest and you don’t have to steal from nobody… Then, you can go to bed with your clothes off, not with your clothes on.’

     “First thing I teach my kids is… get a good education. Some of them have. Second thing: Be honest! One of my boys was killed a couple of years ago. Gang killing. I love them all. Since they all belong to me, I got no choice!

     “If I had it to do over again, I’d be a machinist. Yeah. You can’t make enough shining shoes for 65 cents a pair. I had to have two jobs to support my kids. I ran the machines in a laundry.”      Especially in Louisiana, Clide has seen his share of racial prejudice. “I don’t go for discrimination. Not at all. Life shouldn’t be troubled by prejudice. We got other problems…” He laughed.

     “I don’t care if you’re white, pink, yellow, green… We all was put here together and we should care about one another. That’s what’s wrong with the world today. We’re fighting amongst ourselves. I think we all need each other — to a certain extent.     

     “Why should I teach my kids to hate — to be prejudice? That’s no good. You carry hate around, it gets heavy after a while. Then you do something real bad. Maybe kill somebody. Bang! Since we’re here for such a short time, it don’t make sense.”

     For several years, Clide, had been fighting bone cancer. “Sometimes my legs cramp so bad, they won’t let me get up. I’ve gone through some tough times… No use complaining.

     “You never get ‘the religion’ until you start hurtin’,” he shrugged. “Soon as you quit hurtin’, then you stop talking to Jesus. That happens!

     “Whether I’m hurtin’ or not, I thank the Lord every day. I don’t go to church as often as I should. But I believe in God.

     “‘Course, I still can’t figure where I’m going… Up there!” he points to the sky. “Or down there!” he points to the asphalt. I pay no mind to dyin’.  

     “The President dies. Movie stars die. If you’re poor, you’re gonna die. If you’re rich, your gonna die. I don’t begrudge a rich person for what he has. If he treats me like a man and I treat him like a man, that’s fine! When our time comes, we’re gone. All the money in the world don’t buy you extra time.”

     Clide has accomplished some “goals” in his lifetime that he feels are of consequence. “Raisin’ a family, caring for people — those are important! Can’t think of anything more important in this short life than doing for your fellow man.

     “I’ve gone to the end of my road; did what I had to do. Had kids. Did the best I could raisin’ them. Had some good times and a whole lot of struggles.  

     “Sometimes you sit up nights wondering how you’re going to support them; you worry about them. Just trying to be a good father — that’s more important than shining shoes.

     “There was plenty of times I could have taken a strap to myself.” he said laughing. “I’ve made a bunch of mistakes. Some was funny; some I don’t even want to talk about.

       “When I was a kid, I didn’t get no spankings. But I got a lot of whippings. I’ve spanked my kids — every one of them. You spank them because you care for them, not because you want to hurt them.”

     With 17 children, how could you spank all of them?

     “Easy… One at a time!” he roared.

     Shining shoes, says Clide, “ain’t that important in the scheme of things. You’ve got to love it to do it. Funny thing about shoeshining. A shoeshine person, he don’t never shine his own shoes. I don’t know why. I used to come home and Ella would go, ‘You go out and get those shoes shined!’ It’s just like a mechanic, I guess. He’ll fix everybody else’s car but his own!”

     Clidell Gipson — a burst of sunlight on an asphalt parking lot.

                        — Boots LeBaron —

(Clyde Gipson was an eloquent man who preached

his view of life while shining shoes at a car wash)

HUMANITY’S SUFFOCATING OUR OWN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

THE HUMAN RACE

 

GREED, VIOLENCE, CORRUPTION GROW ON EARTH LIKE FLOWERS IN THE SUN

 

      There’s such an abundance of glorious things to mutilate, decimate and pillage on Earth, is it any wonder why greed, violence and corruption flourish here like flowers in the sun?  

     Since humankind’s monetary system plays such an integral role in civilization’s scheme of things, and since life (human and other animal species) has come to be regarded as expendable, the Homo sapient has quickly learned how to kill without conscience, without regret, without cause — even without hate.

     Sometimes we kill for profit. Sometimes for retribution. Oh, yes, we are Earth’s wondrous two-legged creatures with superior intellects that are proving to be so inferior. For centuries we have been swarming across the globe, spitting in the eye of Mother Nature, multiplying like beatles, tearing down forests, building and firing murderous weapons, constantly developing new technology, polluting rivers, streams and oceans as well as the air we breath, and in myriad ways suffocating our own brothers and sisters.

     Wow! We are such brilliant opportunists. By the time we make Planet Earth uninhabitable, perhaps we will have found another virgin planet to destroy. Or, maybe, because of the catastrophe we wrought upon ourselves and the others we share this sphere with, we will by then have learned to care. And even to sacrifice our creature comforts.

     Hopefully, it won’t be too late.

 

              — Boots LeBaron

(THE HUMAN RACE written by Boots is a self-help book

containing humor as well asinspirational interviews,

light poetry and essays about life, love, showbiz, art,

 courage, death and the workplace. It’s for sale on

Kindle and on Amazon in paperback)

            

SURFBOARDER/ARTIST’S VIEW OF LIFE

THE HUMAN RACE

                                      SURFBOARDER-ARTIST’S GLIMPSE AT LIFE

 

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                                                                                                   A Craig Cambra original           

     The lone surfer, a young man in black trunks, straddled the shortboard looking out to sea, waiting for a wave at 15th Street in Manhattan Beach, Calif. It was going to be another hot Tuesday in August.

     As it is today, the world was in turmoil. Bad news was everywhere. The O.J. Simpson double homicide, the Whitewater mess, the Rwanda refugee crisis, the bloody turf conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the AIDS dilemma, drive-by shootings, suicide terrorists…

     At the time, Craig Cambra, a promising young artist, sat on his board unperturbed. The water was refreshingly cool on that early overcast morning. In fact, the 25-year-old graphic designer and fine artist left all the news and personal woes on shore with the rest of the city which was just beginning to stir.

     For Craig, there was more important things than politics and catastrophes on his mind. For example: The wedge. It was breaking just right. And he was in the perfect spot to catch it. He began paddling. Harder. Faster. Harder. Into the foam. Up on his feet. God, what a feeling. There was no describing it.

     The wave belonged to him. He was on top of it. He caught a right, pulled into a bottom turn, smacked the wave straight up… And bam! He threw the tail, slid with the crest of the wave, reversed, executed another bottom turn, then another and another until the wave pooped out.    

     As he paddled back out to sea, the muscles in his arms, shoulders and chest were tight. The thighs and calves ached just enough to tell him that the muscles and tendons did their job. His heart was pounding in his neck. For a surfer, it was a great feeling. It had been what he had described as “a good ride.”

    As he balanced on his 6-foot-2 board, manipulating the power of the breakers, Craig Cambra’s paradise was licking at his feet, propelling him through the water like a wild, untamed force compliments of the Pacific Ocean and Mother Nature.

     Despite politics and escalating global perils, the sinewy young dude’s world beneath him was clean and fresh and exhilarating.

     To a non-surfer, there’s no describing the experience of catching a “wedge” or a “peak,” harnessing the power, and “ripping away” from start to finish.

     “You’re just amped,” he explained. “It’s like a movie. You’re thinking about it as you leave, remembering all the surprises, and you go, ‘God, that was great!’ People who don’t surf can’t comprehend the exaltation you experience. Lots of people try to compare other sports to surfing. You can’t. Every ride, every wave is different.”

     During that watery moment, for Craig at least, there was nothing more in life than riding out a wave. Nothing. No problems. No gridlock. No bills. No heartaches. No anxieties.  

     In other words, for a surfboarder whose father died when he was three, who was raised by his mother, Nora, and whose older brothers, Rick and Phil “took my father’s place and did the best they could with a rowdy like me,” King Neptune was his psychiatrist.

     When he was 12-years-old, his oldest brother, Phil, loaded the youngster and an old 7-ft. Kanoa surfboard in his car and took him to 15th Street.

     “At the time,” recalled Craig, “I was scared. The waves looked awful big. He put me on the board, walked me out to the midbreak, turned me around and shoved me into the whitewash.

     “The hardest thing about catching a wave,” he said, “is learning to balance and stroking. I stood up, fell, stood up, fell.” He laughed. “When I finally rode one, I was on my own.”

     Ever since the first lesson, he has been surfing. And in recent years, surfing alone.

     “For me,” he said smiling, “it beats psychiatry all to hell. I mean, you wake up and the sun is shining. Rather than stare at the ceiling, you grab your board and head for the beach. There’s no one else around. You catch a few fun waves. When you get out of the water, you’ve had a good workout. You know you’ve done something for your body and your mind.”

     As he sat on his board waiting for King Neptune to blow a wave his way, he saw the world from a different vantage point than the people preparing themselves for life on the job in the city.

     “Every day when I’m out there, I can look out at the horizon. The sky is never the same. Gray, black, blue, speckled with clouds, it’s always beautiful and never the same.

     “I usually surf on week days — that’s when everybody else is making money,” said the free-lance graphic designer and fine artist who graduated in May from California State University, Long Beach, with a degree in (what else?) art.

     “Almost every time I go into the water, I see schools of porpoise, sometimes as many as 40. I’ve never seen a shark in these waters (like the great white that attacked a swimmer off the Manhattan Beach Pier in July 2014). But I’d recognize one if I saw one. As they move, their dorsal fin cuts across the water while the fin of a porpoise rises and falls.

     “Believe me,” he went on, “if I spotted a shark fin, I’d be outta there so fast you’d hear a sonic boom.”

     Pelicans, he said, are frightening birds. They are huge and powerful. One time while I was surfing in Malibu, one got hung up in my cinch line. It came after me like a dive bomber. Maybe he thought I was a big sardine.”

     Ordinarily, he said, “pelicans will gain altitude and dive, splashing into the water after a meal. Then they’ll bob to the surface with their breakfast in their pouch. Awkwardly, they’ll take off, flapping those giant wings.   Then awkwardly with a considerable amount of effort will take off, gain altitude and soon will be of sight.

     “Pelicans like sea gulls can’t surf but they can’t love this ocean more than I do,” said the graphic designer-artist-surfboarder who’s now an expert on all three arts.

 

                        — Boots LeBaron —

 

(Boots’ book, THE HUMAN RACE, is available

on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.com)

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