The Everglades: From Beginning to End?
FIU Honors Seminar IDH 4007

Ignorance is Bliss?

Alexander Alonso
IDH 4007 Section 1
Journal Entry #3
October 30, 1997

Ignorance has long been one of the universe's greatest paradoxes. For eons upon eons man has ridiculed those lacking in knowledge by referring to them as "ignoramuses". Meanwhile, others argued by labeling the state of ignorance as "blissful". For years, this duality of ignorance has persevered without any one individual ever doing a thing to resolve this discrepancy.

The following is the attempt of one man to resolve this issue once and for all:

 


10/09/97
Mr. Supreme Being
333 Heaven Lane 
Valhalla, HHG 13740

RE:  Everglades National Park

Dear God,

	Oh Lord, I am truly sorry to interrupt You in all 
	Your important work in the universe.  I know that You 
	are quite busy with redemptions, salvations, and 
	damnations, but I would like to make You aware of 
	something awful (I know You already know, oh Omnipotent 
	One, but I just want to remind You).  
	
	The most horrifying thing is going on at the 
	Everglades National Park in South Florida.  You see, it 
	all started when my family and I (little Tammy, 
	Danielito, my wife Monica, myself, and Abuelito Carlos) 
	were down in the park on a canoeing expedition at Nine 
	Mile Pond.  There we were cutting through the 
	mangroves, (red mostly) when a sudden gust of wind 
	brought us an unexpected visitor.  Out of nowhere came 
	an adorable green pig frog begging us to spend time 
	with it.  After some quality time with the adorable 
	amphibian we realized that it was with us for good.  
	You see, it was trying to tell us that it needed to get 
	out of the torturous prison called the Everglades.  It 
	could not bear another day in those monstrous marshes.  
	It was trying to tell us that the Everglades were part 
	of a huge cover-up.  Imagine us.  The poor, 
	unsuspecting Perez familia, enjoying our canoe trip 
	through the mangroves of the Nine Mile Pond when one of 
	Your creatures jumped up and alerted us (the Perez 
	familia) of an immense scam where the little creatures 
	of Your kingdom were being tortured and fed to the 
	larger animals.  At first, we were stunned to hear of 
	this diabolical scheme, but then, after careful 
	consideration, we told the toad we'd do everything we 
	within our power to put this hideousness to a halt.  
	Yes, it wanted to come along, but little Tammy seemed 
	to be allergic to it so it had to stay..."  

Now, I know that you are thinking that these people are the dumbest things on the planet but hold on; it gets worse:

 

"...After a beautiful lunch at Flamingo (the 
southernmost point in the park, but You already know 
that), we went on our way to the Pa-hay-okee Overlook.  
While at the overlook, we got a magnificent idea of 
what an abundance of sawgrass there is in the 
Everglades.  You can look out for miles upon miles and 
not see anything but sawgrass and the occasional tree 
islands.  While in the run of things, we were 
approached by another of the tiny creatures in the 
Everglades National Park.  It was a bright yellow 
grasshopper.  Initially, we made nothing of it, but it 
would not leave us alone.  Soon, it was jumping 
hysterically as if it were trying to tell us something. 
Apparently, it had come in contact with a huge 
alligator which can scare the daylights out of anyone 
except Yourself, Almighty One.  It painted out a 
terrifying picture of torture, genocide (insecticide), 
and destruction.  We told it that we were quite aware 
of the slaughter that was taking place in that supposed 
"wildlife refuge".  We told it that we would do our 
best to try and alert the outer world of the horror.  
You must have heard its shrieks as we informed it that 
we could not let it come along as a stowaway due to an 
inhumane park policy of not removing anything from the 
park!  That was so sad..."

Just when you thought it can't possibly get any worse, guess what? It did:

 

   "...We had just pulled out of the Pa-hay-okee 
   Overlook and were on our way to the Visitor Center when 
   the most peculiar thing occurred.  Mind You; we were 
   definitely observing the speed limit when from the 
   depths of Your great blue sky came one of Your more 
   impressive aerial masterpieces, the Great Egret.  But, 
   You see, it is not like it just decided to land on our 
   windshield; I think it was doing the unthinkable.  It 
   was trying to commit suicide.  After it tried rather 
   unsuccessfully to plunge to its glassy death, we pulled 
   over and went to check on the bird.  We got to the spot 
   where the Egret landed and searched for any of the 
   bird's remains.  To our surprise, the bird had survived 
   the encounter with barely even a scratch.  When we got 
   the bird to stop its weeping, we asked if its attempted 
   suicide might be related to the horrific slaughter 
   taking place in the park.  It told us that it had had 
   an encounter with an aggressive park ranger who was 
   trying to force-feed it some snails and mackerel.  It 
   explained that the force-feeding was part of the 
   "plumping" process which was employed so that the 
   alligators could later satiate their enormous 
   appetites.  It went on to tell us about the fact that 
   this was taking place because the gators and the humans 
   had a pact which was entailed by a trade-off.  The 
   alligators perform, and the humans make money off the 
   performance.  It's vile! Isn't it?  That was it.  I 
   could not take it anymore.  We all got in the car (the 
   bird too) and went on our way!  We were on our way to 
   tell the world of this duplicity, this chicanery.  
   
   Unfortunately, when we got to the checkout point, 
   the park rangers asked us why it was that we were 
   trying to transport a Great Egret out of the park.  
   Before I knew it, we were sequestered, the bird was set 
   free, and the cell in the corner building of the 
   Flamingo Visitor Center now belonged to the Perez 
   familia for the night.  So, I did what I thought would 
   work best.  I wrote to You.  So, if you do get this 
   letter, please send us bail money!  Oh yeah!  See what
   You can do about the horrific things going on at the 
   Everglades National Park.  

							                   Desperately, 

							                   Alejandro Perez 
							                   (a.k.a. Trapped in 
							                   the Everglades brig)
    
P.S.  Please see if You can help my friend Lencho 
who seems to be having so much trouble with those leeches 
at the post office."  

There is only one thing that can be said about this family's experience in the Florida Everglades. Ignorance is most certainly not bliss; ignorance (and ignoramuses) can only be dealt with in one fashion: ridicule. Ignoramuses do not lead blissful lives. They make life so stressful for others. They are the "butts" of all mankind. Frankly, if ignorance is bliss, then give me misery!


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