The Everglades: From Beginning to End?
FIU Honors Seminar IDH 4007
Ignorance is Bliss?
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:
Mr. Supreme Being
333 Heaven Lane
Valhalla, HHG 13740
RE: Everglades National Park
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.
(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
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