Monthly Archives: August 2012

An Offensive Team?


The Nepean Redskins are in a mess of trouble because of their name and we’re going to deal with it in our usual straightforward manner.  For those too lazy to follow the link, the Nepean Redskins are a tackle football team for kids in the National Capital Amateur Football Association with various divisions for players age 8 to 19 around our hometown of Ottawa.  The beef is with the name “Redskins”

Some consider the name Redskins, unless you are referring to peanuts or potatoes to be racist.  Considering the Nepean Redskins logo is a stylized First Nations caricature, we’re fairly certain they’re not conjuring up images of spuds.  Which brings us to the sticking point of the question.  Is the name offensive to First Nations or are we being over-sensitive? 

Looking through the other end of the telescope, would you consider the following mythical team names offensive?

Picton County Picaninnys

Jonestown Spics

Rockford Kikes

Chattanooga Fighting Chinks

Tampa Bay White Trash

Of course you would.  They’re offensive, conjuring up stereotypes of ethnic groups, using derisive terms that we have mostly abandoned from our regular speech.  Redskins is no different, in that it was a derisive term for North American aboriginal peoples that we commonly call First Nations.

Now before you get up on your back legs, consider these:  The Atlanta Braves.  The Chicago Black Hawks.  University of Illinois Fighting Illini.  Cleveland Indians.   

Again, a somewhat dicey use of stereotypes to describe a sporting team.  The University of Illinois Fighting Illini have had their share of grief, as recently as 2007, with Chief Illiniwek being the made-up, non-historical mascot of the University of Illinois.  “Illinois” itself is a Hobson-Jobson of irenew wa through Ojibwe and Ottawa dialects, into French, meaning “he speaks the regular way” from as early as 1670 in the current spelling of “Illinois”

For that matter, we find some offense with “Indians”  The only reason North American aboriginal peoples are called “Indians” is because of Christopher Columbus.  He was absolutely positive he landed in India in 1492, therefore anyone who was already there had to be Indian.  The name stuck but it’s horribly inaccurate.  We much prefer to use either First Nations or Aboriginal to describe those who met the boats.  At least Columbus didn’t call them what he likely said when he got off the Santa Maria:  We’d be swamped with hundreds of branches of the Fuckawyu tribes across our continent.

To simplify, as we should, one would not consider calling a sports team the Cuyahoga Chinamen.  Therefore would we consider calling another sports team the Redskins?  No. 

However, there is another side to being overly politically correct and that is historical accuracy.  We can’t rename the Negro Baseball League to the African American Baseball League as the Negro League was the actual, legal name.  There has to be an element of tolerance for what existed in the past, historically, no matter how inappropriate it is today.  For example, rooming houses in the 1800’s in New York City would have signs that said “No Blacks, No Jews, No Dogs, No Irish” proudly displayed out front.  That was the social reality of that time period and we can’t change that without forfeiting where we’ve come from.  Sanitizing history does not make the future better. 

At the same time, there are always exceptions. Kinky Friedman had a great band named Kinky Friedman the Texas Jewboys. Despite the offensive name, we’ll cut Friedman some slack as the whole operation was a hellacious satire:  There has to be some grey areas in there for outrageous fun.  Very little in our world is black or white. 

So what to do now?  The Nepean Redskins have been the Redskins since 1981 or so.  The Cleveland Indians were previously the Blues, Naps and Molly McGuires eventually coming to the Cleveland Indians in 1915. 

What we have to do is to be sensitive about it and still use common sense.  Nepean should look at changing the name of the team to something less fraught.  Not this afternoon, or even this season, but at least recognize that Redskins isn’t quite appropriate and work towards a new name sooner rather than later. 

We will respectfully suggest either the Nepean Sandstones or the Nepean Quarrymen, both associated with two common features of Nepean.  Both are tolerable names that are butch enough to be acceptable to a kid’s football team, or more correctly to the parents of the players.  Nobody wants a bumper sticker saying “My Kid Plays for the Nepean Cello Stringers” and the parents pay the shot.

And we’re certain someone will bitch about Quarrymen as it’s sexist.  Oh well.

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Another Icon Gone


Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday, the First Man to Walk on the Moon.  Armstrong was very much a cultural icon, issuing his “That’s one small step for ( a ) man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20th 1969 as he stepped onto the Moon’s surface and at the same time becoming a cultural touchstone for generations.

People remember things that are significant to our culture by remembering where we were or what we were doing when the events, people or things happened that become cultural icons in varying degrees.  Speaking only for my approximate age group, our media was not nearly as immediate or all-encompassing as today’s fire hose of “news”  Our media was less instantaneous and, we think, less fraught with instant uninformed analysis. 

True, the actual Apollo 11 landing and eventual walk on the Moon was carried live, (truth be told 2.5 seconds delayed) but there wasn’t much more analysis than Walter Cronkite’s  “Well, phew…Man walks on the Moon” as he mopped his brow and let the grainy black and white pictures speak for themselves.  We knew in our souls that something important happened to our culture.  Humans had walked on another planet and we all got to see it happen at the same time and that is the important part:  The instantaneous shared mass-cultural experience. 

Previous explorers went to new lands, found them and came back by sailing ship or over land.  The lag between the actual event and the masses hearing about it was months, if not years.  At first it was the Kings who heard about the New Worlds, as they put up the cash and got to see the treasures first, then it percolated down the cultural food chain.  Wars, before the named ones, were only heard of faintly, a small line of newspaper type (Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo) weeks after the event with little more detail than the bare bones.  Even during WWII there was an appreciable lag due to censorship and the mechanics of getting pictures, sound and words across the oceans.  

Perhaps one of the first mass-cultural events, a disaster of course, was the sinking of the Titanic.  However, being a newspaper-mediated event, it was by necessity, delayed, even with the instantaneous communications of that newfangled wireless and Morse code thing, reporting from sea.  Another of the first mass-cultural shared events might have been the Hindenburg explosion (May 6, 1937) a combination of newsreel and radio coverage, but the audiences at the time were small, barely international and not nearly global in scope. 

Apollo 11 was global and instantaneous in scope, fully mediated by television with true, intercontinental reach.  We all watched Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon at the same time, and made up our own opinions at the same time. 

Armstrong had the grace to recognize his role as the First Man on the Moon and kept an appropriate profile.  Others might have tried to parlay their fame into celebrity and endorsement deals.  Armstrong didn’t sign autographs after 1994 for example, as he found that signed items were reselling for huge sums.  It wasn’t right, to him, for people to profit from a job he did as part of his training as an astronaut, representing all of us.

Today, mass-cultural events are almost commonplace, to the point that we ignore them:  Our perspective has changed.

Todd’s Tour Two


Funny how when you push a button, you get reactions that you never thought you’d get.  The previous post “Todd Akin’s Tour Of The Uterus” provoked a few thoughts and like any blog monkey, we’ll spray them all over you, the patient reader.

Stupidity and Hydrogen are two constants in the Universe and we’re not completely sure about Hydrogen.  Rep. Todd Akin has proven that he’s stupid and there’s no crime in being stupid.  We are all blessed with stupidity and the mere existence of this blog is proof enough.  No, where Akin goes over the metaphorical cliff is his worldview of issues of rape, abortion and the like.

In this article by William Saletan on Slate.com, Saletan goes over Akin’s voting record since 1991 in the Missouri legislature and his terms in Congress.  What Saletan’s research shows is Akin has been a complete idiot for a number of years.  The article is worth a read and we’ll wait.  (We’ve punched ‘play’ on some obscure Kenny G track for four or five minutes while you go read it)

So what do you make of Rep Todd Akin?  Yep, an idiot and he has the right to be an idiot.  Even the voters of the great state of Missouri have the right to vote for an idiot too.  The conclusion we draw is a different one and it has to do with gender politics.

The behaviour of men towards women, males toward females has been fraught since the beginning.  The reason men have tried to control women either through social behaviour, legal constructs or theological argument, minimizing of the roles and rights of females of the species is this:  Little Boys are Afraid of Women.

Men readily accept that Women are our equals in every respect, aside from the obvious parts differences.  Many Men go so far as to think we’re not quite as evolved as Women are.  Little Boys are afraid they’ll get cooties. 

Men celebrate Women in all their facets, not only as givers of life, but as intellectuals, well-rounded humans, partners and good citizens.  Little Boys set up tree houses with the No Gurls Allowed sign.

Men recognise that women have been dealt the short end of the stick for a long time and try to do something about it.  Little Boys will never watch a Girl’s game as it’s just girls stupid games.

Men have confidence in their dealings with Women.  Little Boys snigger and point.

Men recognize and accept that Women can make their own choices about their own bodies without the benefit of legislation, just as Men wouldn’t accept Women legislating how Men make their choices.  Little Boys say girls smell funny.

Men can control themselves, recognizing that No Means No.  Little Boys are afraid that the glimpse of a naked ankle means their friends will laugh at them because they got a boner from a girl.

So tell me, is Rep Todd Akin a man, or a Little Boy?

Todd Akin’s Tour Of The Uterus


Yes, we’re going there.  Rep. Todd Akin is the US Congressman for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.  He’s running for the US Senate, challenging Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in the upcoming US election. 

On August 19, on St. Louis TV station KTVI-TV  Akin was asked the usual panoply of questions, including the one about abortion in cases of rape and incest.  His answer: Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

(We have underscored the statement that is the crux of the controversy, so you can have the context.  The hyperlink is from the actual coverage from FOX2now, KTVI-TV if you want to see the whole thing.)

Now some facts.  Our opinion on abortion is multifaceted.  First off, I don’t have a uterus, so whatever I have to say is Not Scottish.  I don’t get to have an opinion.   

Secondly, baby humans don’t magically happen – they occur from penile-vaginal intercourse, or to use a common term, copulation.  That’s how it happens in the vast majority of cases, with the notable exceptions of IVF or the timely application of a turkey baster filled with suitable donor genetic material.  Both of those circumstances are fully, actively consensual.

Conception from sharing underwear or using the same drinking fountain are so mathematically rare as to be nonexistent.  We will skip over this carpenter guy from Bethlehem, as we’re being factual, not theological.     

Third, the question of abortion in the case of rape or incest is a simple one.  There is no active consent to rape, therefore the act is illegal.  The potential of active consent to incest is deemed by society to be very, very, very unlikely, as well as illegal, under the majority of laws regarding consanguinity, even in Missouri. 

Fourth, There is no gland, secretion, hormone, mechanism or magic hygienic product either in, near, or potentially attached to the female body that can detect a “legitimate rape” and reject the morula of conception in a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage.  It does not exist.  I’ll repeat that:  It Does Not Exist.

Now the ethical question becomes clearer, knowing that Rep. Akin is talking out of his ass, cloaking his quote in “…from what I understand from doctors…” as if that were some kind of Shield of Science to mask the intellectually ignorant stench of his statement. 

This tells us that Rep Akin is dramatically unfit for office beyond that of Municipal Lotion Boy.  If he had any decency at all, he would immediately go far, far away. 

Hopefully voters in his district will send him that message come election day.

Phyllis Diller Gone


Not necessarily the best comic, or the funniest, or even the most iconic comic, Phyllis Diller passed away at 95 years of age this morning.  Diller, she of electrified hair and shall we be kind, less than graceful curves, survived decades as the preeminent Rat Pack-era comic.  Self-depreciating, always skewering her fictional husband “Fang” and finding unique ways to let off her explosive laugh that could startle Mount Rushmore, Diller graced more roasts, stags, Vegas rooms, arenas, and local dives than there are whole numbers. 

When she started, there were no “Comedy Clubs” and very few stand-up comics were female.  Vegas was one of the few venues where a comic could hone their chops and she headlined for decades at all the classic places.  Of course she worked blue but didn’t work blue because she didn’t have talent, she worked blue from time to time because it was funny.  Her delivery was Old School, joke, punch line, joke, punch line.  There was never the pretension of art or trying to change the world with her ‘comedy stylings’  or unique observations.

Perhaps the quote from the AP story sums it up: 

“Don’t get me wrong, though,” she said in a 1982 interview that threatened to turn serious. “I’m a comic. I don’t deal with problems when I’m working.”

“I want people to laugh.”

She succeeded.

 

  

Mason Baveux Wraps Up The Olympics


We knew he wanted to…

Thanks lad for the chance to wrap up the Olys, so here’s givin ‘er.

Canada went through her Bronze Age this time with a whack of Bronzes, ‘cept for the Trampoline, what we won outright.  I didn’t know the trampoline was an Oly sport, as the only time else you see it is on America’s Funniest Home Videos when someone misses and jambs their nutsack on the springs.  Rowin and Soccer we did good at too.

Now havin watches a goodly amount of the Citius Altius Fortius go down I’se got a few thoughts.  One, NBC should b ashamed to show their faces.  They can get pictures from Mars in 14 minutes, but take six effin hours to get any events over to the US of A.  Second, we don’t care if the next door neighbours cousin of the gal who molded the bathing cap for the US Water Polo team captain is an triple amputee Iraqi war veteran with an artificial anus what was shot away.  If ya gotta stretch that far for some kinda story line, then dollars to donuts, there’s no effin story.  By the way, note to NBC, there were other countries at the Olys:  ‘Bout a couple of hundred of them.

China:  You could tell that all their athletes were performin under duress as the legal beagles would say.  One lad got the Silver in the divin and you could tell what he was thinkin’  “Fook.  They’re going to shoot my mom and pop and cut the fingers off my grandma ‘cause I didn’t go Gold.”  (‘Ceptin he thought it in Chineeses)  He’s probably not far from right either.  I wish China would let their athletes know that you are allowed to smile once a month, especially if you do something good.  Sort of reminded me of the Olys Of Old when there was a Soviet Union around.  None of them smiled either as they knew that the KGB would send them to Siberia to collect polar bear manure on an ice floe if they didn’t get the Gold. 

Some sports we never knew were sports were BMX bikin, Mountain bikin and Bein a Consular Puke.  Some countries athletes were outnumbered by their Chefs Du Missions and general cling-ons suckin on the Oly Teat.  I’s willing to bet they don’t stay at some one star flophouse neither.  Hot and Cold runnin champagne plus more room service silvous plait, I’m a friggin Oly Official Representative from Elbonia! 

As for the BMX and the Moutain Bikin events, they’re so messed up that even the commentators were dumbfounded.  The mountain bikers go up and down some track that would make a goat give up halfway through, then puke on international television after they cross the finish line.  The BMX’ers should all the tested for drugs as the only way any sane boy or girl would take on that sport would be if they were seein square out of one eye and round out of the other and the coaches promised them a bag of Doritos at the end of ‘er.

U-Bolt.  Jeezus Mary and Joseph he’s fast!  Is he the greatest of all time?  Eff no.  All he does is run fast.  I’d vote for any of the Decatheletes, what can jump over stuff, throw stuff, toss stuff and run nearly as fast, plus run fast over fences too. That’s much more impressive than any sprinter.

Oly Sports I’d Like to See:  Ditch almost all the sports what requires five judges assessin the ascendancy of the lithe athleticisms and deteminations of how much you got your pinky pointed in sync with the musical interpretation.  That’s not a sport, but just an opinion.  None of the judges could do it, so how the hell do they know?  They don’t, so s-can it.  Opinions are like arseholes:  Everybody’s got at least one.

Real sports are things us folks can do, but done way much more better.  Javelin I understand.  I can chuck a spear farther than you can, measure it up, longest throw gets the medal.  Same with runnin.  Clock says I’m faster than you are, so gimme the medal.  However, I’d like to see some scrappin during it too.  No lanes to stay in and you can use the elbows if you want.  Just remember that puttin the elbow to someone does slow you down a piece, so’s it wouldn’t get completely out of control.  That’d make the relay races more fun as you’re givin’em a length of hardwood dowell that’s about the right size and heft to cause some ruckus.

Fer the jumpin sports, I’d ditch the soft pit they land in.  Either put down a cottage sofa bed, or a bale of billiard balls.  You can jump as high as you’re willing to risk landing, which is what kids do all the time.  If theyd a had them cushy air mattresses when I was a kid, we wouldn’t have minded jumpin off the Wentzell’s garage roof near as much and might have even jumped out the second floor windows too. 

Discus?  Replace that thing with a garbage can lid.

Hammer Throw?  An Estwing 30 oz framing hammer would do just fine.  None of this windy-winder up.  Grab a hold and heave like you’re trying to brain that retard first year apprentice journeyman with the snotty attitude.

Kayak, canoe and rowing?  Didn’t see any beer around, so new rule, you gotta carry at least a two-four for every person in the boat.

Shotput?  Replace with a big rock, or to go all Winter-Summer Oly Fusion here, have them heave a curling stone. You don’t need anyone sweepin tho.

Bike sports can be reduced to one.  You got 15 miles, but you’ve got a courier bag and you gotta go through traffic from here to there at rush hour and you pick your own route.  First one what gets the package signed for, wins the gold.

Boxing, Judo, Taekwando?  All three at the same time and all the competitors at the same time by weight class.  Out here in the real world it’s called Saturday Night at the Mackey House Tavern.  Beer Optional, except cans only, as we don’t want to see someone get brained with a quart bottle by ‘accident’ on purpose.  Last guy or gal standing wins.

Soccer/Football. Leave it be, except make sure the refs are like the professional refs and don’t call penalties for anything less than packing a shank on the field.

Fencing.  Drop the mask and padding.  The only protection you get is a ping pong ball on the end of your opponent’s sword.  First one to cry Uncle loses, or bleeds to death.

Pistol:  Seems good to me, same with air pistol, except I’d like to see it done on the run with the other competitors shooting back at you from the target line.

Gymnastics:  I’m goin out on a limb here but I say shitcan it all, even though I watched a lot of it for research purposes for my thesis on Olympic Camel Toe Of History.  Same with synchronized swimming, synchronized diving and diving in general.  I’d leave one diving sport in and that’d be Cannonball.  Biggest splash wins from either 3 meter or 10 meter, or both.  We gotta have some games for those who are dimensionally challenged and the Cannonball would be great for the fat kids to develop some self-esteem, bein all inclusive and politically correct don’tcha know.

Runnin, I’d add a 100 meter Stolen Goods Dash, where the runners’d have to pick from a big screen TV or a dozen wine bottles to run with.  The runners get a 10 meter start, then the local cops start after them with the billy stick out.

Tennis and Badminton:  OK, she can stay in as one for the pansyasses.  Volleyball has to be done on a beach while half cut on the rum, not in some gymnasium. 

Sailing.  I’d say OK, but the beer rule has to stand.  One two-four per occupant, but give the little boats an edge.  Everyone gets a flare gun and six rounds you can use at your discretion.  You gotta have flares in a boat don’tcha know?

Archery:  Same as pistol, the competitors can shoot back from the target line.

Show Jumpin:  I can live with that, but not dressage.  I’d say add harness racin too. 

Ultimate Frisbee:  Not on my watch.  No effin’ way.

I’d add a few other new events too: 

Olympic Suitcase Toss.  You bring a suitcase with your own stuff in it.  Competitors choose bags at random and have to toss it onto a ramp and load it.  Fastest one to do the front hold on a two-holer 737-300 wins.  You could get tricky by packing a set of matched anvils, but so could your competitors, so’s its in your interests to play square, but it has to be your own, personal, stuff that you wear and would pack for a trip.  Here’s hoping that don’t include Swardowski Crystal napkin rings and wine goblets.

Beer Pong:  Self Explanatory and more fun than Ping Pong.

Bare-knuckle boxing.  Also bare-assed boxing.  No headgear, no gitch, no mouthguard.  Buck naked, bare fisted, belly to belly beat-down.  The naked part is to honour the Ancient Olympics and to keep someone from bringin a roll of quarters to the match. 

Rock-Scissors-Paper-Shot.  Rock-Scissors-Paper and the loser has to take a full 2 oz shot, which is why Crown Royal would be the perfect sponsor.

Go Fish or Crazy Eights.  Gotta have something for the kids.

Wake the Neighbours:  Held after hours in the Oly Village.  Using only your voice, garbage cans or a stick, get as many lights on as you can in 30 seconds at 0300 without pulling the fire alarm.

Chub Toss:  You get a full three-foot long, unsliced, chub of Schneider’s Bologna.  One who tosses it furthest, wins.  Or you could do a watermelon.

Draft Carry:  Most 64 oz jugs of draft carried a distance of 20 feet, with the least spillage.  It’s a critical skill to hone up on.

Roll Yer Own:  How many smokes can you roll in 60 seconds?

Belorussian Dip.  Same as the dunk tank from the carnival, but you take it in turns to either throw the ball or sit on the dunk chair.  Round-robin best of five.

Queue waiting:  This is one of the more passive Oly sports I’ve come up with.  They set up them strap corral veal pens what you wait in at the Bank or the MoT.  There’s only one clerk and the last person to lose their cool is the Gold medal winner.  It be more of an endurance event and no, you’re not allowed Depends or a catheter.

Doping:  Daveys talked about this afore and I concurr with his concept.  No doping rules at all.  The only rule is that the winner has to walk, unaided, alive, to the podiums to accept the medal.  This might mean we see lads runnin’ the 100 in 3 seconds, like a Porsche at the Stoplight Grand Prix.  As long as they can walk, unaided to get their medal after a bit, then it’s all good.  Odds are you’d see some North Korean burst into flames at the 60 meter mark, or just his heart busting out of his chest across the tape, but we let’em go as fast as the science and their bravery will let’em.

Lawn Darts:  Bring’em back.  The real ones, not the sissy ones.

Black Powder Anvil Shooting.  They do this down south in the USofA and use black powder to shoot real anvils into the sky.  Highest wins, but the degree of difficulty counts, as some of the competitors might be missing a few fingers or toes from unfortunate training mishaps.

That’s my take on the Olys.  They’re going to Rio next?

Landing Elsewhere


For those who follow such things, the next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, has landed successfully on Mars.  It touched down early this morning after some remarkable robotic manoeuvring at 1:32 AM, ET.  The rover is designed to search for evidence of water, fossil and microbial life on another planet, specifically Mars, as a way of finding out how we got here and survived on Earth, by examining how the process works someplace else.  The reason NASA is doing this is summed up in the name of the craft:  Curiosity.

It seems that by our essential nature, humans are curious about things.  After the first of us heaved up out of the swamp, one blob (likely named Stevie) decided he wanted to see what was behind that twig over there and slithered his pseudopodia in the general direction of “over there”.  Upon reaching “over there” called out to his buddies and said “Lookit that!  More twigs!, Wooohoo!”  Gord and Maureen slithered over, gasping in the “air” and said “Shit, that’s cool.  I wonder if there’s more over there”

Ever since, we’ve been looking over the next hill, or up the next tree to find something to eat, to get out of the rain, or someplace comfy to do some Old-Tyme reproduction, which is also an essential human nature.  We have of course evolved a bit since Gord, Stevie and Maureen on the edge of a swamp.  

You can see elemental curiosity in simple creatures.  Put a new bubbling deep-sea diver toy in a tank of goldfish and just about every fish will glide over to check it out.  It’s new, it doesn’t taste like food, it makes funny noises and it doesn’t seem to want to eat me, so it must be OK. Then, they ignore it for the rest of their lives.  But there are always one or two fish that seem to like to play with it, dodging in and out of the bubbles, bumping into it for hours on end to provoke some kind of hopeful reaction from an inert $2 aquarium bubbler named Made In China.  There isn’t a lot of scientific rigour involved in their testing, as they are fish after all, but the elemental curiosity is fully present.

Mathematically, using the science of Big Numbers, we’re not alone in what we know of the Universe, as the probability of other planets sustaining human-type life is high enough to be plausible, but still quite small.  Until they show up on our doorstep, clutching Altarian Pobble-Beads wanting to buy all the “I Love Lucy” DVD’s we’ve got around, we will never know.  Parenthetically, the scene with Ethel and Lucy at the Candy Factory is considered high religious art with certain alien life forms.  This is no weirder than France considering Jerry Lewis to be as talented, inventive or funny as Jacque Tati and Charlie Chaplin.

Which brings us back to our essential curiosity and Curiosity on Mars.  What is over that rock?  Are there fossils of a Martian Stevie, Gord and Maureen who slithered a bit too far away from the swamp and fell to their death over a two kilometre cliff, a plaintive “Oh Shit!” faintly echoing across the verdant Martian canyon? 

If there is some kind of evidence and we find it, then the second stage or curiosity will kick in:  What do we do about it?  Can we eat it?  Does it want to eat us?  Can we get in out of the rain under it?  Can we mate near it in relative comfort, safety and shelter?  Woohooo!

Curiosity has merely taken one of our elemental human traits, mechanized it and sent it on ahead of the rest of us.