Modest Proposals

Thawing out the Neanderthals

January 27, 2013

 

It seems to me that born-again Neanderthals would have a pretty strong case against the entire human race. Many ethnic groups complain about oppression—some with reason—but they’re still here. We made Neanderthals extinct. That’s as bad as it gets. They’ll want reparations from everybody, or at least from everyone goofy enough to feel guilty about things their great-to-the-thousandth-power-grandfather may have done, which must include most Americans. Clearly, we’ll have to let them build casinos. Neanderthal gaming! I know that “Hard Rock” is a bit obvious, but themes bring in customers. 

Neanderthals might not be up to performing key management functions such as skimming and paying off politicians, but they would certainly make excellent bouncers.

Most important, those casinos, and the legal maneuvering leading up to them, would enrich innumerable grifters—which is the point, as always. 

I’m not sure that the French would buy into this, since they’re pretty hard-nosed, but France used to be Neanderthal territory. They ought to be able to spare a few châteaux in the Dordogne. 

After the initial excitement waned, Neanderthals would still be around. Lots of them, if Church has his way. There would be Neanderthal neighborhoods and Neanderthal restaurants. You may want to think twice about sampling Neanderthal cuisine, because they seem to have a taste for cannibalism. In one of the most famous Neanderthal archeological sites, every single bone had been split open for marrow. 
 
Once we got used to them, Neanderthals would probably show up as a standard type in pop culture, along with guidos, trailer trash, gay best friends, and inscrutable Asians plotting world domination. But what would that type be? Right now the stereotype is that Neanderthals are dumb, but that’s not based on anything. Maybe Neanderthals will turn out to be down-to-earth guys with common sense. That’s certainly an empty niche. 

Perhaps most importantly, how would they vote? It’s hard to tell, because the indicators point in different directions. They’re European, so they should be socialists. On the other hand, they like to rip people’s arms off. On the whole, Karl Rove ought to favor an influx of Neanderthals, because they might vote Republican, which is more than you can say for any existing wave of immigrants. 

You can’t get the show on the road without first finding that extremely adventurous human female, but that shouldn’t be all that difficult. I doubt if you’d even have to give her any money. The book deal will pay for it all. 

 

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