chainsaw_header“How often do we wish or dream to fly, never taking into consideration our capacity to land?” ~ Chainsaw (sometime yesterday)

It’s pretty well safe to assume that everyone, at some point in time or another, has expressed or considered a desire to take flight. Not through any conventional or mechanically assisted means, but rather to simply take off of their own accord. For the potential to travel, a longing for the experience, for the sake of feeling special or a desperate need to escape.

Regardless of the reason, many of us, in our youth (and a few in drunken adulthood), have made attempts to make that dream a reality, often utilizing ideas inspired by films and television. Bath-towel capes, a parent’s umbrella or wings fabricated from cardboard, wood or Styrofoam. Efforts usually met with catastrophically disappointing results. But what if they hadn’t been? What if there was a way to fly?

Let’s go right ahead and disregard “floating”. Oh sure it’d be neato-mosquito and a great party trick. But without some means of propulsion there’s nowhere to go but up. That sounds like a great, positive lifestyle-coaching visual… until you reach space… and die.

We’ll go ahead and rule out the Superman method as well. “Leaping tall buildings in a single bound”, as the result of an aversion to Earth’s gravity and really, really strong leg muscles seems comic-book plausible. But to hop right off the planet’s surface and take controlled flight? Sorry super-fans, there is no amount of science to resolve that. (Super-fans: please do not send me science on this).

Along those lines let’s put the kibosh on telekinetic (mind controlled) flight. As well as any and all magical and fantasy based methods. We’re looking for something simple, basic and physical that’s more scientifically, and reality, grounded to get us off the ground. Something along the lines of — what if humans had wings?

Well they’d certainly be very decorative — clipped, dyed and pierced wings would be all the rage. Other than that they’d be ultimately utterly useless. Yes, we could have wings big enough to lift our human bodies, but then you’d have to make the wings bigger to accommodate the weight of the wings. In making them bigger, you’d have to make them even bigger to handle the new wing weight, adding more weight, and to infinity and beyond we go. So sadly, in our current state of being, human beings cannot take to wing. But what if… what if we had evolved or been originally created with the capacity to fly?

What if we were born with hollow bones, plumes of feathers for hair, and long spindly bird legs? Would we have arms or would our arms be wings? Would we be humans of prey? Bat-like or bird like? Would bat versus bird be the setting for race? Or would we all appear angelic… aside from our chicken legs? Final stage of evolution notwithstanding, try to imagine how different our world would truly be if flight had never presented a challenge.

Considering that most of man’s inventive progress was terrain based, would we have even ever considered the wheel? Would there be modes of ground transport at all? No more traffic on that daily commute.

Would space travel be more or less appealing? Would front doors be on rooftops or houses in treetops? Would chairs have backs? Bathrooms could become…interesting: would we stoop to poop? Sleep standing up or perched? Security fences would become domes and borders impossible. Would we live constrained at all or migrate en masse with the change of season?

Would the handicapped or those born wingless become a separate species? Or, would we have discovered/invented aided flight and hover-conversion sooner to accommodate them? Would we go to war with the grounded or keep fighting each other?

Consider how it would affect religious beliefs, social class, competitive sports and the fast food industry. The “what if…?” and “would there…?” list become endless. In truth, in all its complexities, an avian society, as it would exist today, is virtually unfathomable unless it already did. In the sense that everything we know as human beings would no longer apply. Thus, we close with the only surely plausible question that would arise in human/aviary evolution, “If we could fly — what would we dream about then?”

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.