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San Francisco Journalcon photos
A Friday after work photo

November 2nd, 2002

And That's It
A beautiful day. The sun is out, but there's just enough nip to need a light jacket. This is an old Seattle boy talking where summers were never that warm and winters were never that cold, but it rained, you understand, it rained. With the family coming from Iceland that was probably good. They've discovered pale skin works better in low light climates. If you're too light skinned and you live here where the sun really shines you don't produce the internal chemical balance required to fly right and make more babies.

If I'd had kids it would have been a good idea if their skin had been darker. Lighter kids in aA Friday after work photo bright climate won't have as many kids as their peers because they're more amenable to disease and the line will peter out. The old world worked fine when people spent their entire existence in a single town. It's more problematic when two hundred bucks will fly you over an ocean. (I'm not complaining, you understand. California is nice. The lack of children, well, it seems a reasonable price.) Check out the skin of the locals, though. I mean the real locals. That's the kind of skin you need to survive. I'm not sure what shade works best here in Oakland. Have to go to a casino to find out. If your kids don't have skin that matches, you'd better move along or find a different shade of mate. Blending may not only be beautiful, but necessary. Only the blended will survive.

So how did that start? Over breakfast, reading the paper, I came across an opinion piece advocating an Iraqi invasion. And it had some reasonably cool, solid thoughts. And (as an aside) if we invade Iraq, please let this son of a bitch be right because I don't believe a word of it. I was turning this over as I was walking back, thinking this, thinking that, nodding to the ladies as we passed.

So, I got home, sat down and wrote about bright light and dark skin. How does that relate? Just thinking "skin color" puts most of us on alert. Who is this guy? What's he talking about? And why? Haven't the vaguest idea. The story was in Science News, a weekly science magazine. They found the reason people have different colors of skin is to optimize the presence of a particular B vitamin. Women are on average 4% lighter than males in the same region because that slight lightening allows them to create additional calcium needed in bearing children. Over time people with the right skin color for that specific region will tend to have more children and those that don't, won't. So, if you're in a hot country with a lot of light, you need darker skin. If you live out in the tundra, you need lighter skin. It's also probably best to be crazy (the tundra business). And that's it.

The photographs were taken at Harrington's in San Francisco.