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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison


There has been much discussion in the British press about devolution. But what is it, and what are its consequences for ordinary people?

Devolution is often associated with political decentralisation, although, of course, this is not its fundamental objective. The movement arose from dissatisfaction with the uncontrolled pace of change in modern society and its associated stresses. When linked with civil rights, the challenge of devolution was finally formulated into the question: ‘Why do we have to keep evolving?’. The devolution, or anti-evolution, movement was thus born.

Its development can be traced in three spheres: cultural, intellectual, and physical. The ‘Retro movement’ is a good example of the first, with the re-emergence of designs from the nineteen-sixties or even earlier. Anamatronics and embalming techniques have allowed continued concerts by long dead musicians such as the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Genesis, Slade and the like. Many people still fail to realise that all members of such bands had died of drink and drug overdoses by the end of the nineteen-seventies. This is with the exception of Cliff Richard, of course, who was struck by lightning in nineteen-eighty-one, God having finally had enough.

Great strides in cultural devolution have also been made by soccer supporters clubs. They have firmly established a level of tribalism estimated to be commensurate with that at the time of Stonehenge. Some clubs are even beginning to experiment with hunter-gathering.

Fundamentalist and evangelical churches have led intellectual devolution. Leaders and followers alike have tenaciously resisted the theological and philosophical advances of the past few hundred years to maintain their intellectual presence firmly in the twelfth century. In their communities, creationism has emphatically defeated Darwinian evolution and the heresy that the Earth revolves around the Sun is being decisively challenged to the delight of the Pope.

The major breakthrough in physical devolution came with the ability of scientists to alter the genetic material of living individuals to transform them into earlier hominids. Many people volunteered for conversion to Homo Errectus, although large numbers of the gay community withdrew when their misunderstanding was explained.

Early hominid lifestyles have become very fashionable, of course, even amongst those who prefer not to commit to genetic modification. These people are, however, looked down upon by true genetic converts - mainly because the latter live higher in the trees.

Middle class assumption of hominid lifestyles has led to a degree of competition. Bigger trees are prized, and additional branches are frequently added after Sunday morning raids on garden centres.

Scottish devolution continues to cause conflict due to the desire of the Scots to replace the English monarch with their own choice. Assaults are reported daily on contractors reconstructing the defences of Hadrian’s wall. These attacks being perpetrated by bearded Scots in kilts waving bagpipes and cudgels, and screaming ‘This’s fer Culloden!’.

The ultimate aim of the devolution movement, however, is for all to dissociate into amino acids in a primeval soup - free of consciousness and totally free of stress.