Re: A Conserved Role for Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Mediating Social Behavior in Octopus, by Spangle McQueen

Just think about an octopus –
an intelligence alien
to us humans.

Just think about an octopus –
free at the bottom of
the sea

sculpting
a world from
clam and scallop shells.

Just think about octopuses
you have seen on
YouTube.  

Google it –
Octopus Escapes
from a tank

from a jar
from a boat
through a

small hole.

Think of an octopus.
Let’s call them
Inky.

Think of a scientist
Who gave MDMA
(Ecstasy)

to Inky and six other octopodes
because she wanted to analyse
the octopus genome,

mess with its chemistry.
Her scientific paper
omits to discuss whether Inky

freaked out. Science
doesn’t anthropomorphise.
But anecdotally – yes!

Inky acted like they took
Ecstasy. Inky skimmed
around with outstretched arms

like a sub-aquatic
ballerina. Another
octopus did flips.

They showed especial
interest in minor sounds
and smells.

The scientist confesses
at first they overdosed
the cephalopods

accidentally

so they turned
white
and breathed
erratically.

But the data evidences
the evolutionary
conservation of

serotonergic signalling
in the regulation of
social behaviors.

Just think about the scientist-
whose purpose it is to experiment
on octopuses
with psychoactive substances.

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If you’ve been gassed, by Spangle McQueen

This will not be brutal
but
if you’ve been gassed
you may experience
burning
in your eyes, nose, mouth
and skin.
You may experience
blurring
of your vision.

This will not be brutal
but
if you’ve been gassed
you may experience
breathing
difficulties and
coughing.
You may experience
raging feelings
from pepper spray
exposure.

Intense anger is a common response.

This will not be brutal
but
if you’ve been gassed
you may experience
confusion, disorientation
and panic.
But do not panic.
The effects of tear gas and pepper spray
are temporary,
not life-threatening
unless you’re vulnerable –
a child
or elderly
or immunocompromised.
If you’re pregnant
you may be at risk of spontaneous abortion.
If you’re a nursing mother
you may be at risk of passing toxins
onto your infant.
Contact lenses may fuse to eyes
And cause blindness.

But this will not be brutal.

You may wish to avoid being gassed.
But please be aware
Police abuse is unpredictable
and avoidance is not always possible.

If you are at risk of being gassed
a gas mask might be best
but please be aware
tho’ gas masks work best
they can look intimidating
and make us targets of police
violence.

So, think carefully about your
impact on others
when you decide how to protect yourself.
And remember
this will not be brutal.