Symbionts or reciprocal parasites with a prenup?

Posted on by Guy Fox and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Recently in the woodlands of central America, a new plant arose from the primedial ooze. Aristotelian taxonomy has dubbed it a Kardashian, though the Latin designation is pending identification of its genus. Research continues, but many interesting facts about the Kardashian’s lifecycle, habitat, and reproduction habits have already been gleaned from indirect observation.

At first it appeared that the Kardashian was being consumed by various species of herbivorous lice known as mediaphids, including the Peepelma-gazien, various species of TMZ and the voracious Huffington’s Postars. These insatiable creatures would consume ever greater quantities of the Kardashian’s tissues, leading to the hypothesis that these were parasitic organisms that would inevitably destroy the Kardashian. Longer term study revealed, however, that the Kardashian added mass greater than the quantity consumed. Despite being relentlessly devoured, the Kardashian was growing.

This unexpected result inspired attempts to study the ‘parasites’ and how they relate to the Kardashian. It was discovered that the mediaphids themselves were dependent on a further species of insect that, because of the swarm-like behaviour of its members, has simply been given the collective noun of audience. As the mediaphids consume the Kardashian, they secrete a sticky substance facetiously denotated content. Audience consumes the content, and much to the observers’ surprise, actually pollinate the Kardashian with their frequent passage along different organs of the plant. Further, the audience’s excrement, technically known as either clicks or ratings, fertilize the plant and promote its growth. So the Kardashian must continue growing to attract the mediaphids, because the mediaphids attract audience with their secretions, and audience provides the necessary conditions for Kardashian’s growth and reproduction.

Recently, however, observers noticed a peculiar change in the Kardashian. Whereas its tissue could generally be described as light and slightly gelatinous, it has recently become more dense and fibrous. Naturally, it was expected that this represented some form of pathology in the Kardashian and that the mediaphids, with the audience soon to follow, would abandon the Kardashian, leading to the plant’s death. Instead, there was an explosion of content secreted by the mediaphids, and audience activity reached a new peak as well. Upon further study, it was discovered that, just as exhausted fields require crop rotation, audience periodically requires a slightly different combination of nutrients from its content. Thus, if the mediaphids fail to produce the required content, audience will abandon them, leaving them to succumb to the overabundance of their own secretions. And because mediaphids can only metabolize the raw material of the Kardashian within certain limited bounds, the Kardashian itself must alter its tissue structure to allow the mediaphids to produce the content desired by audience. Far from a pathology of the Kardashian, the new tissue structure seems, in fact, to be an evolutionary adaption to preserve the symbiosis in perpetuity! Such rapid change of internal structure to environmental conditions had hitherto only been observed in slime moulds. Excelsior!

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4 Responses to Symbionts or reciprocal parasites with a prenup?

  1. max says:

    You know a little bit too much about this “explosion of content” for my taste. All of this spoils from the OJ trial.

  2. Red says:

    I liked what you did with this story. You took a risk with the whole ‘Kardashian as new species’ thing, and it paid off. You do a pretty good job of connecting the story with the metaphor.

  3. Sfon says:

    This sounds like a bunch of in-jokes by and for those in denial about being obsessed with a celebrity. This seems to have become a thing.

    “Hey, did you hear how silly some celebrity/book/whatever is?”
    “I have, how could anyone be interested in such garbage? We are so smart.”
    “Indeed, now let us discuss/promote it more than its fans do.”

    If I am wrong and this Kim is totally a big deal I should know about, then just ignore me. Please don’t try to tell me who she is and why I should feel a certain way about her.

    • AdamSaleh1987 says:

      You know how I feel about her? She is insanely hot and it wearing a sexy Halloween costume. I want to have sex with her on a regular basis. That’s about as far as it goes.