Thursday, 18 April 2013

Self-Destruct Button

Do we even WANT to be civilized?

Civilized means being well-behaved, punctual, polite, consistent, unemotional and useful. But in all of the media and fiction we consume, we're always chasing for that certain something that makes us lose control of our emotions. We seek to blow off carefully structured activity for mindless, random wanderlust. We want what will make us feel like a kid again, young and out of control. We seek to shed a tear, to pump our fist in unexpected victory, to loathe the bad guy's guts and to praise the hero. To praise ourselves.

We go to the Superbowl for the chance to feel that unbelievable joy wash over us, when Our Team wins and  Their Team loses. We read books to feel the gut-wrenching pain of the protagonist's failures, and to revel in his overcoming his obstacles. We listen to music, play video games, watch movies and tv, and read books in the hope that it will awaken something primal in us. Because that's the one thing civilization doesn't have to offer.

Maybe the hijacking of culture by shallow style over substance, shock-drama and reality tv isn't out of greed.  Maybe it's not that we, as a society want to be children. Maybe we want to be apes. Maybe it's not that being an adult was harder than we wanted it to be; maybe being human is too much for us to handle. 

Do you ever get the feeling that our species is frantically looking for its' self-destruct button?



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