We think we’re so great, don’t we? The human race, that is.
Behold our mighty monuments! Gaze in wonder upon the impressive structures we’ve built! Check out all them there internal combustion vee-hickles cruising up and down the highways and byways we’ve carved into the lands we’ve bravely conquered!
We’re so unique among animals, so intelligent. Big brains, big ideas, dominion over all the creatures of the earth, etc etc etc.
I was looking at my dogs the other day and I thought, You know, I’ve had five of this same breed of dog and not a one of them has been anything like any of the others.
They’ve all had completely unique personalities. Intelligent/dumb, selfless/selfish, aggressive/docile, perceptive/oblivious, stubborn/obedient… all sweet, but in different ways, and I love/loved them all dearly. There’s nuance and depth to a dog’s personality. Get a group of them together and they’ll establish some sort of hierarchy, given enough time. It’s not as complicated as whatever it is we’ve got going on as human beings, but the principle is much the same. We’re predisposed to being certain ways, and we typically become products of our respective environments. Just like dogs.
Ever watch nature shows about gorillas? Holy cow, look at all the stuff they do. It’s like dogs times ten because they can walk upright and have opposable thumbs and they have advanced enough brains to perform fairly complex tasks, but they also fling poop at each other.
You’ve got all these different personalities residing within any given gorilla community, and they all settle into their roles, if they know what’s good for them. They let the dominant, aggressive gorillas run the show while the rest just kind of do their thing and do what they’re told.
Much like us, really. And while we don’t fling poop–I mean, I guess some of us do–we fling plenty of other things at each other, both literally and figuratively.
We run around like busy little ants, the ones carrying those little white things in and out of the little cites they work so hard constructing, the ones we casually kick over just because we can. We think what we’re doing is so important, and so meaningful… I’m sure ants think that, too.
We’re growing by leaps and bounds technologically, and we’ve got all of our little devices and all of our stuff, but to what end? What’s the finish line we’re racing for, here? We can zoom inside of a pore on an actor’s face on our favorite TV show with our higher-definition-than-real-life screens, but we can’t figure out how to put all we’ve achieved into truly improving ourselves, because that’s not what we prioritize. We prioritize entertainment and instant gratification above all. I’ve seen a technological paradigm shift in my short lifetime, and we have all the stuff…but we can’t figure out how to use all of that to alleviate suffering and sickness and starvation. And if it can, it costs more money than anyone can afford.
I often see junky-ass cars with shiny new rims or expensive stereo equipment stickers on the back window(Lets thieves know which car to jack), and I’m like, “Hello, priorities?” I mean they can do what they want, I don’t care, but it speaks volumes about the human mindset and how we prioritize things. We’re more concerned with having things for showing off than for functionality and practical use.
“Hurry up and be miserable!” That seems to be the goal. “Accumulate stuff so you can impress the other gorillas with the home theater system in your ape cave! And then die.” Of course, at that point you become worm food and no one will remember you in 100 years. You’re a name and a number in a file cabinet or on a hard drive.
Are we advancing as people towards a better world? A great deal of us still behave and think like cavemen. Is all the irrational bickering between people just growing pains?
The Star Trek fan in me(and that makes up at least 52% of my personality, 52.3273333472.6 to be precise🖖🏻) is rooting for a positive future. I’ll never see it, but that’s ok. We live in turbulent, interesting times, the likes of which have come and gone and been buried and forgotten a thousand times over. Great Empires fall, eventually. American will fall. And so what? That’s just life. All this shit, right now? It’s not as important as we think it is. Imagine if ancient Romans had Twitter, and we could read their tweets now, all kinds of political bickering and whatnot. We’d be like “What? You guys are just like, some pillars sticking up out of the ground someplace, a footnote. A pizza mascot.”
Whatever is shitty now, it shall pass. Some other shit will come along and replace it, and it’ll be all shiny and new for awhile until we leave it out in the yard in the rain all the time like rednecks and rust it all up.
Still, hopeless odds don’t deter us. And we have something animals don’t; the ability to express ideas creatively…
I’m listening to this podcast called American History Tellers, which is a great podcast that really brings history to life from a well-rounded and objective perspective, and the Prohibition season that I’m currently on is a strong reminder that we’ve always been this dumb. I find that strangely reassuring. We’re not getting dumber, we’re just as dumb, but we’ve found new ways to express it. It’s what we do.
Sure, we’re superior to the animal kingdom, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we aren’t fools who return to our folly over and over and over again, as the dog returns to its vomit. All you have to do is stop look around at people’s stupid, scared ape faces, and just imagine the maelstrom of sheer BULLSHIT and confusion taking place inside their tiny little heads. We think we’re so fuckin’ great. Such a big fuckin’ deal. We aren’t. We’re baffled by tribes of people in remote places, people who choose to remain primitive and simple, and we think something must be wrong with them because they don’t want any part of our traffic jams, our constant flow of info about which celebrity is fucking which other celebrity, our outlandishly expensive vampiric healthcare industry, our bills and taxes and paperwork and computers and politics and Prozac and and Xanax and the endless uniform rows of tiny boxes we construct for ourselves to live in… They’d probably look at us and think we’re slaves. If they had TV, they might compare us to cavemen assimilated by the Borg. That’s pretty much what we predominantly are; a lot of of stupid fucking slack-jawed idiots who are slaves to the technology we’ve created and to the corporate behemoths who hold the keys to that technology and dole it out as they see fit.
And maybe we are, slaves, but those primitive savage idiots just want to hunt and fish and eat and party and fuck and smoke weed in paradise. Ha! Suckers. I’m so glad we’re so important and have it all figured out. We’re so civilized.