Thursday, January 31, 2008

[splendid isolation] who needs to be human


Demands comment:

One: How can any person take a machete to another human being—whose only transgression might be his race, or his nationality, or his tribe, or his religion— and not be plagued with guilt and agony over the taking of that life? I can't understand it. I can't put myself in their shoes. The enormity of what I'd done would destroy me, and I could not live with myself.

Lost in the mob, the mob mentality, welcome evil - take your place in our hearts and give us our vital spark. Lt. General James N. Mattis, February 1st, 2005:

"Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot. . . . It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. . . . You go into Afghanistan; you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Two: I am not consciously seeking to discover these linkages. When they reveal themselves I sit back, dumbfounded at the beauty and intricacy with which the unraveled had been originally woven. So too have I come to believe that there is no autonomy. No originality. We build on what has been.

We're not isolated from the rest of the world and yet, even walking amongst them, we can be brain dead:

Three: The people I met there seemed to always be shopping or sitting on benches earning money, for doing nothing. Apart from a group of horse-people (I later guessed I had been talking to a group of 13 year-old girls into horse riding) and a kind chap who gave me a free gun, little conversation was to be had.

Will I go back into Second Life? Not unless someone I know goes too. Otherwise it's a waste of time and utterly mind numbing. Without 'Linden Dollars' you can do very little except roam the streets and buildings as though you are the last person alive on Earth.

Think. Feel.

The day we're satisfied with a life of acquisitive routine, punctuated by holidays abroad in tourist centres, we cease to be human. The day we become the mob, we've become automatons.

Are we automatons? A check list - if for us, it's more:

Sex, not love;

Revenge, not forgiveness;

Ego scaffolding, not humility;

Pride, not pleasure in achievement;

Cold cyberworlds, not forest and river;

Pleasure seeking, not pleasure in others' pleasure;

Expensive houses and furnishings, not beautiful homes;

Knee jerk reactions and cliches, not thinking something through;

... then chances are we're well on the way to becoming a global, bourgeois automaton. Not that there's anything wrong in this - every film cast needs it's thousands of extras, after all. Hey, let's get passionate here, for crying out loud! As Warren Zevon puts it:

I'd like to go back to Paris someday and visit the Louvre Museum
Get a good running start and hurl myself at the wall
Going to hurl myself against the wall
'Cause I'd rather feel bad than feel nothing at all

The clip below is the man who isolates himself from humanity as distinct from the one who loses himself in the mob, both just as bad. First, a portion of the lyrics:

Michael Jackson in Disneyland
Don't have to share it with nobody else
Lock the gates, Goofy, take my hand
And lead me through the World of Self

Splendid Isolation
I don't need no one
Splendid Isolation

By the way, there's everything in here - the direness of American talkshow TV, compressed into "slots", book-ended with "comedy" and Mickey Mouse, the dated and a bit dorky session musos who are still excellent musos, a fun interview with Letterman and in the middle of it all, observing it all going down - the flawed homo sapiens himself:


1 comment:

UBERMOUTH said...

I agree with all except;
'Revenge, not forgiveness'
Why does there have to exist either...simply walk away. Some people ,like the machete wielders don't deserve forgiveness.

Some use other weapons.