We are animals. And I don’t mean that in the derogatory way it is usually meant. I mean literally, humans are animals. We are mammals. We have live births and we produce milk with which we feed our young.
As animals, it is our biological imperative to breed and provide what resources we can for our young to be bigger and stronger than the other animals so they have a good chance at survival.
As a species, humans have been (arguably) the most successful at this endeavor. So much so that our success is now getting in the way of our survival.
We have made most of society too safe.
Deep within our brains are areas solely responsible for recognizing danger and responding to it. It wasn’t going to do our ancestors much good to ignore that rustling in the bushes because it was probably a saber tooth tiger about to pounce.
This danger-Will-Robinson-gene was responsible for our gathering into families, clans, cities, states, nations. So we might have an “us” to help us with “them” because they might mean us harm. They might want our prime hunting areas. They might want to bash our brains out and take our women.
And in these times, that gene is way under used. We meander through our days, completely bored in the fact that we are so safe. There certainly will not be a wildebeest around the next corner intent on protecting its young from you, the hunting human.
This is why we love roller coasters and horror movies. They excite that little used portion of our brain and give us a sense of satisfaction of having faced “danger” and lived. All those awesome little endorphins get all riled up.
The problem with endorphins though, is that they are a little addictive. Ask runners and other athletes who miss a few days of their favorite activity; they begin to feel the pangs of withdrawal.
And our society in general is doing the same thing these days with manufactured crises. The liberals are going to outlaw Bibles! Zing! There go those endorphins.
Coming down is a bitch, so…The gays are going to get married in your church!
Terrorists are going to attack at any moment!
(Sorry, but it cracks me up that people in east no-where middle America are more worried about a terrorist blowing them up than they are about getting into a car and driving over the speed limit while talking on a cell phone, which is a more immediate threat to their lives.)
Mexicans are coming to take your jobs and kill you in car wrecks!
The Christian right is going to force you to believe in their God!
Even our news-ertainment is getting in on the act. Discussion and debate are meaningless, mindless, mean pits of our side vs. their side. We cheer when “our” side gets a “hit”. We make excuses when “our” side is found holding a penalty flag.
Not that there is anything wrong with thrill seeking. But we need to return it to the realm of amusement parks, movie houses and athletics.
It has no place in American politics because it is ultimately meaningless. It doesn’t move us forward. We are stuck in a pit of name calling and faux-hysteria. And the people in power, the people at the top of the money pile continue to do whatever they want (which, because they are animals intent on their survival, is what is best for them, not us).
Those with power and money amass more power and money while the middle class disappears in a storm of name calling and finger pointing.
Thor sez: If I had a thumb, oh, the things I'd write about you humans embarrassing the rest of us "animals"!