Yeah, so I ripped that title off of a 4 year old nu-metal album. Sue me.
This post isn’t the standard fair of mocking whatever I find dumb (and leaving plenty of holes in the argument while doing so; see previous rant for a shining example). It’s not a shitty daily analysis blog post, nor is it a political rant.
So what the bloody hell is it, you ask? Read on…
People have this wonderful ability to shut themselves off from reality. And while it’s fun for short periods of time, living your life while doing so is a horrible waste. These are the people who ask “why do we have to fight?” during wartime, in some pitiful attempt to sound deep and thought provoking. They’re the ones who cry in horror when tragedy strikes, like it was something unfathomable. They’re the ones who refuse to entertain the thought of any of the less desirable things in life, and they’re the ones who turn to religion, astrology, or any number of crap ways to find meaning.
Then there’s the opposite: Those who don’t turn to overbearing father-figure for answers (which people who do don’t get anyways, but seem to enjoy pretending to), who aren’t affected in the least by the pain and suffering of the world despite paying attention to it, and who are more likely to think of something wretched than of something good.
Being a part of the latter I’d love to think it’s better, and I do, for the most part. But at a certain point you begin to wonder if it’s healthy. I think it depends on the person, so let’s take me as an example: I began to disown my religion (Christianity; could be worse I guess, at least I wasn’t raised Mormon) around 14, and I saw my first picture of real, graphic violence when I was about the same age. I saw more in the week following (by my own consent, and not that of some jackass in a comp lab), and it shocked me. I think that was the last time I ever felt “shook up” by something… Three years later, in the spring of last year, one of my friends (Keith; there, happy?) who frequents totse discovered gore videos. It was a post that pretty much listed off links to the most horrible things you can think of: Impalement, animal cruelty, children being destroyed in Africa, shootings, cooked babies (ok, some of these were fake) and finally, beheadings. After about a day of damn near begging me to watch one of the beheadings, I finally did. It shows, from start to end, the decapitation of a Russian prisoner by a group of Chechyen rebels. And my reaction? Hmm, looks like an animal being slaughtered. That, and “oh, so blood doesn’t so much shoot out of the neck as it ‘flows’ from it” (that would be the filmmaker part of my brain). After watching it all a couple more times, I worked up the courage to download the other one a couple weeks later. It had sound. Actually, it’s probably one of the more infamous clips on the internet… Same principal as the other, except it’s shorter, the camera is much closer (No more than 3 feet from the face), the man being killed is at most 25 years old, and you can hear him screaming as the knife goes in and cuts its way out. Nothing. No psychological effect. At least other than “Ouch.”
At this point you might be questioning me as a person, and I really wouldn’t blame you. I’ve watched countless videos like that since out of sheer fascination over the transition from life to death, and the fact that people actually record it. I realize it can’t compare to actually standing there, seeing somebody you’ve known for years die while screaming in vein and I wouldn’t want it to, but it’s much closer than having never seen death at all. And for all that, I’ve learned a couple of things: One, I’m never, ever visiting any 3rd world former Soviet Union countries, and two, that desensitization is a handy thing to give yourself. It let’s you focus on the real issues, rather than running about in the chaos.
So which is healthier? It doesn’t matter. I’d rather see the world for what it is than lying to myself, saying all can be fixed in time. Why do we fight? Because we’re flawed. Humanity is the definition of imperfection. No matter how good things get, there’s always that darker side that never goes away. I’ll think about what a person will look like after a bomb explodes, what they’d sound like as they’re being decapitated, etc. for the rest of my life, and I accept it. It makes life that much more interesting.
Dwelling on the bad things isn’t any way of going about your business, no. And I don’t pretend to always be thinking of this crap (I’m not a fucking emo kid; not that it matters, as most of them can’t grasp anything bad outside of their own miserable suburban life anyways). But you shouldn’t shun it, either, because sooner or later something terrible will happen and you won’t be able to cope.
And with that, this ridiculously long, semi-self-analytical post comes to an end. I know deeply uplifting posts like this always brighten people’s day, but I’ll try to refrain from making any more like it. Too much thinking.