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Man, the missing link between ape and human being.
Relax, sit down, have a cookie.
Solutions? When it comes to humanity and the "Human Condition" truthfully, there is no hope related to, well, anything. In regard to mankind (Man, the missing link between ape and human being), just remember, in the words of the late great George Carlin, "We're all fucked, it helps to remember that." Pretty sparkling advice. That includes me, you and every other ego-covered skeleton you see clanking down the sidewalk. (Full of nothing, but full of pride.)
Hope, hope, hope, hope, always with the fuckin' hope. Hope isn't audacious, it's just another one of our delusions, hope is a fantasy, hope is for pussies, hope itself is cowardice. (A refusal to face and accept reality.) Otiosity metastasized. Stage four. Beyond chemo and radiation.
You see, the real Faustian bargain humanity made with itself was that it would always live in both hope and illusion. Reality was so jagged, like a broken bottle in a back-alley Detroit bar fight that we didn't want any part of it. It all initially seemed innocuous enough, one supposes. Fill our lives with the agreed upon hopes and lies, what we prefer to be true, and so what? Anodynes to assuage the awfulness of adulthood. And so, like master craftsmen, we set about building our own individual dream worlds. Everything we believe and act upon in our lives is part of this great Faustian bargain.
But alas, these illusions are not value neutral. In fact, they're downright poisonous. Mental equivalents of the flesh-eating disease. By shielding us from the unpleasantness of reality they serve and conspire to keep us weak, wee little tater tots. Our creativity, our abilities to think and stand on our own two feet are torn asunder. In fact, what is the prime directive of the biggest offender, religion? "Down, down I say on your weak, feeble, little bony knees. You are flawed, weak, sinning, pretty damn stinky, in need of salvation, in need of a fix." This only conspires to keep people infantile. Yes, in the short term it dulls the inevitable agonies of life, the human condition, but in the long term it's what's killing us.
This disconnect, this horn lock of science vs. superstition is the most important, most meaningful battle going on on our planet today. SAY WHAT? What about AIDS, the battle of political ideologies, terrorism, current wars, Alfonse O'Gore's global warming, starvation, disease, etc. None of these problems even comes close.
Scientists natter about the harnessing of fire, the invention of the wheel, Gutenberg's printing press and the emergence of Justin Bieber as turning points in the history of humanity. But remember religion too. Why? Because it starts us off on a highway, a path, a way of thinking about the world and ourselves that will become the preferred method. And thus this unscientific, supernatural, hope and illusion-filled way of seeing the world, then infects, like a computer virus, everything we see and think about. Through this altered and faulty prism of wishful thinking, we then adopt our viewpoints regarding life, love, politics, psychology, etc. And as our thought processes are already corrupted, we end up with unsound information in virtually all of the important areas of our lives.
Let me explain something to you, bub. You are drawing breathe on this orb for only two reasons. Our proud and beaming pappy, DNA, was interested in only two things, survival and replication. That's it, those are the only reasons that philanthropic, sweet kisser of yours graces the rest of us. DNA wants to reproduce. Well, how do you do this in ancestral environments? Produce big, fat, happy-go-lucky people? Well it could and did, but the problem was those jovial fatsoes would quickly be torn to pieces by the saber-tooth tigers and there goes your blessed human species! Oh holy Moses'what a loss!
So, who survived? The hyper-vigilant, anxiety-riddled, pain-pounded, always looking over their furry shoulder animals, predators, that can compete and survive in those hostile ancestral environs against the other ferocious animals. We were never bred for happiness, in fact, it would have worked AGAINST our survival. We were jammed chock full of anxiety, and fear, then the opposite pole, depression and malaise, physical pain and more as ways of coping with and surviving hostile environs.
The American Holy Trinity of delusion and brainwashing?
- The religions.
- Their religious counterparts-the leftist/liberals/progressives.
- The conservatives.
The utopian, narcissistic, and most importantly, clearly erroneous ideologies of the big three above have served to savagely cornhole this country.
Probably 98% of the country is in one of the 3 above mentioned groups. So you see the problem. Me, I'm a nontheist (aka atheist), nihilistic (no intrinsic, innate meaning in anything other than what we want it to mean.) So, I essentially boil down to a Secular, Libertarian, Scientific outlook. (You know'sane).
Religion speaks for itself, but let me yak a few more words about the two political parties that are constantly at each other's throats. Well, both sides are the same thing really, twins separated at birth. And unbeknownst to both of them, their political views are held under the sorcery of either one of religion's two great noble lies. The conservatives are the utopian party on the right that would face-lift this ugly world with God, wars and dough (underpinned by what the Bible told them about the existence of God, the 1st great noble lie).
The progressive/liberal crowd is the utopian party on the left that would give the world a boob-job with social programs, social engineering and cash (underpinned by the jejune jingoism in the Bible that since God created man, that all men must be equal [the 2nd great lie of religion], and that all men and their situations could be "made" equal through unending social programs, and of course, money.) One side dwells up in the wild blue yonder with their religious nonsense, and the other down here on earth with their earth-bound religious nonsense (liberalism.) Lamentably, the only thing that turned out to be equal, was that both sides are equally like so hurl-inducing'okay? (The word "chunks" comes to mind).
My purpose is to hopefully improve a few things just a little bit. Perhaps, as Charles Bukowski once said, "Take a few kinks out of the air hose so we can breathe a little better." But that's it. Very, very little can be done with these cheese puff heads. There are no sublime solutions, at least not now in our current world. Before ending let me add why humanity is so interminably screwed. Before charging off to your next crusade, you should at least know these things, it might save you a lot of time and money and heartache.
So here it is, get ready. It's not that we are fallen, bad, evil, that we have faulty information, that things were wonderful once and all we have to do now is return to that. It's not about attaining any of the things that society has invented for us to chase, money, fame, sex, CEO of the company etc. It's not about peace, love and understanding, not about the wrong philosophy, the wrong psychology, the wrong economic system, not about the wrong political party being in power or any of the rest of that drivel. It's simple actually. It's the way evolution designed us in the first place. To always be in pain and fear and to suffer, always, because this is what kept a species, any species actually, alive, surviving and moving forward. Pretty basic.
In fact, it would have simply been impossible for us to be built in any other way AND survived. And until we can transmute our genetic structure (the future science of transhumanism), this is the way we must remain. So don't be too hard on yourself there Jeth-a-ro. We're all trying to go 100 miles an hour in a car that was only designed to go 30. At least, now you know. So relax, have that cookie. So, this is insurmountable problem NUMBER ONE. Our basic design at the big monkey factory.
Since problem number one is, in fact, insurmountable at present, I don't really need to go on, but, ah, what the hell, here's insurmountable problem NUMBER TWO. Because of our evolutionary design, everybody alive began inventing the endless canards and illusions that keep them firmly cloistered away from any whiff of reality. We have an entire planet living in nothing but their own illusions. So, because of our structural design (our biology) people endlessly engage in problem number two (endless illusions) as a way to assuage it. So you have a world population that is at least 98% utterly delusional. (Once again, the religious, the fantasy man-in-the-sky conservatives and the utopian liberals.) Insurmountable problem number two.
Oh but I'm still not done. Hard to believe huh? There is a third problem that cannot be fixed, at least at present. Hum, now what could it be? Come on now think, think. Well, according to the US Government, 47%-that's almost 50% folks-of the population are functionally illiterate to the point that they have difficulty holding any job. It's true. In fact, that same 47% cannot perform tasks any more difficult than filling out a bank slip. According to the study (The National Adult Literacy survey, 1993) 26% of patients in urban areas can not ascertain from an appointment slip when the next visit to their doctor is, 42% could not understand instructions for ingesting medicine on an empty stomach, and 70-count 'em, 70%, could not divine how many pills of their particular medicine should be taken. And here's the kicker-stand back-give me room-give me room, only 13% of the population-the American population-is able to read factoids from two different sources and compare and analyze the information to form a conclusion. Example-only 13% of the cheese puff heads can read opposing views about the current health care debate and draw conclusions about which alternative plan they favor. 13%. Meaning, for you non-math majors that 87% cannot. 87%.
So, let me pose a poser. Even if I did sit down and come up with a 5 point plan that would serve as terminus to all of the headaches of the world the next day (I actually carry this around in my back pocket), what good would it do if 87% of the American population functions on this kind of intellectual level? Well? You tell me.
So, the Three Insurmountable Problems:
- 100% of the population is built by biology, not for happiness or fulfillment, but for fear and pain, as these serve as the catalysts and drivers for our survival and eventual replication.
- 98% of the people are delusional (98%), the religious, the liberal, the conservative.
- 87% are simply intelligence-challenged, (how'd you like that one?) Oh and by the way, that 87% figure is a gross underestimate. Gross, and very.
So, beginning to get a small sense of the problem?
These are the reasons that all of your things like hope, prayers, social programs, economics, your good thoughts, your uplift, your psychological bullshit, your reforms, your political movements founded on utopianism and fantasy are fated to insolvency. You're trying to teach monkeys in clothes to play Chopin.
So what can be done to improve things just a wee little bit?
- Buckets of unrestrained laughter at this poor little clod we call, us. Time to have fun with it all.
- Instead of endlessly yanking your hair out over the latest nonsense or atrocity, relax, detach yourself from it. Not unlike ex-communicating a spouse. For me, I reside here, but I am not part of any if it. Not the religions, the political nonsense, not caught up in any movements, plans, committees or groups that have particular agendas for improvement. "The best lack all conviction, the worst are filled with passionate intensity." The basic "human condition" I've so far adumbrated is not improvable with any of our feeble band-aids.
- Finally, I will say, secularism beats religion, libertarianism beats the cons and the libs, and science always beats superstition. In fact, science is the one and only thing I do affirm. I also believe that someday, and that is some-day, I don't know when, humanity may have the opportunity to actually abet itself with the advances of science, its resultant genomic medicine and what is loosely called transhumanism. (This simply means that in the future we may be able to subvert the harsh strictures embedded within us by Darwinian evolution and essentially re-wire our genomes for intellectual, emotional and psychological improvement.) In evolution's eyes, it created us just the way it wanted us. But from our viewpoint, our pain and fear-plagued sub-optimal existences may be greatly improved by a re-calibrating of our genomes. I do not know. Only time will tell. But this and only this, offers any real hope or possibility for significant improvements in us and all sentient life. I just hope that someday, scientists, the futurists can achieve it. So, until then, have that cookie and laugh at the utter absurdity of all of these wild-eyed utopians as they go careening through the streets. They have absolutely nothing, only their illusions.
Chris Volkay, Political Columnist: Mr. Volkay is an iconoclast, skeptic and libertarian, jerk, and I'd like to say secular humanist (but how can I? Humanism denotes some sort of belief in humanity and I have less belief in humanity than I do in the non-existent gods.) He believes the world has been destroyed by the religious beliefs of both the utopian left (aka liberals-progressives) and the god-fearing right. However it's largely not their fault-most of them are simply dumb as rocks and how can you get mad at the dumbos? It's... (more...)