Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Don't Know How We Made It To The Top Of The Food Chain

Despite the advance of science, medicine, and education we're still a very primitive species. In many ways we've regressed from generations of past. Past generations like to remind us of this frequently, and it's getting harder to disagree with them.

Another possibility to consider is the fact that with the advent of the Internet and 24 hour news channels our primitive and unsavory behaviors are more readily seen and shared instantly. Bad news sells.

Regardless of which my be true, whether we've regressed, or the news is more readily available then in the past, we suck. While society has made great gains in science and technology, gains in human nature and behavior haven't made the same gains. We're all about finding cures for deadly diseases, a better understanding and knowledge of the Universe, military superiority, technologies for making life easier and faster, and many other countless innovations. None of which are bad. But we're failing as a society to put the same effort and resources for societal improvements.

Common sense and human decency, which some may argue hasn't regressed, hasn't made significant strides of improvement either. If we're getting smarter, and life, from the standpoint of technology, is getting easier, why not the same level of improvements with human behavior?

The answer is simple. We as a society haven't put the same emphasis and expectations for this issue to improve as we have other advancements. We've taken the easy way out because for most of us the horrors inflicted on humanity don't hit close enough to home, or at least often enough, to put any true concerted effort into stopping them. It's easier to turn a blind eye to it. We don't even have to leave our country to see this.

In the past week alone you can find enough news to disgust you with the actions, words, and behavior of people. A few examples that stick out:

1) An off-duty police officer in Baltimore is murdered because of an argument over a parking space. A. Parking. Space. He gets hit over the head with a brick over a parking space. Why in the scheme of human decency, does an argument over a parking space occur? It doesn't matter who actually instigated this, or let it escalate, both parties are morons of the highest order. Who hasn't lost out on a parking space? Who hasn't been cut off in traffic at one time or another? It's an irritating event. End of 'effin story. You move on down the row, or street, park your car, and walk a few extra steps. Hell, for some people this would be a blessing, they can walk off the extra calorie intake from that lunch at McDonald's.

2) Bill O'Reilly goes on the View and proclaims that he's against a Muslim Mosque being erected at "Ground Zero" because "Muslims killed us on 9-11." I want to type that he's smart enough to know better, but I have serious doubts that he is actually smart.

Using O'Reilly's logic when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma City it could be argued that American military veterans, or catholics, for that matter, blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was both a veteran and professed Catholic.

This "Muslim" mosque at "Ground Zero" is actually located two blocks from there. It's not a mosque, but a cultural center which may contain a prayer room. O'Reilly and Fox News don't share that information though. They're more interested in flaming uneducated Americans into a biased hatred of an entire segment of a society or religion. Blanket condemnations and accusations bring higher ratings though. Accurate reporting and the truth play second fiddle.

Do the Muslims have a problem? You bet your ass they do. They need to get a handle on the extremists of their faith and make some progress in educating future generations at the very least on this sad chapter and segment of their faith. Catholics need to get a handle on their clergy sexually abusing children. We don't accuse every Catholic as being a sexual predator though. I don't even want to get into the problems every religious faith has right now. The number of people killed, maimed, or tortured, in the name of religion throughout the world and history is appalling. Suffice to say we haven't learned much there.

3) Two men are arrested north of where I live for sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl. The girl's mother, by initial reports, was present and had full knowledge of this horrifying crime. WTF is the matter when a parent allows this to happen? I'm sure many of you can report the same type of news in your vicinity as well.

When is this going to stop? When, as a society, are we going to step up to the plate and say enough is enough? When are we going to tackle societal behavior issues with the same tenacity as creating mass weapons of destruction? Or are we going to wait for us to destroy ourselves without the use of said weapons?

How we're located at the "top of the food chain" amazes me sometimes.


Smart Ass Sara said...

Agreed. I feel the same way about politics. It doesn't even matter which side of the fence you're on- both groups need some major improvements. And this country is never going to move forward because we're incapable of compromising. Everybody has to be right and there shouldn't be a right or wrong. I love how we're the land of opportunity and we're comprised of every race and religion...yet it doesn't really mean anything if we segregate and discriminate. Sad day.

Just Plain Tired said...

Smart Ass Sara -- The political bs falls well into this realm..

Mustang Sally said...

Journalists no longer exist, what we have are commercial spokesmen. That's it, the airways are owned by the mega-corporations and what we hear as far as news is exactly what they want us to hear.

Politics piss me off because the biggest difference between the two "sides" is what they lie about. Neither come remotely close to representing what they claim to be their platforms. And the masses line up behind one side or the other screaming about the principles they are upholding.

Don't these people have eyes, ears, ... memories for crying out loud?

Whatever happened to manners? When did idiocy become something to strive for? How did mob mentality become the new normal?

I wish I had some answers. I wish somebody did.

Just Plain Tired said...

Mustang Sally -- I think the public has become apathetic and desensitized. It's mind boggling to me.

blueviolet said...

Everyone is so self-centered now and we all hide in our little plastic bubbles inside our houses behind closed blinds and pretend nobody else exists. Such a shame.

darev2005 said...

Sometimes I wonder why I keep looking at the world and seeing all of these f'ed up things. All they do is make me sad and upset with humans as a race. I imagine if I keep looking too closely I will end up with a tinfoil hat and screaming about the trilateral commission. I would be so much happier if I minded my own business and ignored everybody else. We have gone from being "the animal that uses tools" to being "the animal that gave itself ulcers". Take a deep breath, step away from the teevee set and go play a round of golf. You'll feel much better, I promise.

Just Plain Tired said...

Blueviolet -- It's very much a shame.

derev2005 -- I've got my granddaughter babysitting gig on tap for this afternoon. That always cheers me up. :)

KlayeBlayk said...

The world is becoming such a horrible and corrupt place I wish I was born years earlier when this was still unthinkable. What a shame!

KLZ said...

Morons are every where. It's true.

And they're armed.

Just Plain Tired said...

KlayeBlayk -- I'm not sure it was unthinkable in the past, but perhaps less so.

KLZ -- Yup.

ExtraO said...

I think the world will always be a little F-d up... and probably always has been. I guess that's the way of things.
And, I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying in #2, but there are many, many "normal", "decent" human beings who agree with that guy. This makes me very sad.

Carmi said...

For all our advanced tools of Internet-based communication, we seem to be either unwilling or unable - or both - to take the time to understand an issue from all sides. People don't research things. Instead, they're content to have noobs like O'Reilly do it for them. News as snack food, opinion as fact.

I'm at a loss. The idealistic journalist in me wishes we could somehow change it. It's something I agonize over virtually every day.

Maybe someday enlightenment will return. As long as there are folks like you to ask the question, there's hope.

MichelleLCSW said...

One of my friends once said (of the media), "If it bleeds, it leads..." I think that we have become a nation of sensationalism. It is frightening how many people will form opinions based off the 30-second snippet they hear on the "headlines" rather than taking an extra few minutes to "research" an issue (which is EASY enough to do now, with the internet and Google and all...)

And it is also nauseating how we have deified the WRONG kinds of people in our society: sports stars, rock stars, movie stars...instead of the TRUE heroes (like teachers, soldiers, police, paramedics, nurses, doctors, firefighters, etc...). I'll bet you more Americans can tell you whether or not Lindsay Lohan is in jail this week...but they wouldn't have the faintest idea about the cumulative casualty rates for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are a nation of spoiled brats (myself included b/c I know I get impatient if I have to wait more than 3 minutes at the McDonald's drive-thru!). We all have to be willing to do more self-examination and have the cojones to do something DIFFERENT - even if it is just challenging someone's opinion - to get them to think critically (instead of regurgitating what they "heard" on the news - no matter if it is Fox News or MSNBC).

Anonymous said...

You can say that again!

tiburon said...

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I am ashamed that I am a human. Cause some of the other humans are really dumb