Friday, October 2, 2009

Log 4

Thinking about human nature makes me really feel depressed. I have a hard time justifying anything that humans have done, and everything just feels like it was achieved for the wrong reasons. The technology has improved but human nature has not, and every day just feels closer to the time when we become extinct. People like to think that we've progressed to a more enlightened time, but it was only recently that we still had slavery, that European settlers landed in the west and exploited good people and made them slaves or butchered them. That until the last few decades, people of colour could not go to the same schools as white people, drink from the same water fountains, have the same basic rights.

Women throughout the world are still being suppressed and exploited, whether via religious veils or through the entertainment industry, exploiting their bodies for male pleasure like meat in a grinder. Women get the short end of the stick in most things, being told what they can and cannot aspire to by masoginists, being forced to hide their bodies in black outfits leaving slits for eyes: a disgusting symbol of male dominance. People who stand up to the problems in the world end up dead, and since the time when Lazarus was resurrected and then killed once more, nothing has changed. I can't find any hope in anything humanity does. The only thing that gives me some solace is music.

If people were part of an enlightened society, no one would willingly manipulate and torture/kill other life forms for their own amusement or food. Science has given us the ability to create food that does not require something to be murdered, and yet people still choose to inflict as much indirect harm as they can by eating a once living creature for the benefit of taste, something that the non-meat foods can replicate better and better each day. It is immoral to kill, to keep animals pregnant so that we can enjoy their milk, to take their young away to be slaughtered, to force animals to perform for our amusement, to keep them in cages to be gawked at. The list goes on. But it is easier to ignore suffering when it is not in front of you, when it is masked in a breaded strip of white chewy 'something' on your plate. To string a pig up by it's hind legs, cut it's throat, and then drop it into boiling water (often times while it's still alive) to remove the skin and fur, to butcher it and consume it for the sake of taste, a full stomach for an hour or so, is criminal when there are options that do not require any suffering at all. To justify such wanton abuse of other species with something as obscene as "I prefer the taste" or "I like how this fur/leather looks on me" is shameful, and that it is so common and not seen as wrong by any means makes me beyond furious.

Humanity creates bigger and better weapons to kill itself. The 'humanity' is stripped out of soldiers in the military, 'humanity' is left behind when we watch people fight each other inside of a cage till one is left a bloody mess, 'humanity' or compassion is something too easily left behind. It's a joke. We all pretend to be civilized but everything in our culture says otherwise. We're self-destructive and in denial about it. We even use religion to suggest that our actions are guided by a higher power, and therefore frees us from responsibility of our actions. God is on our side when we commit genocide against other humans because they don't share our beliefs or values. God is on our side when we commit genocide for resources that will make our country stronger, when we protect 'our way of life'. Whatever peaceful notions religion began with are gone, replaced by excuses for rampant bloodshed.

I try to be hopeful, I try to help and lessen my impact on the world, but everything in Western culture is designed to work against that. To be a moral person is to battle upstream perpetually. On television, in books, on the internet....wherever mainstream culture exists, there is no room for the moral person. That person becomes an outsider, a novelty to bring up at dinner over veal and alcoholic drinks and recreational drugs.

I find it so very hard to believe in people, so very hard to think that we will not destroy ourselves in the near future. Sartre said "Hell is other people", and I think he was on to something. I just wish the world turned out like Mr Rogers and Seseme Street made it seem, full of love and equality and respect. It'll never happen until every last human on the planet adopts morality over self-indulgent excess and greed.

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