15 May 2008

The Ugly side

Cultured, humane, civilized and chosen even are we human beings while the rest of the beings are ‘animals’. Or are we ... yet?

The Homo sapiens, like any other in the animal kingdom, have always been competing for survival. Competing with other animals and competing with similar animals. It was instinctual for our shaggy forefather apes hunt, fight, kill and procreate on a regular basis. Over the million years, this allowed the survival of the fittest and the survival of the species.

 Showing-off strength, reinforcing dominance and being ruthless were very important (especially masculine) human traits … to ensure survival. If not: one could go hungry, get hurt, lose their breeding partner or worse lose their life. So back in the Stone ages: One would kill & hunt when one wished; grabbed thy neighbour's food or partner if need be or just kill if one didn't like that jerk. So in a way life was quite ‘simple’ cause and effect J

A little later in history: larger groups of humans, called communities, slightly changed the scene for the greater good. They enforced certain norms to maintain order within. But an individual’s violent side was quite useful; very frequently in the still tough and wild times.

Forward thousands of years: civilizations had sprung up and died; cities and societal-structures increased in complexity; generally security had greatly improved but only within the cloud of a kingdom but the violent-side of Homo sapiens was still active. How can what was conditioned over a million-year be reversed in a shorter time? The species just found new ways to keep alive the animistic subconscious of the past. Why else should there have been invasions, plunder, imperialism, tortures, roman-circuses, wars, inquisitions, genocides, apartheid and orgies? These are manifestations of the instincts of dominance, hunt, greed and competition … but with only more ‘civilized’ labels. Even sport is but a non-violent release for human violent-side!

Enter the space age: We look back to see how far we have come. From shaggy bent apes to the hairless, straight and obese Homo sapiens. Food and personal security is at its best ever. Violence is a trait relegated to savages. The kings are dead; Democracy and citizen-rights are the new religions. We have progressed and civilized a lot ... but only externally. Internally still not far away.

The unfortunate side of these new-world paradigms is that it acts like cages. The time-span, across many millenniums since being ‘civilized’, has still not liberated us from our urges but rather only suffocated them in more claustrophobic mental cages. And so we keep alive our forefathers’ cravings: Carving for all things material (we never had enough) and craving for power (the shortcut to control the others). We are still not cleared off from the scars from the past. Behavioral patterns forged over time by our forefathers still lie dormant (until piqued) in our sub-consciousness’.

The animal instincts from that very difficult past have not erased from the centuries of civilizing but only make us behave or act in very odd ways. Sometimes this programming from the past can manifest within an individual in very anti-social ways. Actually one shouldn't be surprised by the horrific reports of physical abuse, gang-wars, rapes, and psychopathic murders etc. that continue to this day. One could argue that these heinous crimes are not committed by us but some minority others. Yes true, they are committed by the ‘active-program’ runners (the violent-side resurfacing) only.

The rest of us passive runners only read or watch...while somebody else is doing it! Ever wondered why the newspapers and news channels gives all the obscene or disgusting details? It is because the public ‘need’ or rather demand for it. Movies enable us to (at least) watch simulated violence and perversion. Why is pornography so in vogue? Because it sells! Pornography gives us the option of relishing on ANY sexual perversion you can possibly think off without the guilt of actually performing it! Wondered why there were so many cabaret dances and rape scenes in Indian cinemas? Same reason: We wanted it!

And what are these reality shows after all? They are nothing but entertainment drawn from the exposure of the ‘normal life’ of people (mostly celebrities). And by the normal we mean to expose of the people’s vulnerability to the dark side … in real time: greed, lust, power, desperation etc.

Take the other example of the competition shows littering the channels. It is all about dominance again. C-O-N-T-R-O-L, as if the judges decide somebody’s fate or career. And what is it that we the audiences are most interested in here? Not the gleam on the faces of who wins but the defeat on the faces of who is out! A funny side of these types of shows is that the sponsors almost always manage to get judges who are third-grade in that particular field of expertise :-)


Consider simple everyday things as a joke: realize that almost always a joke is centered on putting down one of the characters in the joke! Belittle, embarrass or ridicule. Funny isn’t it? Ever wondered why we crack jokes and laugh in the first place? It is our way of expressing our own superiority over the other. Baring teeth (while we laugh) is common in the animal kingdom also … for the same reason!


  1. Come on man. Why did we all laugh at all the jokes from "Mazha Peyyunnu Madhalam Kottunnu". Kilometers and Kilomteres. Who are we trying to prove our superiority to ? Indeed have we noticed that we resort to already packaged jokes more than the spur of the moment ones so that we dont hurt any one ?

  2. :-) i know you!
    yeah u r right. but this is a high-level abstraction :-))

  3. yeah u really true ,but i couldnt absalutly agree with you why becs these news papers stabes the orginal face of some high persons 4eg. actor shyni ahuja,some higher end polititons etc. so all depends on our perspective, our angle of vision, we dont blame our medias deeply