17.7.06

cabin fever

We are becoming increasingly disenchanted with ourselves. In an overpopulated petri dish, allies eventually become competitors. In addition, we all have to compete with frankly superhuman fictional characters and glamorised celebrities sold to us by a money grubbing media.

Money makes the world go round. We say it until it becomes a cliché. It then loses its meaning you see, and we forget the unpleasant reality that underpins it. Like jokes about aging and its inevitable conclusion. Knowledge loses its impact with time; familiarity breeds indifference. Clichés shouldn’t be used less, we should just remind ourselves what they mean from time to time. Assuming we want to remember.

One could be forgiven for assuming that as we evolve we would remember more of previous generations, but that is not the case. I think generational gaps are widening and so is the contempt for our parents and their parents, who are rendered obsolete by Moore's law at a younger age. Chances are whatever good qualities you posess, you still feel inferior to too many others perceived to be better looking, smarter, funnier, nicer, thinner. We're all depressingly expendable.

It’s ironic that in this supposed age of individualism, most individuals have become less rather than more appreciated. A simple blacksmith of a small medieval village enjoyed the respect and admiration of his the town folk because he delivered a crucial and tangible product. He sensed an appreciation and this naturally pleased him, giving him a sense of self-worth.

I sometimes wish I were Asterix, regularly saving his village with his cunning, which is dearly appreciated by the villagers. I would even settle for Unhygenix, the guy who sells fish of a suspect maturity. He’s the best they have, so they have no choice but to appreciate him.

These days you open a phone book and can choose from a 100 insurance salesmen, each of them delivering indistinguishable products and quality of service. Whatever service it is you offer to earn your place in this world you probably suspect it can be done more competently and efficiently by countless peers.

You could say that there is only so much respect, admiration, and self-worth going around. It does not increase pro rata as the population doubles every 20 years, implying a lower average per person. We are marginalising ourselves by not being able to switch off our genes’ command to go forth and multiply, which was a good strategy 500 years ago, but is now not only obsolete but misguided. I struggle to understand why a bigger emphasis is not placed on population control, but I suspect it has something to do with money. HIV is sad, overpopulation is tragic.

This is a shit way to look at yourself and others, but constantly being bombarded by a value system becoming more and more GDP oriented eventually takes its toll on your view of yourself and the world in which you live.

The remedy, I am starting to realize, is to make a concerted effort to have a direct benevolent impact, however small, on those you hold dear.

9 comments:

~d said...

A shout out to you 'b' who passed by and played that goofy-a$$ what are you wearing thing.
I agree-it is silly as all get out-but funny as HELL, too!
Do you-'b'- have your own site?

arcadia said...

this sounds very fight clubbish...

"you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. you are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world"

any suggestions on how to make a direct, benevolent impact on those we hold dear?

b said...

arcadia

that's one of my favourite sayings...although i say "you ARE a unique.." to people i like.

i think it's very simple being there for people. Just pay attention to little things. Try to figure out what their insecurities are and help them with that.

Be nice to your parents and grandparents, look out for your little brother, and tell him the things you wish someone had told you at his age.

I think your friends are the ones you can probably make the biggest impact on. I think most of us forget the impact our words can have on them. Which is dumb, because we are so easily hurt ourselves. It's very difficult to solve your own problems, mainly because we don't have an objective view of ourselves and don't know what exactly our flaws are. This is where friends can make a huge difference, I think.

Too many friendships fall prey to stagnant complacency.


and ~d

Nah, this is it for me. We here at a pattern tub don't blog often enough to have our own blogs. We're not terribly prolific, plus we have this frankly irritating responsibility we can't get out of: our jobs. And besides, when I do write, arcadia is always giving me a hard time...

arcadia said...

b - i think you've very right. (this is a landmark moment...cherish it).

i'm a strong believer in the power of conversation - my thoughts and ideas have to a great extent emerged from wonderful (or awful) conversations with my immediate family (i'm not really close to my extended family) and my friends. again, like fight club, i believe that most of the time 'everything is falling apart', and that without sticking together we're not going to make it.

i quote fight club more than any other film.

"our generation has had no great war, no great depression. our war is spiritual. our depression is our lives."

and hey - you need a bit of good ol' critiscism...and i aim to please :-)

b said...

not only am i right, but i'm "very right"? i have tears in my eyes, arcadia. what's the point of a medium that doesn't allow for a good old fashioned hug?

but seriously, i appreciate your keeping me on my toes. are you always this good at pleasing?

M said...

I think the opening of "train spotting" is appropriate here.

M

arcadia said...

b - what can i say?

daar's 'n sotho-spreekwoord wat se 'die kind wat nie huil nie sal op sy ma se rug sterf'.

if i strongly disagree with something i'm not going to shut up abou it. but no, generally quite rustig.

theresa said...

Is this true love?

nico said...

blech