As a Predator in Contemporary Society ….

… it’s difficult to believe with educated masses in a technologically advanced society that the only threat humans face on a daily basis is that of emotional pain caused by fellow human beings. Where the aesthetics of human form is paramount, it’s made clear as you look into the eyes of many that what lies beneath the surface of that beautiful vessel is far from pretty. Considering this financially and socially affluent world provides almost instantaneous satisfaction to any need we collectively have, individually our emotional needs remain unsatisfied? This leads to cruelty.

Cruelty is responsible for many everyday human tragedies: every War that is fought; every individual’s suicide; every act of criminal injustice; and even the best of childhood friends can turn into the worst of life-long enemies. Humans collectively have no control over their desires, and individually strive to meet the demands of those needs to prevent the self-harming pain of longing. However, this is not a justification for choosing the path of cruelty.

Social networking sites are awash with public displays of humanitarianism, so does this mean that there is still hope for HumanKind? Albeit, in a selfish “I want to impress my peers” fashion. Or do these actions online breed contempt? Public displays of support for any cause in a virtual world do not require any real effort. A false sense of accomplishment is felt by posting a statement, and is reinforced by the support of virtual friends (depending on how many likes it gets). In the real world most of those who post will walk by a sufferer on the street without a second thought, their need for approval already satisfied by pressing a button on their computer. As intelligent beings we recognise this behaviour and respond: partly by exploiting the naive; partly by acting in kind as a means of ‘fitting in’; and partly with resentment, as we see our own actions reflected in this pointless act by others we consider as our friends. As predators we don’t like to have our time wasted and this is a huge exercise in futility.

Truthfully, we only place value on something or someone who satisfies one of our needs, anything or anyone surplus to requirements is not a priority. The only desire being charitable fulfills is that of approval, or perhaps as a defence strategy. Those less fortunate become a focal point, taking the attention (and it’s judgement) away from the individual. Cruelty is a powerfully fast and efficient defence strategy to protect the individual from the cruelty of others but it is far from rational.

Barbara Kruger’s artwork, displayed among the rambling,  is inspired by the relationships humans have with one another. This was long before social networking sites, which are not to blame for the actions of the fingers behind the keys that are pressed. A real human made a conscious decision to act.

The conflict between the Jedi and the Sith is a perfect example of those who attempt to use higher thought process and those who are led blindly by their instincts. Yoda’s Morality v’s Sidious’ Anger. Sidious was replaced by Darth Vader who spoke in single sentences and suffered heavy breathing from the slightest action, but Yoda remained a Bouncy Green Happy Chappy with exceptional philosophical statements. This suggests that it is better for the individual to strive for a high moral standard, than to allow our anger and fear to control how we think. Another point to note from this film is that Darth Vader wears a mask to hide his emotional vulnerability, where-as Yoda wears his worry wrinkles with pride (obviously Yoda has emotional vulnerability too, he just doesn’t see a need to blow up entire planets when he’s having a bad day). Darth decides in the end to go back to being a good guy, probably because he doesn’t want to burn in hell.  Finally what is behind the mask, which is so intriguing, is revealed and what a disappointment it is.

A better example for turning over a new leaf would be Megamind, originally a good guy but shunned by his peers to the point he was so super defensive about being hurt he decided to become an evil reclusive mastermind, with a high on a hilltop lair. However, after defeating his nemesis he didn’t know what to do with himself (the deprivation of a need, which caused him emotional pain). After creating a new nemesis who wanted to be evil too, he had to turn into the good guy so’s he could satisfy his need for mindless violence. A Cartoon City that initially created Megamind’s cruelty with theirs shows gratitude for his protection, providing Megamind with a massive amount of pleasure from their approval, he gets the girl and lives happily ever after, as the Good Guy. The City’s hatred now focused on a de-superpowered average new bad guy takes the focus off Megamind and finally allows him to be an upstanding member of society (no longer having to serve the 88 life sentences is better than an apology I suppose).


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