The world is unusually nuts right now. I realize I’m not saying anything people dont already know or haven’t thought about already. It’s just something that I feel compelled to say “out loud” or I might go even more bonkers than I already am. Can I get a witness??
In fact, the world feels to be in such an advanced state of decay and instability that I fear it will either crumble at any moment or, even worse, we’ll get used to it and come to see this sad state of affairs as normal. It’s not. It’s chaos theory (a la Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) run rampant. In practically every important sphere of human life, ie. politics, economics, climate change, terrorism, education, medicine, mental health, technology, and pop culture there are signs and signals that what is now accepted as status quo is really antithetical to health and human survival.
Sure I’m a big hypochondriac who sometimes thinks of himself as the Jewish Pirate/Paul Revere of the coming apocalypse but I’m typically NOT the first person to “cry wolf” or run around screaming that the sky is falling. However, I now find myself seriously contemplating the odds that what’s going on/going down is more likely to bring about the demise of the human race than preserve our questionable standing as the most intelligent and highly evolved creature in the solar system. Even Stephen Hawking has put down his slide ruler long enough to announce that he’s not betting big on mankind (see below). Don’t get me wrong, I also care about the planet’s overall health and survival but at this juncture I’m more concerned that we’re going to wipe ourselves out through poor “executive decision-making” while Mother Earth (as George Carlin once said) will just “shake us off like a bad case of fleas”.
Meanwhile, crazy people are competing with one another for the dubious title of “Biggest Mass Murderer of 2016”, bees are either dying off in droves or becoming freakishly aggressive, and alligators are feeding on children at Disney World. Notice I’m not even mentioning the plague of mutant Zika mosquitoes heading our way. Of course we’re about as prepared for that as we were for the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s which basically means that mosquito “abstinence” is going to be our first line of defense.
It’s truly a mad mad world and I’m increasingly uncertain of our place in it. That being said, I’m particularly concerned that we may be losing (or failing to maintain) essential evolutionary traits that make us human (as well as humane) such as empathy and altruism. Such qualities are common to hypersexual Bonobo Chimps and human beings with opposing thumbs capable of grasping a moral compass. However, I fear we no longer know how to make love not war and may prefer (like in pre-war Nazi Germany) to place our trust in a strange new breed of political leaders who are not just your everyday snake oil salesmen and circus hucksters. These latest Alpha Male reptilian types remind me of the highly invasive Burmese Pythons proliferating in the Florida Everglades. They are the insatiable giant snakes who’ve already consumed their close competitors and now pose a threat to entire wildlife populations and protected habitats. Similarly, Donald Trump has dispatched his GOP competitors and now appears to have shed his skin and past persona as an enterprising real estate mogul to reveal a fully molted Marvel Comics type version of “Snake Man”. This cartoonish super-villain apparently lacks a beating human heart, speaks with a razor sharp forked tongue and enjoys playing “Moneyball meets Dr. Strangelove” mind games with presidential politics and foreign policy. Somebody needs to tell him that this is not just a warm-up round of Musical Chairs, Monopoly, or Risk and that certain actions can lead to serious global consequences, including ones that cant just be taken back or done over like a teenager’s ultra violent video game.
Bottomline: Sometimes when I’m alone late at night I like to read research articles online, watch the television news, and then perform a kind of magic trick (or possibly just an OCD ritual) in which I raise my TV remote, push a button and pretend that I can make all hubris and human folly go away. The good news is I know I’m just fooling myself. Nonsense speak is the cultural norm today and unabashed craziness is the current reality. Fortunately, CaptCliff is not that nuts. The bad news is I fear someday soon one of these slimy Snake people will believe they really can “roll dice with the universe”, much to the chagrin of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. Even worse, Snake Man’s big head, poofy hair and insatiable appetite for power might get in the way of much needed human compassion, common sense, cooperation, and critical thinking. As far as I’m concerned, our survival depends upon us maintaining such inspired human qualities that also help us to know our place on the planet. We certainly can’t depend on dumb luck or divine intercession at this point because in the Mad Mad World we live in God/Yahweh may well have lost interest in reprising his biblical role and once again straightening out Adam, Eve, or even Donald Trump the Smarmy Serpent.
Dr. Strangelove snippet: “You’re talking about Mass Murder General!”
Stephen Hawking Warning: http://www.iflscience.com/space/stephen-hawking-warns-humanity-could-destroy-itself-next-100-years/