In 1977, it was projected that humankind would be well into colonising space. So much so that human spaceships are now able to cruise to planets previously unreachable on autopilot. While on cruise control through deep space, the ship’s computer and soon thereafter, the multiple crews of various vessels are “possessed” by an unknown virus. A fear epidemic ensues as the virus manifests a life of its own, desiring only one end goal: sentient dominance. Meanwhile a single ship is the glimmer of hope and that ship is the TARDIS, carrying aboard the only individual to remain unaffected in any significant way by the rapidly spreading mystery disease, Dr Who.
This theme is common in broader fiction and has been rehashed continually for the last two decades, for better or worse (Aliens, Prometheus, any alien/demon virus or zombie apocalypse flick). But fears of our demise creeping up on us like a silent fart in a packed elevator has been stretched in our hearts and minds since people started painting with red clay and water on cave walls. But it’s not necessarily and always “End of the World”-shxt that plagues our every-waking thought. From observation, conversation and reading, it seems more viable to theorise that we’ve established a tradition to believe in the potential of the ‘end-of-our-personal-world’, letting this paranoia guide some of our more important life decisions.
Our perception of this is very real. Is it (like) the Devil? Not necessarily, though social theory and religious ideology on “D’evils” stand pretty close to one another. But I’m game to wager that it’s more the little sour feelings that gets us here and there; whether the edgy feeling of the airport border seccy pat-down, to citizen tax payments, to office gossip over who’s slacking off or job cuts, we have the ability to quickly switch into this mode wreaking of nastiness and insecurity, because it affirms that our pessimistically-driven intuition is true and something has been out to get us from day one.
It doesn’t help that the decline of staple industries and the rise of more innovative, independent driven ones has led to a growing generation of the privileged wanting more and the working class wanting privilege. Lets call it ‘neo-classism’ because we’re only theorising, but for the purposes of this blog post it’ll do. Some examples are quite obvious though not necessarily driving a negative inflection. Equal employment opportunity at times is far from equal, but for every possible case of discrimination and stereotyping by gender, race or age, comes another case with discrimination/stereotyping by experience, character and skill set. When it advantages us we don’t really notice it but when it fxcks us over then we might be encouraged to think that maybe, just maybe this is worth picking a fight over. Mindsets change in the blink of an eye and physical energy and mental resources are wasted on a non-obvious threat on our persona when the reality is we could just get over the shxtty part in the space of your personal bubble and move on to the next awesome opportunity which exists in everyone’s reality. It’s not always the end of the world or more specifically the end of your world, but perhaps we’ve just become engineered to this predisposition by a society which has “healthy peer competition” heavily woven into its fabric. The fear of failure by comparison to those who succeed is real because we believe it to be (or because some scumbag two pay grades higher than you reminds you so on a bi-monthly basis) but it doesn’t have to be real if you simply choose not to think about it. The term ‘focus’ is used often in relation to the previous point, and it is important because other people will often tell you when to focus and give you the why’s. This is a trap because focus should be a self-derivative correlated with something you give a toss about. When you can engage that you are a freely conscious, decision-making, sentient individual then focus should feel right and switch on naturally (or with a bit of will power)
What about measuring up to other social standards such as love, marriage, parenthood and retirement? Social media is already showing a shift in this dynamic, with new ways to available to really get to know other people we’re seeing a paradigm shift away from innate fears e.g. the biological clock/machismo deadlines, and an exciting leap into unknown territory. I’d suggest that the next step to move further away from the stigmitisation of our unrealised fears is to be more comfortable with being ourselves while being generally decent people at the same. That takes time and I’m definitely no saint.
Ignoring the imminent threat of the Invisible Enemy and realising the very real threats that we impose on our own livelihood on a daily basis maybe be our best bet at progress as a species yet – focusing on exercising better control over widespread social epidemics such as monetary wastefulness, lack of productivity, drug and substance addiction, conformity over engaging and understanding – generally living beyond our means, instead perhaps looking to build our means to a position where life can be considered “good” as an all-encompassing term. In terms of the overarching discussion presented here, this is really only the tip of the iceberg but hopefully this will unlock more questions and pique curiosities.
The cliché never gets old: education is the key.
So focus instead of being anxious, be realistic instead of caving to fear, and feel some of that weight lift off. It’s all a matter of perspective.
RECENT INTERWEBS BUZZ
Switching gears to something all too real, a state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales after bushfires west of Sydney (inland – Blue Mountains) have already destroyed more than 200 homes, with the potential for damages to spread to Sydney’s inner west and south.
I sincerely urge those who can to do as I will and donate either goods or support funds, or generally aid in the relief initiative to those who are looking to recover from the grief of this disaster.
In light of breast cancer awareness month, Playboy TV has released a digital short on how to conduct your own breast exam.
Warning: NSFW (but totally safe and practical in everyday life)
Click here to watch.