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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Death By Guillotine

They say man has evolved from being blood thirsty individuals. Long since forgotten when people execute other people in public, subjecting their victims to spectacularly humiliating deaths. Gone were the days of crucifixions, impaling, flaying, burning at stakes, circuses, firing squads, hanging, and yes, death by guillotine.

But has man really forgotten his violent past? Has he really changed for the better, throwing away that beastly primordial aspect of his being and truly adhering to the social animal that he is claiming to be?

I say no. Man still craves for humiliation, utter obliteration of his enemies. We still condemn people in public, subjecting them to shame similar to a thousand deaths and yes, death by guillotine.

We still enjoy the circus. Circuses in the olden days of glorious Rome were not inhabited by clowns and little people, musclemen and fat bearded women. It was populated by big strong burly men, fallen soldiers called Gladiators. These were Rome's entertainment--- to see full grown able men fight their peers to the deaths... or else die themselves. We still have a similar form of entertainment, and it is not Cirque du Soleil, nor Barnum and Bailey's... We call it Politics, where full grown men seemingly aged with wisdom slander each other and spread gossip like wildfire against their enemies. Media loves it, the public relishes it. It is and always will be, a form of death by guillotine.

Public executions such as these are not merely contained in social circles like politics and showbusiness. We see this at social networking sites everyday. We call it Youtube. Social murders occur everyday on the web. We kill our adversaries with humiliating videos, shameful quotes and emotionally scarring descriptions.

And although withy much shame that we relish such display of barbarism, we watch. We share. We like. We flock to those who post such stirring statuses... Ah, the invention of shoutouts, where we can rant as much as we like without as much censorship, where people throw words like spears and arrows, regardless.

My, aren't we ashamed, really. We are ashamed because we comment, we like, we share. We unknowingly agree to become agents of cheap entertainment by adding more brainless remarks to existing thoughtless comments. We unknowingly subject ourselves to death by guillotine.

And although I have heard more than once that people do not like what they read on other people's statuses, we can't really tell them off. We are afraid of the throngs of followers that comment, like, and share these statuses. Images of peasants with pitchfork and torches flood our creative imagination and we back off. Thus, we too, are afraid to die a social death by guillotine.

For reasons I cannot fathom, people seem to like the politically incorrect, socially challenged remarks, rather than sensible, reflective mantras. Man has always been addicted to the wrong, the sinful and the improper.

Why are there few good things that are addictive? Like exercise? For example, here are two very different statuses one may see on FaceBook. Choose where you place your comments:

John Smith says Forgiveness is the virtue that leads to true happiness.

Cruella De Vil says Revenge is therapy with mojo.

If you were to leave a comment, which comment would you most likely respond to? I now you want the mojo, even though it is obviously written by someone who is actually contemplating revenge on someone. Furthermore, I begin to wonder what kind of comment you'd like to place on it.

What would you comment on a status like that?

Most likely, encouragement. Surprised? Not really. Emotional content for the second status message is overwhelming in comparison to the first one. It is meant to satisfy your aching need to get even.

Face it, everyone wants to get even, deep inside. We want blood. We want death by guillotine.

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