Sunday, 15 September 2013

Don't Throw out the Bathtub with the Baby.

Don't Throw Out the Bathroom with the Baby, Part I

A Time of Change

We do indeed live in a time of change: American President Obama was not wrong about that. But after a few years, what kind of change do we actually see? Are we being the change we wish to see? Yes, or else we would not act as we did to bring it about. And it is, at best, not exactly the utopia promised in his idealistic politician's rhetoric. At worst, we are seeing the throwing out of baby, bathwater, and tub, and making sure the baby stays down by beating it over the head with the plumbing.

Since the end of World War II and the rise of secular human rights, humankind has been changing with ever more rapidity and intensity. It's like we are in collective puberty. Please allow me to explain: It occured to me about 20 years ago that the history and development of the human race paralleled the growth and development of a human child.

Humanity as a Human

In our infancy, we were grunting, relatively benign gatherer-hunter creatures with little self-awareness, less knowledge and next to no language. We didn't talk to strangers - our worlds consisted of our immediate needs, our family and nothing else. We shit where we ate, ran around naked and were totally dependant on what our Mother outright handed to us to live.

Our long childhood began after the last great ice age, humans found abundances of grains and things that enabled us to settle down and start to develop culturally (memetically).Our mother still largely took care of us, as we ate the food she put in front of us. We began to develop memetically, cognitively, emotionally and physically. We learned to read and right and build things out of lego bricks. We were dependant on our Father for guidance and obedient to Him. Oh, and we started to play - and fight - with the other children (civilisations).

Our continued growth taxed our mother severely. Luckily we learned a modicum of self-sufficiency, growing food in her fertile soils, the foundation she left us. A cautionary tale was left us - The Fall from the Garden of Eden. Naturally our Father was none too happy. We lived under His stern gaze for centuries.

Puberty is never remembered fondly. The 'Big Change" happened to the human race too - The Industrial Revolution. The pace, totality and intensity of change was stressful and traumatising. We awakened in a revolutionary sense to self, sexuality and other strange new desires. We moved away from Mother's nurturing arms and began to question our Father. The stress of caring for us made Mother very sick - we were a very bad child indeed.

Teenagers are rebellious - disregarding and denouncing with ferocity the old ideas. Exploration of new ideas began as our Mother grew chronically ill, and we barely speak to her anymore. The obsession with self and our 'individual identity,' trying all the latest fads and not-quite freshmen 1am dorm-room ideologies. We killed our Father who art in Heaven - 'God is Dead' in the words of Nietsche. 'And no-one cares. If there is a hell, I'll see you there,' in the words of Marilyn Manson.

Where are we now?

We're about 16, wearing an offensive hoodie and pants below our backsides just for the sake of offending someone. We definitely do not just want attention, and we were born bisexual vampires. Slutwalk is a good cause. Sarcasm, as well as popular science and philosophy demonstrates how intelligent and witty we are. We're smoking, the flask tucked into our $110 belt from Culture Kings doesn't contain smirnoff, and we were neither tripping nor high last night and stop harassing me get off my back I can do what I want!

Throwing out the bathwater

In moving forward into our evolution we are throwing out yesterday's dirty bathwater. This is a good thing. But when we view everything about where we came from with derision, shame and scorn, is that good?

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