The Human Condition

hamlet-Sir-Laurence-Olivier

‘I got quite annoyed after the Haiti earthquake. A baby was taken from the wreckage and people said it was a miracle. It would have been a miracle had God stopped the earthquake. More wonderful was that a load of evolved monkeys got together to save the life of a child that wasn’t theirs.’

The above is a quote by Terry Prachett.

Now some, maybe a lot, of people don’t, or didn’t, like Terry Pratchett but it seems upon investigation he had a lot to say that made a great deal of sense. For example this:

‘Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.’

And this:

‘They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.’

And this:

‘The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can’t so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care? ‘

And this:

‘Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon.’

There’s this:

‘By the time you’ve reached your sixties, you do know that one day you will die, and knowing that is at least the beginning of wisdom.’

And this very sensible idea:

‘I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.’

And there’s this:

‘It’s useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one.’

And this:

‘Sooner or later we’re all someone’s dog.’

This is a good one:

‘I’ve often felt depressed; everyone feels depressed.’

As an Atheist I like this:

‘I read the ‘Old Testament’ all the way through when I was about 13 and was horrified. A few months afterwards I read ‘The Origin Of Species’, hallucinating very mildly because I was in bed with flu at the time. Despite that, or because of that, it all made perfect sense.’

Naturally I can’t be one hundred per cent sure Terry Pratchett said, or wrote, all of the above quotes. The Internet as a way of making lies truths for example there are two lies regarded as truths concerning the militant Atheists Christopher Hitchens, on his deathbed, and Richard Dawkins, while seriously ill, abandoning their Atheist faiths and crying out for God. Truth or lie people are daft enough to believe anything and everything we are not, and contrary to the myth, an intelligent animal we just like to think we are because we wear clothes (that we didn’t make), we live in brick houses (that we didn’t build), we use computers (that we don’t understand how to use properly or programme), you’d think an intelligent species would be able to do a great deal of things, have a great deal of skills, understand most, if not all, things important about the human condition and the society they live in.

It seems, from the evidence, that we aren’t all able to do a great deal of things, for example driving a motor vehicle is an easy skill for most people to learn but I’ve tried and I can’t grasp the concept. It would appear, from the evidence, that we don’t all have a skill set, for example I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried to create fire, caveman style, and it was completely beyond me. It’s true, from the evidence, that not all of us can understand things about the human condition and the society we live in, for example I am completely unable to grasp the entire culture of romance, I wouldn’t even know how to be flirty, talk dirty, or get a woman into bed or convince a woman to have a meaningful relationship and to be honest I don’t want to know. Also I cannot, for the life of me, grasp politics, laws, the sciences, economic policy, the education system all these very important things I should as part of an intelligent species be able to understand I just don’t and can’t.

Of course my lack of understanding might be due to the fact I’m a fucking idiot and I might be the only idiot in the human race but I know that’s not true, I’ve met a lot of people who are just as stupid as me and a few who are even more stupid. There must, based on the vastness of the human population, be lots of idiots just like me on the planet and so I question whether we humans are actually intelligent.

Having used quotes from Terry Pratchett doesn’t make me a fan, I’m not sure if I’ve ever read any of his works and that’s something I’m going to correct, based on quotes I’ve been reading it would seem a good course of action to actually read some of his product.

His quotes led me to think about us. Us Homo Sapiens, which apparently means Wise Man or Wise Person, and this apparent Terry Pratchett quote:

“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.”

Is something that should be used as a means of cataloguing us modern humans I don’t believe we’re, collectively and individually, very wise but we are storytellers.

Everything about the human condition is geared towards the telling of a story, but that’s something I’ve, perhaps, written about before or if not I will do again. For the purpose of this post I’m going to make commentary on the Terry Pratchett quotes I’ve copied and then pasted and I’m going to have to copy and paste them again, apologies for the length of this rambling post, but here goes:

‘I got quite annoyed after the Haiti earthquake. A baby was taken from the wreckage and people said it was a miracle. It would have been a miracle had God stopped the earthquake. More wonderful was that a load of evolved monkeys got together to save the life of a child that wasn’t theirs.’

A lot of people seem to have very small ideas of what a miracle would be, or look like, for me a miracle isn’t something that happens often or something that people can perform. If there ever is a miracle, here on Earth during my lifetime, I imagine it would be something like this:

Antarctica melts completely the ice falling heavily into the seas causing a huge end of human life wave that races across the planet threatening to drown us all but before it hits the first landmass it stops frozen in time and then reverses back to the former frozen continent to become ice once again thus saving all of humanity. Rejoice, it’s a miracle.

‘Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.’

In nations like Britain the one I was born into and lived, so far, my entire life people tend to think that they are free but they’re not if like me they go to work they can never be free. Not ever. You’re a slave to a wage, you have duties to perform and if those duties are performed incorrectly you can be reprimanded, you have to dress a certain way, perhaps wear a uniform, you have to suffer people you don’t like and do things that bring displeasure. Workers aren’t free they’re just slaves who have the delusion of freedom. Now here in Britain I do know people who have more freedom than I do, people who haven’t worked a day in the last twenty years, every day for those two decades, and more, have been completely theirs to do with what they want. They’re still slaves to money, a system, social structure and lifestyle choices but regardless of that they have had more free time to do what they want than I ever have. I don’t envy their lifestyles but I do envy the freedom they’ve enjoyed.

‘They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.’

Most people I’ve met have been ignorant. Most people I’ve met have been bigots. Britain, or my little piece of, seems a very ignorant place this month we’re having a referendum the people of these British Isles will determine whether or not the nation will remain a part of the EU or leave. Personally I find the entire idea of a referendum uncomfortable, decisions, big decisions, should be made by those elected to do so not by the people. I shouldn’t be allowed to make a decision on the matter and neither should anyone I know. It would appear based upon the current polls that the Vote Leave campaign is going to be victorious, great a bunch of bigoted ignorant idiots are going to win. Bigots should never be allowed to win they should be kept in the gutter were they belong. But hey that’s just my opinion.

‘The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can’t so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?’

I work in the Care Industry and it’s not good it should be renamed the Don’t Care Industry. The problem, and there are a few, with the Care Industry isn’t just one of money and cuts made due to insane austerity measures there’s a bigger problem and that’s with people. People are always going to be a problem because people are lazy, uncaring, selfish and egotistical. People think everything is about them, ME ME ME ME ME, and that’s how they live from one day to the next focussed only upon their selves and their own selfish wants and needs. Having worked in the Care Industry I can honestly say when I get older I’d sooner die than go into care.

‘Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon.’

The only evil in the world, the only monsters and demons, look just like us because they are us not some supernatural entity lurking at the edges of reality and existing in the dark places of nightmares and like the videogame Doom a double-barrel shotgun really would work on the real kinds of evil.

‘By the time you’ve reached your sixties, you do know that one day you will die, and knowing that is at least the beginning of wisdom.’

Knowing that one day you will die doesn’t lead to wisdom it might be the beginning of wisdom but it doesn’t make elderly people, who retain their faculties, wise. There are plenty of very unwise old people, indeed a lot of U.S. Presidents have been sixty plus while in office and they’ve not exhibited any wisdom.

‘I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.’

The above just makes so much more sense than the current medical policy of making sick people suffer in pain. It’s as though we’re punished for getting terminally sick, how dare you die, but if our pets are sick they’re allowed to die peacefully with medical help.

‘It’s useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one.’

Fantasy, it’s my favourite thing in the world, I prefer many fictional worlds to the real, reality sucks, the great thing about fantasy worlds is they can offer insights into our real world we can be mocked, laughed at, humiliated, condemned and in equal measure celebrated and praised. Fictional worlds can offer all the best this world can, but doesn’t, offer and we as fans of fantasy worlds can appreciate or detest the real world surrounding us. I suppose it’s not important to lose oneself in fantasy worlds to offer perspective on the real world but it’s sure fun to do so.

‘Sooner or later we’re all someone’s dog.’

I’ve interpreted the above quote as meaning that we are at some point in life treated poorly by others I know we all don’t treat dogs poorly, I don’t own a dog and I’d never consider owning one, or any pet, I don’t believe in it. Humans have been monsters to each other and devils to other animal lifeforms I’m of the opinion humans should just leave other animals alone and get on with their own petty squabbles and pathetic lifestyles without impacting on the wellbeing of other animals. Anyway, at some point everyone’s led around like a dog it’s inevitable and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

‘I’ve often felt depressed; everyone feels depressed.’

I had to Google the word depressed because I couldn’t figure out if I’d ever been depressed. On Wikipedia I found this:

People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience relationship difficulties and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.

Using the above as evidence I can happily state depression isn’t something I’ve yet experienced. I don’t tend to be in a low state of mind and I’m not always on a high I mostly trip through life maintaining a happy medium neither depressed nor ecstatically joyful. I’m sure at some point in my future I’ll experience depression it’s probably impossible go an entire lifetime without having done so.

‘I read the ‘Old Testament’ all the way through when I was about 13 and was horrified. A few months afterwards I read ‘The Origin Of Species’, hallucinating very mildly because I was in bed with flu at the time. Despite that, or because of that, it all made perfect sense.’

In my teenage years I read the ‘Old Testament’ and I found it boring. I’d read other myths Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman, Nordic stories of heroic derring-do and I preferred, still prefer, the so called pagan mythologies to the Judeo-Christian mythology. It’s personal taste I like action and adventure rather than the trials and tribulations of cunts, which a lot of the people in The Bible including YHVH are, though I guess YHVH isn’t actually a person He’s something divine, supernatural, a deity rather than a person. I’ve also read, several times, ‘Origin of the Species’, and like Terry Pratchett it all made perfect sense to me, though I wasn’t hallucinating any of those times I read it.

As an Atheist I’m opposed to all religions but I’m not going to condemn religious belief I believe, heh, that everyone should make up their own mind that no one should have an idea forced upon them that everyone everywhere should be free to decide what they believe or don’t believe and no one should ever be victimised, tortured or murdered because of a belief they have or don’t have.

In addition, every person should be treated equal regardless of geographic region of birth, spoken language, gender, lightness or darkness of skin, age of individual or collective, ability or disability. I believe that instead of identification based upon national identity or religious belief everyone should accept that they’re Earth born humans and not use false pretences as a means to exert power or cause violence instead such actions should be based on honesty and people should accept that they’re just mean spirited individuals, cowards and bullies, control freaks and fucking cunts. A little more honesty is the best policy.

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