I spend a lot of time of late wondering just why people go out of their way to shoot themselves in the foot, from the daft sods who on queuing up all night for the latest iPhone, manage to drop them on concrete on the first day, through people who get bad tattoos or take stupid risks with drugs to those daft buggers who go off on adventures with zero planning only for the rescue services to have to deal with it at insane cost. The world is a dangerous place, there is disease, accidents, natural disasters and crime but, as if that wasn’t bad enough, so many people go out of their way to ruin their own lives. Granted, you talk to people who have screwed up big time and they usually have an explanation. It might not seem even vaguely sane from your point of view but from their’s it is the most logical thing in the world. I walked past a man in his fifties today, he had two huge Chinese characters tattooed up his face, they had that blue’d out, shopping list fished from freshly washed jeans look which suggested they were done along time ago. I was temped to take a photo and run it through Google translate and see what it said, I expect it would be something like “stupid drunk white man” it usually is.
The world is full of human tradigies, George Bests and Amy Winehouses who had it and the spectacular lost it. Why do people do that? They finally get what they always wanted and then…Phht! Up it goes in smoke. I have a number of theories about why people do this, maybe they are right, maybe not. I think a lot of people get so used to things being shit that they can’t handle life any other way, they haven’t the reference points for being happy. It’s like watching a freed circus elephant pace five foot forward and five foot back, the distance the chains it no longer wears would allow it to go still etched into their very being. Sometimes the chains stay on in our heads, no matter what we do. So many people sabotage their own happiness when they get it. There are so many tales of millionaire lottery winners who ended up in worst places than where they started as well as those who didn’t change a thing, still doing crappy jobs and leading narrow existences.
We are such strange creatures us humans, whilst we would like to believe we are the masters of our own unique destinies, we have about as much free will as one of those rescued circus elephants, walking our few feet forward and back. Once we get to a certain point in childhood, our brains are set, we are who we are and it takes a gargantuan effort or incredible trauma to shake us from that hard wired setting. It can be done though… You just have to really want it.
The really surprising thing is that people can’t actually image a life outside of the one they have, they can’t imagine a world perceived different from the one the believe and, more importantly, are invested in believing exists. Whilst on a personal level we are all special butterflies whose individual rights to be who we want to be must be respected, blah, blah, blah, blah, it is the cumulative total of all that stuckness that makes the world such a disfunctional mess of stuck people going through the same counterproductive routines because we can’t imagine anything much different, myself included.
Strangely enough, the sheep like quality of many humans is actually much more apparent in those trying to convince themselves and others that they are different, the clothes you wear, the hairstyle you grow, the piercings you have, the tattoos you sport and the drugs you take keep you as regimented and trapped as any suit. Be you, hipster, rockerbilly, goth, rasta, emo, hippie, whatever, you are all trapped regardless of what you chose to believe, you are a marketable and malleable commodity to someone. Perhaps even more so as your belief in your difference means you have let your guard down.
According to the marketing industry, I’m an ‘edge dweller’ and we are very rare and up until the age of Google and targeted ecommerce we were too much trouble to market to as we see straight through all the tricks, now we are just another software patch in a marketing algorithm.
So really, what is wrong with us all? Why do we do it? Why do we fuck it up even when we are handed exactly what we want? I honestly don’t know, but I would hazard a guess that it is because we are all stupid barely evolved monkies, clever enough to fashion smarter and smarter tools but still too stupid to know what to do when we have fixed all our problems, except of course create a few more.
Let’s face it, most of us are doomed, myself included, and quite rightly so, buying tickets to board the titanic, even though we already know it will sink.