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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 329: Interpret It Which Way You Like

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/South_Park#Sexual_Harassment_Panda_.283.06.29

Gerald: You see, Kyle, we live in a liberal, democratic society. And democrats make sexual harrassment laws. These laws tell us what we can and can't say in the workplace, and what we can and can't do in the workplace.
Kyle: Isn't that fascism?
Gerald: No, because we don't call it fascism. Do you understand?
Kyle: Do you?

Ours is a strange society. We have laws which apply to most people, but not to some; we have words which mean different things to different people; we say things we don't mean and mean things we don't say; we bring our own cup to buy coffee but ignore the rainforests being destroyed to grow the coffee beans; we turn off a lightbulb to save power but ignore that millions of tonnes of coal is used in providing us with electricity; We keep our houses clean but sully the rest of the planet with rubbish... And those are just the funny contradictions I can think of off the top of my head.

If we were to really think about some of the things we so easily accept in life, we'd be pretty amused, confused and astounded. We trust so easily that everything we know is the absolute truth, that it is irrefutable simply because it is what we were taught. That alone doesn't make sense - nonetheless, it is what many of us believe and feel. The belief that the only religion that is true is the one we were taught; the belief that the best way to live is the way our parents taught us to live; the belief that the best food to eat is that food we were given; the belief that the right political views are the ones that surrounded us when we were growing up...

Our apparent human nature seems to proclaim that we will, upon becoming inflamed and impassioned, form a mob of some sort and play follow-the-leader to whatever end lies in wait. Is this simply our lot? To lose all form of independent thought and reasoning when someone gives a good speech and inflames our hearts with passion? Are we helpless to the mob mentality? We certainly have not tried to understand or overcome it. Our entire society is based on follow-the-leader, each different group having a few leaders that lead us to different places, most of them meaningless (like fashion and silly music). We follow all sorts of trends and beliefs simply because what monkey sees, monkey wants to do. Why do you think there are only certain types of people, that no one is really unique? It's easy to categorise and group people together, because we are all essntially the same. We think the same, which makes us act the same and the more globalised our cultures become, the less unique and individualised we become. Obviously we do not recognise that we are all looking, talking, walking, acting the same - because it is part of our culture to believe we are expressing ourselves in a unique way.

So, we live in a world where we are the same, yet we believe we are different which causes us to fight and bicker and impose ourselves, which will of course mean that one word can mean two entirely different things to different people. We may have different quirks and mannerisms, but the machinery and software is all based on the same blueprint.

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