Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Of the Carnal and the Catastrophic

I don't remember where I heard it, but I heard many years ago a theory that stated this: where there is lack of creativity, there is sex.

That whenever someone doesn't have an intelligent wit, creative mind or original sense of humor, they default to sex.

So when you are with a group of dudes, and EVERY SINGLE joke that goes back and forth is about gay sex -- or at least where that is always the default -- it means that you and your friends probably should raise the level of discourse.

My theory about this theory is one of reduction. When we are in a strange and foreign place, we wish to default to our homes. It's a safe place; a place we know.

The same things work when in our mental space. If you are a person who doesn't traffic in erudite discussion or highbrow humor, you probably get nervous when things get to that level, and if you aren't that bright, or just aren't that funny, you will often go to the lowest common denominator.

Ladies, let me let you in on a little secret: when guys are alone, especially if they are comfortable with each other, they will almost inevitably start talking about how they are going to have forcible homosexual sex with each other. It's just the way we operate. It actually doesn't start until college, because in high school you are way too afraid to even joke about being gay, lest the rest of the class think you are. But once you start living among other men, showering with them, and yes, having all sorts of gay sex with them, it becomes less taboo.

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic.

Because sex is one of our most base instincts, it is a sort of soft-landing pad for those of us who attempt to traffic in humorous discourse. However, I'm finding that the same is true for politicians who really have nothing to say but want to make a splash.

There has been a lot said about the relationship between sex and death, and I never really saw it. But they are similar in one way: they are probably our two most base obsessions, one we all want, one we all dread. It's easy to push the "sex" button, especially in media, with beer commercials, phone sex ads and "Two and a Half Men." Sex is something that grabs your attention and masks any lack of creativity. No one has ever watched an X-rated movie and bemoaned the lack of character arc.

The same goes with our survival instinct. So deeply ingrained in us is it that we will often act irrationally out of fear for our own survival. (We will certainly act irrationally because of the sex-instinct.) So when we feel our survival threatened, we will throw a lot of our rational thought out the window. This is why murder in self-defense is often not even a crime; anyone can identify with the survival instinct.

So now we have the Swine Flu, a disease that is sweeping Mexico and creeping up into the United States. And of course, a lot of politicians have decided to use this outbreak to scare up fear of Mexicans. ("Not only are they brown, but they are diseased!") Now I'm not saying Mexicans are bringing it into the U.S., and I'm not saying they're not, but as far as I can tell, most of the people who are getting it are people who have gone TO Mexico, and come back with it. There isn't a lot of data to support that Mexican immigrants are causing a pandemic here, at least not yet. If that changes, it changes.

But right now, we are seeing a bunch of people on Fox News TV saying that we need to tighten up border security due to this disease. So by that token, the U.S. citizens who brought the disease back should have been refused entry and left to get sick in Mexico, right?

And seeing all this, it occurred to me that people who prey on fear are not necessarily the most power-hungry or evil ... they are simply the most bereft of ideas. When former Pres. Bush couldn't push the PATRIOT Act through, he preyed on our fears. When Dick Cheney talks about Obama making the nation less safe, he does it because he has no alternatives that will make him relevant.

It is a natural instinct to want to be safe, and when our fear is impressed upon, it often makes our ears perk up to listen a little closer. But remember to question the guy promising doomsday scenarios just as you would question the snake-oil salesman promising miracles. It's ironic that we often reject hope out of cynicism, but take a big ole bite out of the fear sandwich without questioning who made it.

6 comments:

DG Dunford said...

Nice post. One of these days I'm going to butt**** you silly.

Toastie said...

Question, this fear sandwich, what type of meats are we talking about here cause all I want in a sandwich is the famous Shannon Sausage between these buns.

Toastie said...

No really, good post.

Bill said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Now let's plan our next homosexual sex get-together. All the best.

Ban-dingo said...

I have no idea what you are talking about.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/media/photo/2008-10/42772914.jpg

Ban-dingo said...

I measnt:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/media/photo/2008-10/42772914.jpg