(This is not his real name, just a name I came up with).
Self-destructive Man: “Self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He’s an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, “I must be insane.” What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses, in catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods, and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he’s gotta have it: depression, strife, riots, murder, all this dread. We’re irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It’s in all of us; We revel in it.
Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things, painting them up as great human tragedies. But, we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world, no. Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers-that-be want us to be passive observers. Hey, got a match? And, they haven’t given us any other options outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. You want the puppet on the right? or the puppet on the left? I feel that the time has come to project my own inadequacies and dissatisfactions into the socio-political and scientific schemes. Let my own lack of a voice be heard…”
(Self-destructive man commences pouring gasoline on himself and lighting himself on fire)
I remembered this scene in the film Waking Life because of what’s been happening lately with the Al-Ghad article fiasco stirring some strong sentiments socially and in the local blog world. I myself am governed by similar sentiments regarding the illogical death of a man who, as of yet, has not been identified, but more importantly the social reaction to the bad journalism. The bell that went off in my mind was…what is it about man that loves turmoil, destruction and tragedy. What is it that makes it so appealing our media everywhere has capitalized on it, playing on our fears, hopes and sentiments? What makes us as a society swallow every word? Why has even real life become a tabloid story to the mainstream media?
Is Self-destructive man right? Do we as a society, have a vested interest in suffering and human tragedy? Is the media merely investing in that market as any private business does? What I saw here was misinformation disseminated without accountability, without responsibility, without a shred of (what appears to be) fact-checking. What I also saw was an understandable yet unreasonable social reaction in Iraq.
Perhaps we are on this path of self-destruction. Perhaps it is an inherent human flaw. And perhaps it is an inevitability the media is teaching us to accept.
A self-disciplined person with intellect on his side will not allow himself to be led and manipulated by nonfactual digressions – a headline that used to catch my eye and pique emotion no longer does so because I’ve learned not to accept such headlines at face value, and I attribute this to being lied to by media, be it by a slanted newspaper article or advertisement alike.
All human instincts can be controlled and mastered, including impulsiveness, and I will not allow any one or thing to convince me otherwise.