LIFE AT THE ZOO

 

Lethargic polar bears lounging on plastic icebergs?  Check.  Tigers pacing back and forth?  Check.  Chimps flinging poo at bystanders? Check.  Make no mistake, dear reader;  you’re living at the zoo. 

I don’t normally do it, but today I let down my guard.  Maybe it was the cars scurrying down the road like rats, their metal box chassis caging the occupants inside.  Or maybe it was a larger picture… Humans swarming like insects over the planet, grouping together in virtual cages of tribe, ethnicity and nation.  But suddenly I felt trapped in a dirty smelly enclosure and wondered who or what put me there.

I used to think higher reasoning and culture were the hallmarks of our society.  Now I think otherwise.  It’s not art or philosophy highlighted on the front page of my browser.  It’s conflict.  What quarrelsome creatures we are.  No wonder we’re forced to live small.  If we had the ability to move beyond our cage into the vastness of space, we’d bring all our nasty habits with us.  Who in their right mind would adopt us into the Federation of Planets?  We’re worse than Romulans and the Borg combined.

Is high function subject to the animal?  Maybe George Orwell was right;  Some of the people I saw in the grocery store this morning did remind me of cows.  Everyone was sedately herded through the aisles and funneled into the cashier’s lanes like sheep.  We all took our bags and walked out to our cars as if we lived in Farmer Hoggett’s barn.  I sort of expected a beatific voice to say to us all, “That’ll do, pigs.  That’ll do.”

Except there are no rousing cheers when we perform on cue.  There are, however, painful reminders of what might happen if we don’t.  Think about it.  Countless laws, restrictions, prohibitions, taboos all designed to keep us orderly and we observe them, terrified of the consequences here and in the hereafter.

And yet…  there are those who refuse to be bound by such measures.  Those fat polar bears lounging on public largesse?  Corporate hoarders.  Those chimpanzees hurling dung in your face?  Zealots.  Hungry tigers eager to kill and devour?  War mongerers.  We might delude ourselves into thinking that these troublemakers are safely behind bars.  The problem is that we’re locked up with them.

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4 Responses to “LIFE AT THE ZOO”

  1. Orwell would be proud, and Jung as well.

  2. “Who in their right mind would adopt us into the Federation of Planets? We’re worse than Romulans and the Borg combined.”

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of it Kim, an old movie called “Alien Nation” starring James Caan? Humans and an alien species living together on earth, with the aliens integrated into society. Caan plays a cop, and his partner is an alien. At one point he asks the alien what took them so long to come to earth? The reply was along the lines of – we’ve been watching you humans for years, and seen how you fight and battle with each OTHER and can’t live in peace amongst yourselves… why on earth (excuse the pun) would WE want to come THERE?

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Federation of Planets was watching us here on earth right now – and pointing one almighty huge missile our way to obliterate us should WE ever discover another life elsewhere. I don’t think we can be trusted.
    Excellent blog… thanks to Bill for highlighting it.

    • Many thanks for your kind words, Mousie. I do remember that series, mostly how difficult it was for the alien partner to be accepted… which is a whole other blog about our zenophobic ways.

      Hmmmm…. violent and suspicious. I think you’re right about that missile. 😀

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