Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Global civilization of zombies

A few years ago, I regularly accompanied a friend to the hospital, who had to undergo a bone puncture every three or four months. As this took place in the capital city, there was no anaesthesia so as to free a room as quickly as possible. I found the session absolutely unbearable, even for the simple spectator I was. The operation consisted in extracting a bit of bone with a syringe mounted with a very large needle at the end of which was something resembling a small sugar pincer.

Make a long story short, I sought to know if there existed a powerful antalgic with immediate effect. Nothing. So I asked a doctor friend to prescribe ampoules of valium with the idea of administering an entire ampoule to my friend before her next session. My doctor buddy said: “All right, I will prescribe this to you, but valium is not at all an antalgic, it won’t do much for your friend”. “No matter, I’ll try it nevertheless.”

After the next session of prehistoric medicine, whilst I was driving my friend back to her place, who was completely out of it, I asked if the valium had relieved her somewhat. She mumbled “it’s curious, I felt the pain as usual, but it’s as if I didn’t care. I was thinking to myself, “Hey? It hurts a lot! I don’t care…” It seems that some have a similar biological capacity to secrete a natural valium of sorts which enables them to observe in the same way not so much pain as emotion: “Hey, I am roused! I don’t care…” Thus, emotion is considered for itself, as if it were on the side, isolated, and it gives fruit to nothing nor does it entail an action.

Extrapolating on the principle, I realized that those people are spectators of reality, and thus spectators of themselves! For example, in light of a distressing scene, not a problem, they like the emotion it procures them before anything else. They look at themselves as experiencing an emotion and they please themselves in this manner. You think I am exaggerating? I fear not. There is for that matter quite a bit to see here, the word aesthetics having the same root as eisth├ęsis: sensation. Thus emotion is a sensation, and its provenance matters little since we can live it separately, for itself, without consequences. I assure you, there is a lot there that enables to better view the global civilization of zombies which is putting itself in place. As a matter of fact, that is how one sets shackles to a soul, by making it limp and by causing it to collapse unto itself. Moreover, this can be achieved quite easily, whilst announcing the best of intentions: who would reproach anyone of giving emotion to the largest number? Hmmmm? No one.

In the near future, I “prophesize” the birth of supermarkets of emotions. On sale: massacre of infancy as if you were there. In the mystery department, treat yourself to a Tibetan genocide. Promotion on the ground floor: the last Don Quixote’s of humanity having had faith in man… Christmas week: 50% off sundry obscenities, barbarities and massacres.

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  1. Man, I pray you are wrong. That would signify the complete loss of humanity. Take a break, you're getting cynical.

  2. Ha! Anonymous, I just came back from a break! I am only the translator of these words though. I did choose the title and the picture :) With the loosening of the electromagnetic shackles on the mind, there could be yet hope. If you had followed the evolution of the ethics debates, notably with the redefinition of the human person (consciousness and autonomy), you would realize that the seeds of a planetary genocide are being sown. Realism is not cynicism.

  3. Yes, there is a danger here, but it is the normal danger that is at the center of the mind's awareness. This matter of being disengaged and involved at the same time is what we do when we read a story, a romance, a thriller, existentialist despair – it's all very human. Man is the strangest of beings. Chemicals are just the useless explanation used by a generation drugged by scientific materalism. Nonetheless, perhaps we do do it too much today. The internet is especially bad for this. There we can very comfortably keep our distance from everything while we reach out and touch without touching. It is all becoming more intense. We Photoshop the world clean and as in a dream of pure light.

  4. Harvey-sounds like a rerun of the old "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" theme or "Brave New World.". A humanity deprived of its natural emotions is no longer human. Personally, I don't worry about the fate of humankind. I have my life in the present, which I love and enjoy, and the future cannot be seen even with the most powerful telescope.

  5. Very though provoking post. Some find it cynical but there is a real danger of your "prophecy" coming true. And we know "truth is stranger than fiction", not sometimes but many times...

  6. @Gary,
    That is well said. I do believe chemicals, drugs, electromagnetism, TV etc. contribute to a desenstization.

    @Nothing Profound,
    I agree the future cannot be seen, but I wouldn't say the same about the present ;-)

    Indeed. Thanks for piping in.

  7. What I find fascinating is how various cultures respond differently to the same stimulus.

    When I lived in Mexico for a few years, I observed that people LAUGHED at things which North Americans would find sad or anger-provoking.

    So I concluded that emotions are universal, but there is a wide variety of reaction to the same situation.

    By the way, thank you for stopping by my blog!

  8. I do agree that we are being rapidly desensitized by our our own technology and that the collective mind seems hell-bent on experiencing as much reality as possible on a second hand basis without the consequences of reality. We can kill with impunity in video games. We can create alternate realities; fashion models of what we wish to accomplish; project visions
    of futures;etc.,etc. Reality is cetainly not cynicism...
    nor optimisim;nor pessimissiom; nor any "ism." Does this collective mind, world soul, whatever, know or care where it's going? Count Sneaky

  9. @Cameron,
    Thanks for stopping by. Nice to e-meet you.

    @Count Sneaky,
    I hear you loud and clear. I would have a few things to say on the topic of desensitization. :-)