Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Fall Of Man 10/10/10


You've probably already seen this. Frankly, I'm mesmerized by it. Yes, it's tragic (he dies in the fall), and yes, in all honesty, I find it tragically hilarious- unbelievably so (quite literally).

But it is this video that tells us who, as a species, we really are. Man, the maker of tools, conqueror of our physical limitations- and absolute child to our own emotion. What's really amazing is that that guy allowed himself to live as long as he did. And yes, it may be a tad simplistic, but it's the very reason we've been forever killing ourselves in wars, sabotaging our personal relationships, in essence- constantly thinking up new ways we can destroy all of what's most important to us while we build artificial constructs to delude ourselves of our most human of tendencies.

I've read that there are some scientists who think we should have never put our address on the Voyager satellite that we sent out into the great space beyond. It may provide access to those out there who may do us harm. Had we put this video on that spacecraft, no one out there would ever mess with us- or ever let us off this planet.


Gerald said...

I find it tragic that you find it hilarious and that you are using it to push your philosophy. You don't know this person or the exact details of the situation. He could've had mental problems or have been suffering from emotional issues. He could have had problems with medications etc. There could be any number of reasons why he did this. Can you imagine how his family must feel seeing this repeated over and over again on the internet and being used by sites for personal commentary? To me, this type of posting is an indication of how degraded our society has become. Try showing some sensitivity.

Stan B. said...

First, thanks for your comment. And I think you'll be happy to learn I have no books, followers or organization to "push my philosophy."

A couple of things, actually quite a lot of things... I'm not one of those guys who watch death or beat down videos, and if you've visited here before, you know how I've railed against this country's use of torture (I even find S&M sophomoric at best). But I do find this particular scenario so emblematic of our universal human condition- the fact that we so often go so very much out of our way to cut off our nose to spite our face (and yes, I myself have reigned supreme in that area many, many times).

Right now, our country is enlarging a war that both sides full well know we can't possibly win- nothing could be more emphatically obvious. And yet we persist in killing more innocent men, women and children with each and every errant attack.
We as a nation, as a people are persisting in the execution of something that has already been proven illogical, unachievable and capable only of continued death and destruction. Are our leaders any more mentally unstable than electric scooter guy?

If anything, this video should be shown, studied and dissected repeatedly in every philosophy, social studies and psychology class imaginable in order to address and better understand why we human beings are so goddamn self destructive! Dismissing it out of hand, blaming it on the condition of one aberrant individual, refusing to learn from it is what we as a species so often do- stick our goddamn heads in a hole and willfully elect to remain ignorant! What better way for this man's death not to have been lived in vain.

As for my finding this particular video "funny." I'm not going to reiterate the whole comedy stems from tragedy "philosophy." I trust you're familiar with it. Being human is being a living, walking contradiction in a highly contradictory and often dangerous reality.

Personally, I love pigs- they're so cute and lovable, and... intelligent. I also love the way they taste. Are vegetarians on a morally higher plateau? I think so- but I'll let Hitler and Ghandi debate that one.

jurassicpork said...

It's hilarious only in the most darkly humorous os ways. Nothing to laugh out loud at. But Stan's right- this is a perfect synecdoche of our love-hate relationship with technology that's always been our siren call. Tragedy, as with water, always seeks the path of least resistance. And technology, and the false sense of impunity, infallibility, invulnerability and invincibility it promises, always brings that about.

Gerald said...

Stan B. I understand why you posted it but it reminds me of a neophyte photographer taking candid photos of homeless people and posting them saying that they just want to bring the problem to everyone's attention. Of course in reality, you'd have to been locked in a closet for the last 100 years to not know that any city of a certain size has homeless people in it. In this case, you aren't bringing forth any novel philosophy or ideas and none that you couldn't have said without replaying what must be a horrible moment for the family of the guy. Like I said, you don't know the full story behind it and he may not share your philosophy. I'm sure you're not a vindictive or cruel person, but I suspect you are rather young.

Stan B. said...

Gerald- I guess we'll just have to disagree on this one. Usually, I am equally repelled by videos exploiting violence or people's basic humanity. But there's an exception to every rule, and this, as far as I'm concerned is very much the teachable moment. In fact, if I was still teaching students officially classified as "Intensely Emotionally Disturbed & Socially Maladjusted," I would most definitely show this to them- and after the laughter died down, we would then discuss how this man's lack of anger management was key to his own undoing and how it may also play such a crucial role in their own everyday lives.

I'm sure you're a nice, thoughtful person- but what does it matter that "he may not share your philosophy." That's a truly bizarre statement.

As for photographic analogies- how much of the history of photojournalism to this very day is based on tragedy and death, natural and man made? Are you really suggesting that this record of the history of mankind be stricken because of how their surviving family members feel?

Oh, and I've made no secret that I'm 54.

Anonymous said...

Had we put this video on that spacecraft, no one out there would ever mess with us- or ever let us off this planet.

The folly of a single individual isn't going to ward them off nearly so well as seeing what we've done to the planet from a near orbit - though there's the likelihood that the "address" won't be relative to any remaining celestial bodies if and when Voyager is discovered. Oh well.

Gerald said...

Stan - my comment on not sharing your philosophy was more about how you have portrayed him in this video and used it to expand your own personal philosophy. For all you know he could've been having a psychotic event and was running from some unseen enemy. Unlikely I'm sure, but still I just feel that you have exploited his tragic death for no other reason than it is sensational. You had another video posting earlier about Ben Stein and the general lack of empathy - especially in the right wing. I agree with this. But with the epidemic of the viral video (which you are contributing to) I have to say that sympathy is another emotion that is on the endangered list.