Ok, I'll admit it. I watch Nascar sometimes hoping to see a good wreck.... Who wins? Well, thats not that much of a concern to me. There is at least a little bit of this person in everyone. Have you ever wondered why? What makes a Nascar wreck so interesting? I think there are actually a few different things that come into play.
The first and foremost is that in most cases no one is seriously injured. This is a primary reason why someone who sees a wreck happen in front of them on the interstate will have nightmares about it and yet that same person loves the carnage of a Nascar wreck. This will, of course, vary between person on how the respond but at a very base level there is a part of every one of us that has a huge respect for other human beings and care about their well-being. I don't think that in today's age we make that very evident because there are so many things in our enviornment that lead us in a different direction than what our base selves are trying to be but I'll touch on that a little later.
The second thing that is extremely important is that it is totally unexpected. Did you ever wonder why a wreck seems so much more exciting when you're watching the entire race as opposed to just seeing a clip of the wreck it's self? It's the element of surprise. If someone is showing you a clip of a wreck then you are expecting it.... but if you're watching the race and it happens live, it's unexpected and it's just that much more exciting.
The third important thing is that it's a break from the norm. If you look at a typical Nascar race, all of the cars race around a track 200 some laps. It's the same thing over and over again and why there are a lot of people that just simply can't stand watching Nascar. Some people take notice of the details of that race regarding who is in what position and they may know stats of who is expected to win and it's exciting to them when they see someone else taking the lead -- the more unexpected that person is to take the lead, the more exciting the race is. A wreck is the ultimate break from the norm.... instead of cars going around laps on all 4 tires, suddenly, it's different... things going in different directions.... We are designed to break from the norm so when other things break from the norm, well, then we almost "relate".
So we relate to chaos? Actually, I think we do in a very abstract way. Why are horror movies so popular? Thrillers? Comedies? Drama? Did you ever stop and realize that every single one of these genres of movies have a very important element -- the element of surprise. Why is it that Drama tends to be a less "popular" genre of movie? If you think about the typical genre, there isn't always a lot of surprise. There's the boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married.... we except these things to happen. A good drama is hard to build because dramas all tend to be based on the same thing and it's hard to integrate these unexpected things.... that's why we've started seeing so many more "romantic comedies" ... We just can't simply have the same romance films and be entertained and the best way to mix in unexpected happenings is with comedy. That's really all comedy is.... something that is unexpected.
Since I have been working on my TV system (MythTV / LinuxMCE) I have started relaxing more with hulu.com and ended up starting to watch Fringe. This show has gained a lot of popularity and its not hard to see why.... the confusion, the thinking, the mystery.... these are concepts that our lives were designed around. Fringe has made me realize a lot of additional things than just these elements.... things that may exist in me and not many others.
When I was a kid I had a matchbox city set. It was a little town that folded up and had streets, police department, fire department, some stores, hospital, etc. I remember it being entertaining to me to cause accidents between cars on the streets... sure, every boy did. The more I have been thinking about how my life has been going and the directions God seems to lead me in I'm starting to remember something very interesting that I used to do when I played with that town. When an accident occured I would, of course, bring in the fire truck and police car.... but I always did something interesting.... I would build temporary roadways and find ways of directing traffic around that accident. For me, it wasn't so much the accident it's self that was exciting but it was trying to find a way around that accident.... how can it be taken care of?
Now, I don't think you'll run in to many people that could say they built temporary roadways on their matchbox playset. I guess you really don't meet many people like me either. I remember looking around my room and finding things that I could use to build roads with.... I'd often use paper and cardboard and every kind of tape you'd imagine... straws were useful... The thing was, I always needed to look at what options I had and use them the best way I knew how. Hey, I was a kid that couldn't drive and had no money so was I going to go to the store to buy something? Not a chance. I was forced to use what I had instead of taking the easy way out and getting what was needed.... and I had a lot more fun in doing that anyway.
So what is it that is happening in our society? If you look at corporations that grow larger and larger you'll notice a general trend.... those companies lose their creativity.... they get comfortable.... they grow bored. Oh... they get greedy too. Is it all greed? Well, maybe not. I can imagine if I was an accountant I'd probably get bored of the same thing over and over again... there is that part of me that wants to think and be creative.... but I've got people holding my hand and watching everything I do... so the creativity has to happen in secret.... all of a sudden it's "Can I actually get away with this?" more than it is "I really want to have that money"..... Don't get me wrong, money is driving a lot of disaster but what is the motive to do wrong to get it? Quite possibly it's the lack of creativity.
We, as humans, were created into uncertainty. You can see this in watching a child grow up. Everything is amazing to them.... we're not sure of much at all when we are born.... but we learn..... The problem is how we learn. Are we told "this is the way things are" or are we guided through our experiences and left to figure out things on our own? If you talk to any child psychologist they will likely tell you that you need to give your child options and ask them what they'd like to do rather than tell them what to do.... it's important in their growth. But while the child psychologists have this it seems a lot of parents don't.... most of that is out of frustration..... you want your child to do something because you need a break...... Another place that you start seeing this "do it this way" is in the school systems. I remember in middle school math being told to show my math. There were many times on a test that I lost points not becuase I didnt have the right answer but because I didn't show how I came to that answer. The more I think about this, I wonder if this is why I hate math so much. I remember that I used to love trying to figure out equations but anymore, I can't stand it. It kind of makes me wonder if that's part of the reason my math scores started dropping.... I had my way of doing it.... I figured it out for myself.... but I was punished because I didn't do it the way the school system said I needed to.... It seems to get worse in college.... there is such an emphasis of the way things are that they really no longer cultivate the creativity that we need in order to go beyond where we are now.
We go through our lives in social situations. We're taught what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.... and every single one of us is deadened to at least some extent. If we are raised in a family that is prejudice then we have a greater tendancy of being prejudice as well because, well, we're taught that this is the way it is. We don't have a change to realize that a black person can be extremely smart and that they are just like a white person.... these are things that "any idiot" can figure out.... but we're learning based on what we are told first and then we'll figure out what we're not told.... this, my friends, is why laziness is such a bad thing. We're so lazy that we will take anyone's word on any situaiton rather than looking in to that ourselves.
Take a moment to think of the stereo typical things that you are taught. What child has not heard "when you grow up and make lots of money....." You see, its comments like that that flat out tell us that money is important to our happiness. We stop taking the time to figure out other things in life because our entire world revolves around money that we are essentially told that this is the way it is.... the longer that goes on the more focused we become.... We see the patterns that have made many businesses lots of money and we take those as being told how to do things -- rather than figure out a new way on our own. Then we see businesses making these same moves and even when they are totally wrong us consumers go "well, hey, they are a business".... This horrible cycle repeats it's self. Sadly, that pattern gets worse each time it repeats it.
As a result of these processes and cycles we are not given the chance to figure out who we really are... from the time we are born we are surrounded by this world that is showing us everything the way that it wants to be and because of our internal laziness, we don't take the time to figure it out. We quickly lose who we are as humans and we become part of the problem. If we decided to think on our own we become a "rebel" or told that we just live in a dream world and, in many cases *ahem*, we end up in mental care because we're not conforming to the world is. All of this happens while the world continues to decide that communism is bad. Whether our government is communistic or not we live our lives in such a horrible hippocritical way and we show our own little communism to anyone who doesn't conform to our standards.
I believe that the only way to really save our nation and our world is to break free of the comformity. We need to quit thinking that throwing money at the economy is going to solve the problems. We need to believe that some crazy ideas might actually be the solution..... And maybe we just might need to think about the person that we wrote off our entire life as being totally crazy and psychotic might actually be the uncomformed rebel that we need to help all of us find ourselves.