Witnessing human zoo

  • March of humanity continues in shared cages where they fight against alienation and hanker after happiness in shopping bags

Our cage is cramped, food is getting scarce for many, for others misery is abound yet our march continues. Politics, once a serious, solemn business, is entertainment. Entertainment, once a sideshow, has snatched the limelight and dances wherever it roams. Philosophy, once the domain of the genius and learned, is relegated to the fringes where it is both barren and inconsequential. Science, that once held the promise of emancipation from all woes, is playing second fiddle to technology. Religion, once the source of solace and satisfaction, is held hostage by charlatans and bigots.

Among us captives of the zoo are sad, bitter creatures who know as a gospel truth that our cage’s economy is in the gutter, our politicians are either crooks pretending to be saints or sex symbols convincing us that they have mended their ways. The rot is eating our core, and the society has turned itself into a dog-devouring-dog cage. Amidst us all the dolled up anchors yell at top of their lungs, evening in, evening out so as to convince us that things are beyond redemption and no matter what we do, they are simply beyond repair.

All of the above things may sound and look worryingly bad, even apocalyptic to some. Trust me, they just sound and look as such. In our day to day lives things aren’t half as bad, folks, if only we had the will and courage to see it sans dystopian lenses that our ubiquitous screens have put on our eyes.

For those of you who still have in them the capacity to skim through a book or read a summary, kindly search ‘Better angels of our nature’ by Dr Steven Pinker. Doctor Pinker teaches psychology and linguistics at Harvard University and is a famed author. In his 800 page heavy tome, Pinker delves deep into causes and reasons as to why violence has decreased over time among our species. Less people go to their beds with empty stomachs than a decade or two back. No two states are at full-blown war with each other. The average life expectancy all over the globe is on all-time high. Child mortality rate is on all time low in the entire history of our species. Millions and millions of people are getting out of debilitating poverty every month. Our condition has improved when looked through statistics and figures.

Individually many among us feel that our pleasures have abandoned us long ago, our hopes dashed eons back, and now we are waiting for a requiem to bid farewell to our fears.

Life is a strange struggle in human zoo. The monsters of yesteryears are victims of today, the successors of oppressed nobodies become the mouthpieces of liberty and deliverance. The meek and humble, once empowered, turn into brutal taskmasters. War, famine, want, and poverty brings the best and the worst of qualities in us mortals entrapped in zoo.

The human quest for control and utter supremacy over ‘other’ is no longer undertaken by medal-laden old generals trained in the craft of warfare

Our zoo has become a place where even the basic facts about everything under the sun are disputed, stats are unreliable and twisted and truth is exiled to a land from where no soul returns? Since, we humans are in habit of naming things, we call our time the ‘Post-Truth’ age. Meaning thereby that the truth is dead, gone and buried. Let the one who can yell the loudest and have the charisma to turn people into blind followers be the leader of men.

Also, the human quest for control and utter supremacy over ‘other’ is no longer undertaken by medal-laden old generals trained in the craft of warfare. The mighty armies have been relegated to the fringes where they plan, execute and command their armies against motley gangs of insurgents, rebels and belligerents in godforsaken tracts of land. A man armed with a laptop, an Internet connection and a sinister mindset can wreak more havoc than a militant armed to the teeth.

The truth about our nature is: No matter how much we love to think of ourselves as rational, logical beings our motivations and preferences are always rooted in primal emotions of fear, hatred, and love. We rationalise our choices, we sublimate our urges, we channelise our animal instincts, and we repress our utmost desires and passions. We perennially crave for an outlet. The caveman found it on walls, the kings and feudal lords found it in waging wars and patronising the artists and poets, the industrialists found it in his mad pursuit of power, prestige and money. Now, the countless online podiums bestow upon us an outlet to vent out our frustrations and have catharsis.

While we are busy polluting our cages, the sun happily plays dawn and dusk over human zoo.