A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Truth is one of those things that everybody says they want, but in reality, people are not all that interested in it when it actually shows up. This is because people like to go with the flow, and truth tends to get in the way of what people want to believe. So here are a few truths that most people try to avoid.
Greed is not a bad thing — Greed may be responsible for a lot of problems in this world, but look around you: 99.99% of everything you see is the result of some greedy bastard figuring out a way to make money. Without greed, we’d all still be killing our own food, peeing in the woods and dying at the ripe old age of 31.
People are not equal — We’ve spent the last 4 generations trying to fool ourselves into thinking that all people are equal. They aren’t. Here’s how it works. I’m an average person — which means that there are millions of people out there who are smarter than I am and therefore have a better-than-average chance of making better decisions than I do. On the other hand, there are also millions of people who aren’t as smart as me, and therefore their decisions are mostly crap. Yes, we all bleed red blood, but smart people tend to avoid knife fights.
There is a Pretty Girl Rule — Like it or don’t, pretty girls get treated better than anyone else on this planet. On the flip side, they also have to put up with a lot more bullshit than the rest of us.
Advertising doesn’t work — Even though junior college sociologists keep telling us it’s not our fault we buy stupid stuff — it is. The truth is advertising doesn’t actually manipulate all that many people into buying things. If it did, we’d all still be driving Edsels™, drinking New Coke™ and playing Atari™ video games. Serious marketers know that advertising leads from the rear. It chases trends; it doesn’t create them and its sole purpose is brand recognition. Don’t believe me? Go spend a gazillion dollars advertising buggy whips and see how far that gets you.
Life is all about sex and death — I hate to admit it, but Freud was right and all those billions of synapses in our brains that are supposed to separate us from the beasts and the begonias — don’t. Arrogant we may be, but the bottom line is humans are just another species on this planet, and we’re governed by the same rules: stay alive, and get laid.
We’re getting better at this — Despite what the “Ain’t It Awful” crowd keeps yelling about, across the Internet and out of every other media orifice, the world is not going to Hell on frequent flyer miles. In the 21st century, there is less poverty, less famine, fewer wars, and fewer epidemics than at any time in history. There’s also less discrimination, less racism, less gender inequality and less violent crime. Infant mortality is at an all-time low, and life expectancy is increasing. We produce more food, clean more polluted water and generate more sustainable energy than ever before. There are still a lot of things wrong with this world, but the truth is — when you stop, take three deep ones, and look at it — we’re actually beginning to build a better world.