Have you ever been to the zoo?
Do you remember the exhibit of monkeys?
You can watch those monkeys for hours on end, and if you attract their attention, you can get into a game of mirror image. The monkey will actually mimic what you do. It's a fascinating study.
And it's proof we're descendants, in my opinion.
Because we're mimics.
I don't know how many of you can remember a movie called THE PROGRAM. It starred James Caan, and it was about a college football program, but what's important about it is this one scene: Some of the players, to prove their masculinity, lie down on the white line in the center of the road.
After seeing the film, a few people went out and tried, and were promptly run over by several cars.
I'm sure by now, some of you have seen THE SIMPSONS. Now, let's not for a minute suggest that Bart Simpson is a role model.
And yet, many children spent much time in offices and whatnot because they said, "don't have a cow, man" to their teacher.
The list is pretty endless:
FAST AND FURIOUS: Drag racing accidents and fatalities rise.
THE WARRIORS: Street fights outside theatres across the country.
FEAR: Encourages at least one high school boy to stalk and plan to kill his ex- girlfriend's parents.
JACKASS: THE MOVIE: Oh, don't get me started.
Unfortunately, we don't mimic the works that could actually improve our lot on this sorry little planet; we mimic the truly idiotic, and dangerously insane.
But understand; I'm not blaming the media. I'm not blaming the television industry, or the film industry. I'm blaming the entire society that requires more elaborate and extreme sporting events, bloodier violence in our films, and completely mind numbing, IQ reducing crap on our televisions.
The media stokes the fires with what the fire wants. How can we blame them? In the words of Pogo Possum, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
And even our news media stokes the fires. Recently, deep into the newspaper and not at all on the television, I read an article about creating viable stem cells in a lab, and opening the door to cures that would not require the "morally questionable" use of terminated pregnancies, etc....
And instead, we get the "assault on reason" du jour.
Caligula would be so proud.