261. Boo! So What Are You Afraid Of ?

What are you afraid of? If you are under 30 you are prob­a­bly afraid of being laughed at by your friene­mies, but prob­a­bly not afraid of burn­ing half your brain cells and poi­son­ing your liver with booze, or get­ting an STD from bad sex. At younger than 30 you are immor­tal, so you expect to live with your friene­mies forever, but don’t expect to wind up in hos­pi­tal on an oxy­gen ven­ti­la­tor, racked with pain and depend­ing for sur­vival on a daily packet of deadly pre­scrip­tion drugs. If you are older than 30 your fren­e­mies are prob­a­bly already mar­ried, and too busy com­plain­ing about their mort­gage to worry about your hair­cut. By now you are not quite as fit as you used to be, and you’ve had your first hints of future death. You begin to worry vaguely about pains, pills, next week’s salary, and how you might not be master/mistress of the uni­verse after all.

No mat­ter, if you are older than 15 and younger than 60 you are scared wit­less of talk­ing about any­thing but the weather, the foot­ball and your favourite movie star. After all, who might be lis­ten­ing? Your Face­book page is a total threat if it con­tains any­thing except pho­tos of you on a sun­set beach, or your favourite pet. Why the ter­ror? That’s easy. Peo­ple used to be afraid of a venge­ful God, the Devil or the Lord of the Castle. Now Godzilla’s alias is HR. Sur­viv­ing HR per­mits you to have a “career”. Per­ish­ing from an attack of HR con­demns you to the char­nel house of pub­lic char­ity and pity. HR is a poi­so­nous cloud which hov­ers forever between you and the sun. This HR cloud is made from the acid vapours of sta­tis­ti­cal aver­ages and mas­saged employ­ment prej­u­dice. The once-were-human shapes which come out the other side of the HR cloud are bleached skele­tons, draped in the rags of fash­ion, dan­gling from pup­pet strings, fit­ted with voice boxes from the com­pany store. Of course, none of this is dis­cussed in polite cir­cles. A Mar­tian might find it hard to under­stand why the high­est aim of Earth­lings is to grad­u­ate as bleached bones dan­gling from pup­pet strings. The Mar­tian might not be aware though that the entire edu­ca­tion sys­tem, pop­u­lar media and weight of pub­lic opin­ion is focused on per­suad­ing young Earth­ling per­sons that their finest achieve­ment will be to qual­ify as bleached pup­pet bones on a respected pay­roll.

This entry was posted in culture, human nature, life, power, psychology, values, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply