Thursday, February 02, 2006

Are We Domesticated Animals?

Sometimes I wonder if modern living isn't really like living the life of a glorified zoo animal. It's really rather depressing once you consider it. If you stick with me, then I think that you will tend to agree with me.

Here is how the average zoo animal lives. First, he is caged. That is, he is no longer allowed to roam free in his native habitat. Naturally, this will be depressing for the average wild animal, and no one wants to look at a depressed animal. So, the zookeepers construct a "virtual" habitat. That is, they put them in fake forests with fake streams. To keep them occupied, they put some toys in their cages for distraction.

Now, I am not saying that someone has come and locked me into my house, but practically speaking, I am here nearly all the time. I can occasionally "roam" in the forest, but it is not much of a forest, historically speaking, and I have zero chance of becoming lost in it. Nor do I have to construct fires at night over which to cook the game I have harvested, or boil the crops I have grown, etc. The closest thing I come to adventure, for the most part, is watching other people have adventures on reality TV. This in itself is warped, twisted, and sick. Since I cannot go and survive in the wild, I watch a bunch of other people go and survive in the wild...and even that place is a controlled environment.

Perhaps you are thinking, "Sojourner, are you mad? Do you really want to go someplace where you can get lost, with no air conditioner, and have to hunt game and wild berries to survive?" In short...yes, sometimes I most certainly do. Further, it might be nice to live in a society small enough where the local people could actually govern it. I keep thinking of this episode of lost where Sawyer tells the good doctor, "You're in the wild now, doc. I was wondering when you'd realize it." On that series, they construct their own sort of society where folks there have to deal with the ideas of justice, punishment, food, water, and other stuff. When I think of that sort of freedom, I get the creepy sense that "The Man" really has brainwashed me or something.

I mean, for the most part, I don't even have stimulating theological conversations with people face to face. I read it on the internet or in books I have bought. What kind of crazy, sanitized world do I live in, anyway?

If you are wondering where this post came from, I have no idea. Perhaps it is because hunting season is over now and the little barbarian that lives in me already misses the woods. (But even then, modern hunting isn't like real hunting. We sit in comfy boxes on office chairs watching over grass fields we've constructed to wait for deer that we basically raise and feed year round to wander out and graze so we can shoot it. I mean, seriously, how many hunters could actually track a deer and put an arrow through it?)

Still don't believe me? That's okay, but let me just say that the hand sanitizer that you use religiously should be a big tip-off that you are quite domesticated and docile, and that if you actually had to butcher an animal or dig in the dirt to plant potatoes, you'd be wanting to run back to the sofa for chips and a soda and the latest edition of Survivor.


brother terry said...

I feel that way all the time.

People say that we hunt to fulfill some male thing, but I think it's more to capture just a few fleeting moments of the wildman.

Wildman, Not Don Wildmon!

Justin R. said...

I hear you loud and clear. I started backpacking for that very reason. But even when backpacking you travel on pre-made trails. Just like you, I find my self watching LOST desiring to be somewhere away from everything that is convenient. I have a subscription to National Geographic’s Adventure and I look at pictures of wild places and read of other peoples journeys. I even have one place picked out that will stay in my mind forever, but I fear that I will never see it. Enough blubbering, I have to go catch an episode of Gilligan’s Island. Keep up the good work. The Tamed Tiger