May 27th, 2011
by Wayno & Piraro
Bizarro is brought to you today by Improper Sexual Advances of the 1950s.
Advances in DNA studies continue to point to the fact that more of our personalities, dispositions, and even personal choices are genetically programmed than we have previously thought. With what we know about evolution, human and otherwise, I have developed a theory of my own, which I will be publishing in the New England Journal of Ideas by People with Perhaps Too Much Time on Their Hands, called The Theory of Too Much Information. It goes like this:
For millions of years, all we had access to was information from our immediate surroundings, which means that knowledge of tragedy was fairly rare. Once or twice a year somebody would eat the wrong plant and drop dead, or maybe disappear after trotting off into the bushes for a pee break, never to be seen again, but that was about it. Every now and then you might run into a traveler who told you a story about someone being eaten by a mule in another village or whatever, but that wasn’t all that common. It has only been the last few hundred years that news from abroad was regularly available, and only the last few decades that news from everywhere was accessible 24/7. Consequently, our brains have not evolved the skills necessary to process this much bad news, thus causing conflict and despair. A person can’t possibly make sense of a day in which a crackpot dictator threatens the world with war, untold numbers of people are butchered for some ancient religious quibble, who-knows-how-many kids and hikers are missing, thousands of dolphins are slaughtered for sushi, and a Hollywood celeb incinerates his ex-wife with a flame thrower. Your brain has no option but to throw up its euphemistic hands and say, “The world sucks.”
If you find yourself in this position, my advice is to go on a News Embargo. Every few years I resort to ignoring all news –– local, national, and foreign –– and process only what is happening in my own village. (read: apartment) It’s really quite pleasant and you’d be surprised how little you’ll miss. If anything REALLY HUGE happens, like 9/11 or the series finale of LOST, you’ll hear about it anyway. Meanwhile, you won’t hear idiots professing their idiocy, whatever and whomever that means to you personally, and you won’t be frustrated because you can’t do anything about it.
My “activist” friends (and I have many) are critical of this approach, saying that I am hiding my head in the sand and that ignorance is exactly the problem. To them, I plead self defense. If I hear someone like Sarah Palin utter one more thought and see reporters treating her as though she were a serious political figure, I’m going to explode. Then the walls and floor of my own little village will be covered with my own blood and guts, and what will that have achieved?
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