Stephen Kahn

Ill met

In Hard to tell on April 19, 2011 at 3:33 am

I don’t remember ever attending an auto race in person. No, on second thought, I did once attend a crash derby, where old wrecked cars crashed into each other. As I recall, the last car running “won” the race.

Even in “regular” races, where the winner is the driver who crosses the finish line first, there is an evil subtext. Although the drivers are very skilled, and wear safety equipment, and follow certain rules, and the fans don’t really want to see anyone hurt or killed, the races are in fact rather dull and pointless, so that the fans secretly hope to see a spectacular crash with cars rolling over and over, or bursting into flames.

I suspect that humans in general feel the same way about the possible collapse of civilization. There are signs of hope. Just this evening, as I listened to BBC news, I learned that Cuba, a country with problems typical of Communist dictorships, was reforming its agriculture and economic system, to iintroduce some gentle economic incentives. In Arab countries, dictators are being removed, and not being replaced by Islamic fanatics.

Such observations might lead us to think humanity is improving. However, please don’t ignore the How exciting it is to see a war or a huge disaster flaw in human beings. This does not just apply to automobile races. Tsunamis and earthquakes are exciting (as well as awful and heartrendiing) if they occur in Japan or Indonesia. There would be a thrill (as well as horror), if North Korea attacked South Korea. It’s cliched, I know, but We have met the enemy and he is us.

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  1. Hi Stephen,

    If I may make an easy prediction, things will not get better. I do like that supposed cliche “we have met the enemy and he is us”. There’s an interesting proverb that says “there is no temptation uncommon to man.” Some would vehemently argue against this, but I think the potential is in all of us to be that enemy of what is inherently good.

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