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Monday, 16 May 2016

Isn't nature awesome? Humans flip out over lion eating unborn buffalo - no wonder they're clueless about Syria

Joe Quinn

Are humans schizophrenic? This is a serious question. In general terms, a schizophrenic is defined as someone who engages in abnormal social behavior and fails to understand reality. You could argue that those two criteria are more or less the same, or at least that one leads to the other. If you fail to grasp reality, you can't have normal social interactions, and if your interactions with others are faulty, there's something you're missing when it comes to understanding the reality around you.

But 'failure to understand reality', now that one really describes the average human being (and in particular some of the above average ones). Granted, there are degrees of such faulty comprehension, and true schizophrenics are obviously on the extreme end of the spectrum, but it's all the same condition. So it's not surprising that a more rational and objective analysis of schizophrenia defines it as social illness rather than strictly genetic or physical, i.e. it is the result of the toxic influence of our wonderful, modern social mores and 'norms' on a person's mind, body and soul. Schizophrenics may be extreme cases, but we're all affected.

Is there any essential difference between a schizophrenic who believes something because voices told them to, and an entire nation of people believing that the US invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy because their government told them to? In both cases, the person/people are being manipulated by a bogus, manipulative authority. The only important distinction I can think of is that in the first case a single person's life is negatively affected, in the second, millions of lives are not only negatively affected, but destroyed.

So I'd argue that everyone is 'schizophrenic' to one degree or another, and anyone who disagrees should go see a shrink. But a specific example of people's maladaptation to truth or reality was brought to my attention when reading a story on about a wonderful recent event at Kruger national park: a lion ate a buffalo. Not impressed? Well the 'highlight' of this event for observers (and half the internet) is the fact that the lion tore open the (female) buffalo's stomach and pulled out its unborn fetus and carried it off to a few other lions who all ate it.

As it burrows its head in the bloody cavities of the dead animal it can be seen pulling out a fleshy object.

'What is it?' the man watching wonders, 'It looks like a bit of stomach.'

Then suddenly, as the big cat makes off with its find, the woman gasps in shock, 'It's a baby!' she cries.

'That was pregnant, it got the baby out,' she says in disgust, 'Oh my goodness, gross.'
Presumably, people go on safari to places like Kruger national park to see the 'wonders' of nature in all its awesome (usually censored) 'glory'. But is nature really awesome? Most people think it is, but it really depends on what you mean by the word and how much of nature you actually look at. The problem is that most people mean it in a good way: lots of the reverential, admiring wonder and awe, and none of the revulsion or fear. The brochures that offer such holiday experiences tend not to advertise the chance to see a baby buffalo untimely ripped from its mother's womb. And I wouldn't be surprised if many of the viewers of such an act are totally unprepared for it, expecting a taste of sanitized nature: lion and buffalo getting along like some Disney cartoon. 

But such acts are the nature of nature (at this level anyway). Look under any rock in your back garden, and you'll see something eating something else. Lift the roof on any human dwelling, and you'll see the same thing, and I don't just mean breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are more ways to 'eat' or 'consume' than via our digestive tracts. And that should be enough to inspire real awe. After all, the word comes from the Old English ege, meaning "terror and dread". 

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