keskiviikko 3. heinäkuuta 2019

A Brief (and Funny) Note About The Primitive Behaviour of Human Animals

A Brief (and Funny) Note About
The Primitive Behaviour of
Human Animals

Human behaviour is more primitive than we might want to admit. We are capable of creating art and show compassion for strangers but at the same time we also act like undeveloped simpletons, blindly following drives and needs such as survival, procreation, eating and sleeping in our daily life. When our most basic needs are not met, our animalistic nature is shown. In untrained and ethically poorly defined mind, greater potential and subtleties are nonexistent.

We look and measure other people, just like animals do and label them safe or unsafe, desirable or undesirable, attractive or unattractive. Here's a funny story.

Several years ago I used to go to a restaurant that was attached to a gas station. I frequented that place every day, as did about a dozen of male manual labourers. I used an entrance that was just next to the dining area. I opened the door and stepped in. Hearing the noise of the door and seeing someone come in, these guys always raised their heads from their plates to see who came in. At first, I didn't think much of it until I figured, that them probably not realising it, they were measuring me to find out whether I was alpha, someone tough and potentially dangerous or if I was weak and no threat to them. For few months, every day that I went there, I stepped onto their territory in a relaxed manner, wiping my shoes gently into the door mat, not making a number about myself. As I came in appearing like someone who didn't have much power, the guys just shrugged their shoulders, maybe even chuckled at me. Then one day I came up with a social experiment to test whether my perception of the situation was correct or not. The next day when I stepped in, I hit my boots strongly against the mat, pretending to shake snow off of them, and coughed loudly with chest broadly opened chest. With my strong masculine habitus I sent these guys a message that I was not someone they could fuck with and their reaction about me was instantly different. They put their heads down quickly, instead of taking a long judgemental look at me. They quickly returned to mind their own business, instead of passing a judgement of my inferiority. I was amused. I thought of pushing my experiment further, by walking to someone's table, looking them straight into their eyeball and taking their plate. This is a pronounced example but similar things happen every day. My point is that animal behaviour is very much part of our human life. I recall another example.

Even a neanderthal finds it funny.

Once I was travelling from Helsinki to Northern Norway to do a retreat there and had to change planes at Oslo airport. I had time, so I went to a cafe to have lunch. I sat down and noticed that there was a gentleman, dressed up in a very fancy suit on the table in front of me. I overheard from conversation he was having with his friend that his name was Frank. Funny thing about Frank was that even when he clearly was someone who had money and taste, and therefore likely life and lifestyle that reflected his wealth and class, everytime he took a bite of his food, he hunched over it and in a strange, bit of aggressive way glanced at his surroundings, as if someone was after his sandwich. I was looking at this man, probably in his 60's, with a stylish haircut, dressed in what might have been a 2000 dollar suite, act like an aggressive lion over its prey. It was both absurd and extremely funny! I played with a thought of going over and grabbing that sandwich but I think Frank had bitten me in the neck, if I had! I had never before seen human being act exactly like an animal.
-Kim, 3.7.2019