Anti-Humanity?

The human race makes me SMH sometimes. (SHAKE MY HEAD, for those of you not familiar with text-speak vernacular). When you get down to brass tacks, our race does a lot more harm than, say, sharks. And sharks are feared a lot. Sharks get blamed for a whole lot of stuff, mainly eating people’s limbs. But the human race killed more people with the atom bomb in a single day than the entire shark population has killed in… a century. That’s a lot of people.

It’s makes us pretty easy to hate. But since we’re the only animals who speak English, we don’t catch any flack about it from dogs or giraffes or, more tellingly, sharks. Who is anti-humanity? Humans.

And I realize we probably don’t deserve the gold medal for “Best Animals Ever.” (That would probably be panda bears or sea otters, both very cute). We do a lot worse for the environment than any other animal, even worse than kudzu or mangrove trees. When you reach that level of destruction, something bad is going on? It is more likely you will be killed by a human than a shark, though not all humans think you’re tasty. For the record, I bet you’re delicious.

Despite all this, I don’t agree with hating on humanity. I know I just laid out a lot of very bad things we’ve done, but since I’m human, I’m on Team Humanity. I’ve heard a lot of fellow humans (I’m supposing most of you reading this are human- Sorry 1% sentinel cyborgs) do not think humanity is “good.” In fact, a lot of people believe that humanity is innately evil. We are savages driven to kill and destroy and a few systems of government and religion are all that keep us from tearing into each other’s throats.

Sure, you could lock yourself in a closet and never have to deal with humanity ever again, but how fun would that be? You’d miss out on so much.

For example, board games. Playing Monopoly alone would be less fun and less violent. Without other people, not only Monopoly is given up.

We can kiss, sumo-wrestle, or do both at the same time. We can hold intense philosophical conversations and learn from each other. We can help each other survive. We can’t play freeze tag alone without dying of starvation. Face it, we need each other and cannot turn away from humanity. The human race is all we’ve got, so why give that up? We need each other for the purpose of, for example, love.

Without getting too gooey and cliche, I’ll admit we need love. Maybe you’ve been broken up with, divorced, and chopped up into tiny pieces by a serial killer, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never need another person to be with you. To love you. Unless you’ve been chopped up into tiny pieces by a serial killer. Then, you’re dead.

If human beings were meant to live alone and hate each other, we may never have invented salsa dancing or sports games or parties or sex. All these things are what we get in return for being part of a somewhat horrid race. But perhaps that is the point of humanity. In a way, we’re despicable. But that wickedness is bred from the same race that brought you Super Mario Bros. and hang gliders. Do you realize how cool hang gliders are? Very much so.

We have this incredible duality: we have free will and so can commit either atrocities or great acts of love.

So, before condemning your own race to the bowels of Hell, think about what horror it would be if we were any different. Imagine us as clean robots. Sure, we may never spill ketchup on the floor of restaurants so waitresses are forced to clean it up. But we also would be unable to love.

That is more than can be said for sharks.

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About derekberry

Derek Berry co-hosts and organizes Charleston youth-centered poetry movement The UnSpoken Word which features a variety of upcoming and established slam poets in various Charleston venues. The UnSpoken Word attempts to give voice to a variety of experiences and implement art to enact changes in coalition local activist movements, most notably the queer community. He also performs in venues and competes in slams across the US. He is a spoken word poet, a photographer's assistant, and a Political Science student at the College of Charleston. He worked as a journalist and columnist for Verge magazine for two years based out of Augusta, GA. He was the first winner of the 827's Holy City Slam. Derek recently published his first chapbook Skinny Dipping with Strangers and released his first spoken word album Perfect Nights, produced by Smohn Jith Studios. The publication of his novel Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County is also forthcoming through PRA Publishing. Derek Berry has absolutely no clue what he might do with his life, but he's going to make a damn difference.

Posted on January 31, 2012, in Controversy, gore, Government, Sex, Word Salad, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. ur a smart guy :)

  2. Humans, like many other species are social by nature. Unlike many other species, we kill or maim our own species, often for no particularly good survival reason.

    I was listening to an NPR show that has an interview with a scientist who studied primates. She said that chimps and Bobos (I thinks that was what she called them) are primates that share like 98% of human DNA. The difference is that chimps are aggressive and kill each other while bobos are cooperative and protect each other. Some humans (maybe most) are more like chimps; a smaller percentage are more like bobos.

    I’m a total bobo. How about you?

    • I’m not sure any of us are like either primate. Rather, we’re a mix of both. Sometimes, we’re driven by destruction, sometimes by compassion. But it constantly changes. Violence, after all, is in our nature as much as is love.

  3. I like your thinking, but maybe there’s another theory. Maybe its a simple truth that we dont belong on such a beautiful planet. Everything around us lives in a constant balance of life and death, where as we pollute and destroy everything we come in contact with. Deep down in our DNA that’s just who we are. Viralism the dark truth of the jouney of Man.

  4. Wonderful post. too much wisdom in one so young!! It is only the young who have wisdom.

    “Do I contradict myself ?
    Very well then I contradict myself.
    ( I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

    -Walt Whitman

    Come and read me. We will get on , I just know it!!

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