We live in a complex society. There are many interacting parties. Technology has shortened the distance between interactions while condensing the size of the society. Whereas in the distant past, events were insulated and sheltered from our attention, technology has brought all human events, tragedies and triumphs alike, into our lives with such immediacy that in many cases it is almost as if we witnessed said events firsthand. Thus, the global human race, rather than being segmented into antecedent intimate pockets of social life, is one vast interlocking hive-like dynamic spanning Earth-scaled pathways milling around a small room the size of a cocktail bar. We witness en mass comment events unfolding together as if in a theater, and chat about it in real time to foreign, unknown voices. As the world and humanity broadens, adjoined complexity has raced ahead of our comprehension. Our senses and cognition are primal and rudimentary. We have been designed to understand the intricacies of only a few communal cohabitants. We can comprehend the interplay of 30 people but our world has become an incomprehensible stage of infinite players. We cannot deign to grasp this interplay. There are so many levels to our modern existence that they simply elude our understanding. We do not have the innate skills to understand and appreciate the finely-tuned disharmony between the legions of actors on this global stage. At least., not with our minuscule one-dimensional intelligence. Hell, we don’t even trust people to drive while talking on the phone.
Our society is one constructed of layers.
Layers upon layers of interaction and ramification. One human event invariably leads to scores of others. Each of those others then branches into scores of further derivations. The exponential growth of outcomes in this technological society is astounding and elevated clearly beyond human interpretation. The domino effect of life is magnified in this world where a chain of events ruptures like torched dynamite which spawns further reactions, and in an attempt to make sense of this, we focus on that which we feel strongest about and which is most easily discerned. We fixate on it in order to understand that vast chain of causal detritus that seeps out the scope of our viewpoint. Layers are our existence. Layers spells us out. Layers of reality, layers of happenstance, layers of effect, and layers of manipulation. We are feeble-minded though. We were not evolved to handle such an intricate understanding of the connected nature of human behavior.
I’d like to propose a situation in which I tag each character with an alphabetical identity. I want to propose a chain of events.
Let’s start our melodrama with 2 people.
A and B.
A is a rotten individual, prone to sadism, theft, opportunism and sloth.
B is a saint. A godly man. He has a family and believes in justice and morality and lives a sense of wrong and right we can all agree on. Hell, he even goes to church and earns about $250,000 per year.
A is going nowhere. He has succumbed to the depths but he has proven that deeper awaits.
B is beyond pale. B is incapable of defilement. B is the person we trust.
One evening, A is very tired. Earlier in the day, he attacked and robbed a convenience store owner. But as usual, he got away and spent the rest of the afternoon watching television and eating Cheetos. Not a worry in the world, for A is ruthless. After a day of watching television, the sun begins to set, and well-rested, he becomes bored. He has done nothing all day but eaten and slept with his “earnings.” The day has been spent in a state of trashy hibernation. A wakes up with a start and decides he needs to get laid. He knows of a small quartet of housing blocks where a lot of basehead whores can be had for a few bucks, and he has a lot left over from his afternoon hunt.
Focused on his goal, he dashes out his apartment. He walks stridently and keeps his head down. He has no need to entangle himself in anything other than getting laid. He’s very horny right now! He has a hoodie pulled over his head, hands in pocket. Walking briskly. In order to get to the basehead’s hood, he has to walk through a pedestrian area that caters to many classes of people and during this stretch, he accidentally bumps shoulders with B. It’s an honest collision. B was too busy looking down at his 4-year-old daughter and didn’t see the robust and hormonal A speeding to get laid. After the collision, they both glare at each other, with entirely different motives and life experiences clouding their vision. B’s glare is sour and helpless. A’s is aggressive and murderous.
The glare lasts 2 brief seconds. B backs down quickly and begins attending to his daughter again. A, if not for the lure of basehead pussy, might have elevated this into a serious event. He continues fiercely where he was going prior to the interruption. He finds his regular girl who he has hired before and she puts out for 20 bucks and they are both set for the night.
B continues with his daughter and wife, disconcerted and slightly upset over his apparent lack of masculinity, but doesn’t talk about it. They eat dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and drive home where he stews quietly while his wife scolds the children. Preoccupied and distant, he sits in the study and wonders why A appeared so angry. He fixates on the glare.
He can’t stop thinking of the glare. Of the animal ferocity that resided in the man’s eyes. B knows A was an animal with little restraint.
B understands he was a meek, pampered puppy burdened with nothing but restraints.
And he hates his existence for a brief moment before he buttons up the doubt and once again pretends to be pleased with this upper crust life, for the sake of his children and marriage.
It could have been so much more, but it was so much less.
Disappointment colors his world. He is disappointed. This is the communal spirit of modern man.