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Morlocks and Eloi

That scene in the 1996 movie "Ransom" haunts me. The bad-cop, played by Gary Sinese explains how society has broken down along the lines of H.G. Wells future in "The Time Machine". According to Sinese's character, we're all either Morlocks or Eloi now.
For those of you unfamiliar with the literary reference, we're either Wolves or Sheep. I've struggled with this.

The fact is, I don't want to believe it. But reality is an ugly mistress. Everywhere I look, I see a bunch of marginally incompetent morons. They can't fry an egg, or change a car tire. The average Millennial can work their smart phone like Brahms on a piano, but would be flummoxed by a saw or an axe.

I've railed against this before, but it has gotten truly scary. Maybe this is you. If so, a I am truly sorry. My generation has failed you. Instead of Shop or Home Economics, you now learn gender and racial studies in school. We didn't protest loud enough when the neo-fascist liberals took over. Instead of producing critical-thinking, self-reliant citizens, the schools now focus on producing sheep. Eloi. Conform, or be cast-out of the flock.

And we know who the Morlocks are. We vote for them every four years. They eat us, yet we protest like sheep bleating. We somehow think that we can elect kinder, gentler wolves. But, since we've indoctrinated a generation into a false narrative of vapid, empty "change", the wolves will never go hungry. Baaaaaa.

At this point, what can I do? How can you explain to a docile, weak populace that dependency is BAD? There are commercials on TV showing people with car troubles. Flat tire, out of gas, dead battery. The commercials suggest that YOU have power because you can summon someone to help you.
The opposite is true.
THEY have the power. You are counting on someone to come help you. What if they don't? What will YOU do? You are at their mercy.

That is a simple analogy, but that symptom warns of the underlying disease. The Rot.
I know I haven't changed any minds with my rant. But I do ask that you be honest with yourself. Question what you think, and what you think you know, Admit what you don't know. Resolve to learn what matters, and teach. Shed your wool. While there is still time.

Comments

Sheeple, eh? ;) I'm very dependent on lots of people. I'd be hard pressed to fix my car or replaster my ceiling or all sorts, so I have to get someone in for those things. Does this mean that I've failed, that I'm living wrongly? No because I trust those people to do a good job just as they trust me in my role. Remove that trust, or abuse it, and that's your rot. Cherish it, and you find your proverbial village. Because we're not wolves or sheep, are we, no matter how others might want to bestow some other more useful identity on us. We're people, smarter than both, and thus it behoves us to remember that occasionally.
 
I'm afraid Charles, in the event of a world-wide ( or perhaps only regional, should you be so unlucky as to reside there-snouts/unable to flee) breakdown or regression of society to a pre-civilized/ semi- or fully Stone Age state, such as in the event of a zombie apocalypse, invasion by alien forces, or otherwise world-threatening/world devastating occurance, you, deemed lacking the nesccessary skills to benifit the whole (of whatever remnant that is left, mind you) would have to be designated as, uhm... produce. Sorry. :)
 
Oh, God, it's true. I'd totally be food. Let me just say though: I don't know whether I'd be much use slicing and dicing the living dead/traditional "gray" aliens/other assorted invaders (of course, you never know until you try), but - but - I've recently been getting into homebrew, which means that, come the ZA, being able to knock up a robust ale from ingredients found on the ground represents serious currency. It's knowledge economy basics. Throw me a dead skunk, I'll make hooch outta that stuff.
 
I think gender and racial studies is a sick joke, and I'm a millennial (I was born in 1998; I think that counts). You wish people would take a shop or construction class, and I wish people would take a course in biology, but we both want people to stop taking the same thing for largely similar reasons.

Since people get butthurt about using the word "retard" in a derogatory sense, I have snidely decided to start referring to intelligence as a fire and gender studies as a fire-retardant.

Absolute independence seems to be akin to anarchy. Complete dependence seems to be akin to a slave-state. An ideal interdependence is somewhere in between.

Your posts haven't changed my mind, in the sense that I still have absolutely no desire for working on cars. Not even my dad could change that. But it *has* changed my mind, in the sense that I do want to start washing my own clothes, dishes, etc. Not that I can't already do those things, but I'm the type of person that won't do something unless I'm forced to. And that'll never happen if I'm living at home.
 
Lol... Special exemption for those with exceptional skills: Cooks and Brewers were always highly respected. Anyone can club a rat- but to make it taste good?---- yee-aahh. Same with potables. Highly valued. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s0Dhy01Pn7Y

Thank you Winston for a thought provoking entry. I was just thinking that some's survival skills are the art of manipulation. They get the others to do the dirty work. They may know how to do it themselves, but, they don't do it: they order others to do it. When they come across someone who won't listen, they get their minions to 'take care of it'. Mob bosses and corporations...
 
I was raised to be a sheep (mind you, 90% of my generation acts like sheep), but I failed (not that I want to be one), because I always "fail" by social constructs. I think it's either you are born with a certain "spite", or you're not. People rarely stand up against society if they've been obedient little ants their whole life. Maybe they don't know any other way, scared of the society's rejection. I know I'm not.

It amazes me how only a small portion of people will realize your message by themselves through out their lives. It's a scary thought. But then again, the world is a scary place, and we should fight to bring the light. Will we succeed? Who knows? But we need to keep trying, because some things never change, otherwise we wouldn't have so many visionaries and inventors - people who've changed their society for the better. It's a natural thing for a human to rebel against the "chains" of the society - it's in our blood.
 
Kevin;bt9662 said:
Lol... I was just thinking that some's survival skills are the art of manipulation. They get the others to do the dirty work. They may know how to do it themselves, but, they don't do it: they order others to do it. When they come across someone who won't listen, they get their minions to 'take care of it'. Mob bosses and corporations...

The "Neegan" process. But not everyone can swing a Louisville Slugger. Or lie and manipulate like Eugene (Walking Dead, folks). Some things, eventually, people have to actually DO. IMHO, that's one of the reasons for TWD popularity: It's dysfunctional characters appeal to us. We are revolted by them, yet relate to them. Part of us may believe we can lie or bully our way through difficult times. In reality, difficult times destroy those folks. Quickly.

A functional society is not dependency-based like ours. Specialization is good. A fully-dependent mentality is not.
That's how Neegans and Eugenes survive. Too many people want to be lead and lied to.
 
Schrody;bt9663 said:
I was raised to be a sheep (mind you, 90% of my generation acts like sheep), but I failed (not that I want to be one), because I always "fail" by social constructs. I think it's either you are born with a certain "spite", or you're not. People rarely stand up against society if they've been obedient little ants their whole life. Maybe they don't know any other way, scared of the society's rejection. I know I'm not.

It amazes me how only a small portion of people will realize your message by themselves through out their lives. It's a scary thought. But then again, the world is a scary place, and we should fight to bring the light. Will we succeed? Who knows? But we need to keep trying, because some things never change, otherwise we wouldn't have so many visionaries and inventors - people who've changed their society for the better. It's a natural thing for a human to rebel against the "chains" of the society - it's in our blood.

Entire libraries have been written about Leadership. The truth (to me) is there are no born leaders. Sure, it's easier for the tall, rich and good looking. But anyone can (and everyone should) assert themselves. Not being a "sheep" simply means taking charge of what you can. Not "settling" for "expert opinions". How can you question a mechanic, plumber or electrician if you know NOTHING. People should understand the basics of the physical world. Friction. Water pressure. Voltage. The trades are simply the applied sciences. We are an illiterate society in general, but doubly so regarding the sciences. And it is a willful ignorance.

The wolf / sheep dichotomy should challenge people to think. It isn't a "black and white" choice. Some (many?) are born docile, and learn to be timid. But what can be learned, can be unlearned. You are a leader here, Schrody. I'm sure you are a leader in many respects. I would just encourage no one to limit themselves.
"I can't do that" is always the wrong answer. And "I won't do that" simply smacks of laziness.
 
I wouldn't call your piece a rant but a stark observation. The sheep will always be pathetic, they will always rush to defend their ignorance and their reliance on others. They rely on intellect which is subjective. On a cold and rainy night, with the car broke down and there is no cell service they are a sorry bunch. They will be the first to tell you all sorts of stuff that does not matter, that is the beauty of both youth and phony intellect, You know the car is broke down ya just don't know what to do about it. I say thank God for people like that, it lets me make a good living doing things that they are unable to comprehend.
 
There are skills and then there are skills... Some are skilled at flapping their gums-get paid big bucks per hour. A Mr-fix-it-all mechanic is not going to do to well in a court of law, not unless he can barter those skills day-to-day to raise some cash to pay a gum-flappers.

I think it depends on the size of the society as to how specialized a person's stock and trade can be. For instance, an electrician ain't gonna get too far in a twenty-mud-hut village. Not unless he can find himself a hydro-electrical engineer and a wheelwright. Then they're going to have get to finding or fabricating all sorts of specialized materials.

i went to school with Neegans and they did fine until they didn't. There was always another ready to take their place and given the right conditions their ilk all thrived...given the right conditions... under other circumstances those skills were not enough. Things always change/move on. Kamehameha, Ghengis Khan, Caesar, where are their empires now? Stalin, Mao, Pohl Pot, Castro... They were all successful.

I suppose it's good to have a lot of different generalized personal skills like the basics of checking fuel and spark. Good, but only under extreme conditions absolutely necessary. Like swimming, without it, if you never fall in the water you'll be fine.
 
Winston I admire your confidence in people's abilities. I wish I shared it, though the way I see it, some peoples' special skill is the simple ability to be managed, led, and told what to do. But despite how it sounds, that's incredibly valuable.That's my hypothesis anyway, explored in the WIP, of course. :)
 
The problem with your argument is that it doesn't cover the fact that there are people of all generations who are helpless when something they don't know is thrown their way.

I believe when the first washing machine was invented that women were lamenting that their daughters wouldn't know how to properly wash their clothes by hand. The fact is that none of us are truly self-sufficient or capable. It's why we form and protect our societies.
 
I couldn't change spark plugs to save my life, but I do understand the basics of the engine; still, it makes sense to let a mechanic do it. I have surprised myself doing plumbing - installing sinks and commodes and so forth. Might I starve to death if I were thrown out in the woods? Probably, but I wouldn't lie down and let a bear eat me either. I've often wondered if the world is eventually going to be simply managers/leaders and worker drones with no chance of movement between. Sure seems that way.

The human race seems determined not only to destroy itself but ruin the earth it lives on. A violent race, learning to survive on the savannas of Africa by working together, seems on the verge of tearing apart. Some of the things that could help like helping your neighbor, turn the other cheek, forgiveness, peacemaking, seeking a higher purpose, are mostly brushed aside and ignored, even by the very religions that should be championing them. Hate is rampant - whether of color of skin or for simply being different. The various philosophers and teachers of the past have had good words and ideas, but we'd rather fight each other than accept and practice them.

It's true, we shouldn't have to rely on government
for everything. We need more practicing and less preaching.
 

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