Ever since I ran across these a couple years ago I’ve wanted to get one. They’re super realistic dolls that look like real babies. So what I’d do is I’d take it out like to the park or something and people would come up to me to see the baby. Babies are magnetic like that, people just gravitate towards them.
So someone would come up and be all like, “Awww, your baby is so cute!” And I’d go, “Thanks, his name is Samuel.” Then they’d say, “He’s so sweet” and ask to hold him. And I’d be like, “Sure!”
And then I would toss it at them.
So a couple weeks ago I watched Braveheart for the first time, the net effect of which was to cause me to inflate my estimate of the number of people who have been killed by being burned alive. I’m not sure why it was so low before, probably because I thought that people wouldn’t do that to each other very often because it’s so horrible.
Yeah, I have no idea why I thought that either.
And then I started to wonder if people are more horrible than we were in the past, equally horrible, or if civilization and Ace of Cakes have made us less horrible as a species.
As I usually do, and for the usual reasons, I concluded that people are equally horrible now, it’s just less obvious than it used to be because now we only light stunt people on fire. (usually)
If there’s one consistent thing about people, it’s that they love a spectacle. And group activities.
They like to go out and get together for group entertainment. If you’ve lost power in wintertime recently you’ll remember how fucking boring everything is without electricity. When it gets dark at 5 o’clock you can’t even read to amuse yourself. And who reads. After a couple of days without power, you really are ready to start lighting people on fire, and just for the sheer entertainment value of it.
So even though there are plenty of other complex psychological reasons for why we punish or kill people publicly, the reason we still tolerate people being that rotten to each other is because it’s another way we relate to each other. That’s why people get burned at the stake: because it’s an entertaining group activity. At least for 99% of the participants.
Kind of like this.