Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Kelly's World | A case for equilibrium

Published:Monday | July 4, 2016 | 7:00 AM
One of the six nooses prepared for men sentenced to death at a jail in Afghanistan.

There's a movie I watched some years ago called Equilibrium.

Basically, it dealt with an allegedly Utopian society in the future, where to exhibit any emotion is a crime. And when I say a crime, I don't mean like you get a few months in the slammer. I mean, you are put to death! Straight. No chaser! Without giving too much away, the protagonist played by Christian Bale (long before he took up Batman's cape), revolted against the very system he swore to protect. Very touching (slight sarcasm).

Thing is, I kind of understand the concept of outlawing emotions. I wish I didn't have any. I know people who drive after having a few drinks and are completely fine. Drive while angry or distracted and dem nuh stop lick up di car. Emotions are good things, but they can get in the way! At least for me, anyway. Guess it depends on the individual and the circumstance. How many times have we heard about people killing themselves and their significant other (or ex-significant other) because things went south faster than migrating birds. We can argue that these people are sick. But to me, it's clear whatever simmering issue there was underneath, the emotion just lit the fuse.

I know what you're thinking. Why should the whole population walk around like drones just because some people can't handle their emotions? I agree. Part of the thing that makes humanity great, is that we're all different. So if we all react the same way to a beautiful sunset as we do a plane crash, then I accept that would be more than a tad disturbing. Imagine this conversation between two people.

"How is your food?"

"I'm just eating for sustenance and nourishment. Taste is irrelevant."

Now if that answer doesn't creep you out, good for you. But yet, I can appreciate a world where a food handler doesn't have to go out of their way to achieve 'flavour'. But now you're asking, where's the fun in that? But that's kind of my point. The things I've seen people do in the name of enjoyment and fun seem, well, like downright lunacy to me. Remember the show Jackass on MTV? If you don't know what I'm talking about, try YouTube. Trust me you'll find it. Those guys couldn't have found a better name for the show. Their stunts were idiotic at best. And yet, we found it funny. That's disturbing. Who was worse, us or them?

 

MUNDANE

 

But an emotionless society would be so mundane. People would wear the same clothes because of the practicality of doing so. Homes would look the same, again, because of the practicality of using one design. There would be no rigorous debates of religion,. Your team scores a winning goal in the dying minutes? Ho-hum. No big deal. Your first child is born? Meh, merely biology at work.

Such a world would scare me. And yet it's probably the only one I can truly exist in. And the fact I can't, because such a world doesn't exist (yet?) scares me even more.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com