Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Homeboy Culture

When I glance around the world and wince at the persistent voilence inflicted on its peoples I have to wonder at the weirdness of it all. Locally, a microcosmic example of this weirdness caused the assassination of a three-year-old child. What's it all about? Are we humans more slaves to our groupthink than to our genes?

“It is almost impossible to exaggerate the power and influence of culture upon the human animal. It is powerful enough to hold the sex urge in check and achieve premarital chastity and even voluntary vows of celibacy for life. It can cause a person to die of hunger, though nourishment is available, because some foods are branded unclean by the culture. And it can cause a person to disembowel or shoot himself to wipe out a stain of dishonour. Culture is stronger than life and stronger than death.”--“Culture,” Encyclopaedia Britannica

It can also cause us to commit murder under the banner of a color, a cross, a crescent, a currency or an ism.

I guess there is something in our genes that requires us to adopt a culture to live and die for. It was always "us against them." And thus it will always be.


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