July 20th, 2012, will mark yet another pivotal moment for the human race. Despite the advances man may make, he occasionally commits acts of regression, which suggest he, perhaps, has not evolved as far as he may have thought. In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, massacre which occurred at a midnight premier of Warner Brothers’ summer blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Returns,” man is forced to look at himself once again with a critical eye. The human condition is proving itself to be just that—a condition—an illness—a disease, even. The human condition is revealing itself to be a pandemic, which, much like other pandemics, ultimately claims the lives of hundreds of thousands daily. The human condition is riddled with flaw, with its most prominent symptoms being greed—hatred—jealousy, and it seems we do not, nor will we ever, have a cure for such symptoms.
It is not true, however, that the human condition has worsened. In fact, globally, the human condition has maintained a steady level of sin since the earliest recorded history of man. The Battle of Thermopylae, the Holocaust, the Trail of Tears, the nuking of Hiroshima, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, American slavery, the terrorist acts of September 11th, the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, the mass suicides orchestrated by Jim Jones in 1978, the assassination of Medgar Evers, the apartheid, the blood diamond trade, and many, many more; each event speaking to the fact that, although a human, being humane is not natural for man. This is not to say man is incapable of doing outstanding things. To the contrary, man has done a great deal of positive things on this Earth, but one must question the perversion man exhibits through his intolerance of all things good, and his willingness to overshadow all of his good deeds with events like that which occurred on July 20th, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado.
The night prior to the Aurora shooting, I’d been thinking deeply about both the history and destiny of man. In a status update that, unbeknownst to me, would soon carry much more weight, I stated:
“Among my greatest regrets is that man, having perfected few things, has perfected the practice of long-term, deeply rooted destruction. He has learned to bomb the synagogue, the temple, the mosque, and the church, because he knows these are where people find faith. He has learned to burn labs, because this is where people find reason. He has learned to maim leaders, because this is where people find direction, and without faith, reason, or direction, what is man to become? Nothing.”
Since the shooting, I’ve found that statement to be only half-right. What I failed to take into account was man’s arbitrary nature. I failed to recognize how frequently man acts without reason. A movie theater is just a movie theater, and while I’m sure I could conjure some sort of explanation as to why a shooter would target a theater, doing so would almost justify the crime. The truth of the matter is that in true fashion, man has yet again devalued himself. And if we, as mankind, ever hope to overcome the human condition; that is, this sickness that continues to rot our society, we will require an antidote which our world has yet to see. Get well soon, Man.