Tag Archives: social interaction

Human Zoo… Country of Apes.. (a blog by Jack)

A few months back I was gifted a trip to Disney World– a very interesting place indeed. It was a weeklong trip, and I was able to spend one of the days at the Safari Park. As I observed the various encaged animals, I found it remarkable that these wild beasts remained so calm. I immediately assumed that the animals had to be sedated– I inquired this of one of the park workers and he quickly assured me that they weren’t. So I asked him how the gorillas remained so calm. He replied, well, we keep them well fed and they generally remain peaceful when they have no needs.

This concept as well as its implications juggled the old marbles. On a basic level, man and ape share similarities. I thought to myself: are humans not so different… These were seemingly wild animals placed in a “cage”(rather limited living arrangement) yet they were able to peacefully cohabitate…

What makes us as humans so different?

Are we not as civil and critically thinking as gorillas?

Can we not respect each other and each other’s space and peace of mind?

Or maybe it’s the “well fed” concept that’s missing. Perhaps it is the fact that we as humans are not all “well fed”, and that keeps this monster called society ticking. Perhaps the fact that we aren’t “well fed” unleashes a savage-primitive nature within us–cultivated, yet still savage. Perhaps the fact that we aren’t “well fed” keeps the economy going.

I have a personal philosophy: “Low self-esteem drives the economy”. Many of top markets within our economy are in direct appeal to man’s vanity (cosmetics, clothing, luxury items, etc.).

Albeit to directly correlate man with a gorilla is a gross oversimplification. And an insult to the complexities of what it means to be a human. To keep a gorilla “well fed” is quite a simple task. It simply depends on having the proper quantity of food and environmental stimulus. On the other hand, keeping a human “well fed” involves a bit more. Most humans (not all) are three tier beings. Beings of mind, body, soul (which houses the individual spirit) — thus to keep a human well fed involves more aspects. Each of these aspects of the human must be addressed– as a trinity they grow hand and hand: lending to each other’s growth through a synergistic reciprocation.

Thus, the fact that man isn’t at peace among man directly speaks to his deprived nutrition in one if not all of these areas.

Without enough physical food we know the length man is willing to go to eat. A man will have no qualms about killing another man over bread– over his livelihood. This can be noted in various mediums of artistic expression– whether it be through movie or song.

Without enough mental stimulation we know the harm that this can do as well. Just take a look at the youth who are under stimulated in school. They often find destructive outlets to manifest these bottled up mental energies– often expressing itself in the destruction of the community or themselves somehow.

The most critical of man’s needs is spiritual food. When fed properly it allows for the other two outlets to be pursued harmoniously– it creates a balance. When man understands the spiritual nature of him-self and begins to develop it on the smallest of scales, his physical and mental energies begin to generate healthy outlets naturally. These mental and physical energies are automatically directed towards spiritual growth– love, benevolence towards others, ingenuity etc. And this is what happens when man simply begins to understand that he is a spiritual being.  A gateway begins to open which actually enacts spiritual growth—which involves so much more (healing aspects, mind over matter, insight, foresight, manifestation, etc.) But without the basic of awareness of who one is these spiritual avenues can never be pursued, or pursued in healthy manner.

So perhaps we aren’t so different from the ape. Another caveat I failed to mention is that the male gorillas were separated from the females. This places too many other variables in the mix– because then the variables of love, desire, and procreation come into play. And these variables would convolute the discussion.  But for simplicity sake, I do believe I made my point.

Perhaps if we as a society received more spiritual nutrition, many of our afflictions would cease to exist.

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Bros over Hoes? Perhaps they’re on to something…(a blog about affection)

Is affection a one way street? Or can platonic affection be exchanged between the sexes…

The following question was recently raised to me: “Did your father hug you or tell you he loved you while growing up?”

My initial response was no, (If so, few and far between) but I never believed for these acts to be necessary. I know my father loves me without a shadow of a doubt and his actions more than corroborate that. He has always loved me. He understands me to a degree that is beyond any other being—this is without question, for I am his seed.

But this strand of thought led me down another particular path… The topic of affection… Is it a one way street?

Is Brotherly love the saving Grace of man’s ability to have a sustainable existence?

The question got me to thinking. Has any woman openly displayed affection for me? That answer is few and far between. During the above discussion it was alluded to, because black fathers don’t hug and tell their kids “I love you” that in turn the children do not know how to display affection growing up. I would beg to differ. I would argue that man are among the most affectionate of creature roaming this earth.  In fact they have so much affection—they tend to create creative means for displaying and enacting this affection. You see, men are the only creatures who have never been afraid to display affection towards me (not so much in the romantic sense, but in the platonic-fraternizing sense).

IMG_4332I’ve rarely had a woman excited to see. This includes close relatives as well girlfriends and so forth (Although, I’ve had one girlfriend consistently express her joy in seeing me). Yet, I’ve had plenty of men “dap me up”, give me a hand shake, give me a head nod, give me a bro hug and a smile or all out laughter upon seeing me.

Is that not affection?

I’ve rarely had a woman sit down with me and enjoy meaningless banter without some undercurrent of sexual tension being evident; but plenty of men have been quick to “shoot the shit” with me–Men that I do not know and have no apparent vested interest in—from homeless men to guys at the gym to the random guy standing in line at a grocery store.

Is that not affection?

I’ve had many men open up and vent just so they can have some semblance of connection with someone. I’ve yet to meet a woman who would even bother to hear me out. Or fully attempt to understand my prospective on much of anything (I mean it occasionally happens but it is quite the anomaly).

Is that not affection?

I’ve had random men pick me up when I was at my lowest… Lend a helping hand and a kind word without expectation in return…I’ve reciprocated the notion to others as well…

Is this not affection?

IMG_4333I compete against men daily. I enter the gym, and engage in man on man competition. A sadomasochistic outlet towards the lack of affection received from women. In some twisted way the brutality stands in substitute for the soft caress. The soft caress may come once a month or so but the brutality is dependable– I can always count on it. And so as warriors, we as men willingly enter this make-shift arena and grapple—my arena of choice is basketball. We physically beat each other up, but have this deep rooted understanding that we need this in order to survive—in order to thrive and keep going.. We may be at each other’s throats on the court, yet as soon as the game is over it’s back to smiles and meaningless convos. It’s just an unspoken axiom, and all who participate in it: “get it”.

–If this isn’t affection… What is?

Men are scarred, and by function of cause and affect direct their actions accordingly. I can’t speak for all men but those I know are in similar boats. There is very little trust of women, very little understanding of women, and plenty of dysfunctional relationships with women.

Who is to blame?

I do not know.

Yet, to say men aren’t affectionate is to not understand the nature of a man.

I would beg to differ. Men are men’s only saving grace. Without the life vest that we toss each other daily we may be made to drown in our own emotion. Often, men are treated as a “function” as opposed to people. His worth is often derived from what he can provide. His worth is placed in his sexual prowess… His worth is placed in his athletic ability… These are all functions… The “person” gets buried underneath all the “functions” and it slowly chokes him. And maybe it does take another man to understand the depths of this box we’ve been placed in …Whether we are consciously or subconsciously aware of the box: we all tend to act out in a reactionary way—in our own unique way.  Men tend to gravitate towards men—and I believe the lack of affection plays a large part in this—whether it be through gangs, clubs, teams or whatever.

But I would never say men don’t know how to show affection… They display affection towards each other every day in every way… Fulfilling the void that society left in the best way they know how.

Now I don’t believe the mantra “bros before hoes”…or “Bitches and shit”… or “Money over bitches”…I believe that is simply the lashing out of the inner boy, who has yet to mature beyond a particular stage of emotional development—he is stuck,in a sense, in a phase of neglect and has not been able to psychological develop beyond this stagnation, and these phrases are evidence of the neurotic residue. But on some twisted level, I understand and I can relate…

Now, insert the bitches and hoes and sluts… Because,after all, women are reduced to their function:  A function that is reactionary to the story men have been told and have been showed. Our interactions have not been conditioned to be that of man and woman: but the function of what man can do for woman and vice versa. Hence, the accurate yet inaccurate titles of bitches and hoes– a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.

I suppose we can blame the victim for not exuding affection in a manner deemed fit by society. But the truth of the matter is that the affection is there, it’s just waiting to be received and exchanged in a healthy manner.

Or perhaps I have it all wrong… Perhaps we are being shown affection by our women, and we’re simply misinterpreting it. And our gross misinterpretation of this affection is the catalyst for all the dysfunction.  Perhaps the cold stares and avoidance of eye contact and curt language is a woman’s manner of displaying affection towards a man, and I’m too blind to see it.

Or perhaps this social divide is all in my head…

Hmmm…Thanks for reading!

Reactions and opinions are welcomed.

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