As I go through this world I am constantly amazed at how much like monkeys we really are. Sure, we’re slightly evolved, but if you strip away the inventions and higher-level talk, we’re just a bunch of animals. Maybe I’ve been watching my kids too much, who are evolving from basic primates to sophisticated humans, but I think my observations stand.
While I was studying music in college, we were exposed to some really outside shit. Of course there was twelve-tone music
and atonal music
, which were actually not so strange to me. But imagine listening to pre-pubescent boys screaming, played backwards and looped, over church bells (of different sizes) ringing, also played backwards and looped. Yeah. Creepy. Anyway, with a lot of this “new” music, we debated whether this was basically a monkey at a musical typewriter—like it was so random, basic, or so strange it took no skill or creativity to make—or it was really a product of genius. I used to sit in class and imagine myself and my classmates as monkeys banging away in the jungle, scratching and screaming when we found something that tickled our fancy while the others hollered and hissed back. Mind you, we thought pretty highly of ourselves, as many 18-22-year-old-undergrads tend to, so I often found great amusement in this exercise.
This thought has recently resurfaced in my little brain but has been transposed onto social media. Are we really thoughtful, intelligent, enlightened humans, connecting with each other through advanced forms of social behavior and technology? Or are we simply a bunch of monkeys scratching ourselves and hollering to impress each other? I think it’s really both and I think it should be, after all, we are still basically monkeys. We can’t take ourselves too seriously but I think we’re obligated to share our knowledge, perspective, and experience, and with these somewhat new tools, it’s all pretty easy to do. Obligations aside though, I still find great amusement in being a monkey myself and playing with the rest of the herd.