Dying easy, II

A few days ago I put up a post referencing how safe our lives have become and suggesting that we had to go looking to find things to kill us, and usually found them embedded in the things we’ve used to make our lives easier.

Our desire for easy and convenient kills us with useless calories, toxic drink dispensers and mutated nutrients while we celebrate progress and our exceeding cleverness. Why, to do without these fruits would be regressive, even primitive.

Morally we also like things easier, and we don’t like to put the hard work in to examine ourselves and cut the slack out of our lives, thinking that as long as everything “looks good” then we must not be too bad. We certainly don’t want to be bothered with the work of taking a stand in the hopes of changing others (unless we’re one of those who can’t wait to change everyone but themselves), so we watch that video, play that game, revel in those lyrics. Why, to do without our rationalizations, to be willing to say something is actually evil, would be regressive, even primitive.

It’s far easier to act as if the “science” of our morality has all been settled, that evil has been driven from our land along with the wild, man-eating animals, leaving us this convenient, easy life where we assume everyone’s just naturally got it all figured out and evil is merely a quaint concept to be manipulated for power and ratings, or to describe how someone else votes. Or else a venial sin is blown up into a huge paper dragon so that certain warriors can similarly puff themselves up to do battle with it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And then someone shoots up a school, pours acid on a playground slide or opportunistically twists another person’s name and reputation for personal gain on a national stage and we gape in horror and wonder how anyone could do such a thing even though it happens in one form or another every day. Meanwhile, the TV networks that won’t show a fan running out onto an athletic field because it gives the yahoo the exposure he’s looking for and only encourages others, trip all over each other to broadcast the addled rantings of a self-absorbed maniac.

A friend who is a carpenter recently opined, after touring several million-dollar homes, how disappointing the workmanship was in these beautiful and expensive abodes. Things certainly looked nice, but to a practiced eye the mistakes and cover-ups for the mistakes were jarring. Something might look right, but if it’s not properly squared up it’s eventually going to sag and crumble, no matter how expensive and modern it is.

I can’t imagine the architect is too pleased.

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