“We’re all afraid of only three things. Embarrassment, pain and death…”
That line from Dark Passage, delivered by the evil back-alley surgeon to Bogie in the 1947 film-noire
classic “Dark Passage” hit me like a ton of bricks when I first saw it. I thought “is that true?” I plotted through all the myriad of fears that seem to plague mankind…and he was right. What an epiphany.
As I have stated here before, I live for old movies. They show us the psyche of the times, the emerging amorality of the jooze that ran(and still do) the studio movie-machine AND they were entertaining.
The good doctor hit the nail on the head…he knew, as the powers-that-be know now that we will do most anything as a society and as individuals to avoid the big three. Fear of death is obvious. It rules our most rudimentary behaviour and is ingrained in the aptly named “self-preservation” instinct. It is basic. Fear of pain takes on a host of sub-catagories..from dentists to grief to a fist-fight, we will do a lot to avoid or postpone such events.
But fear of embarrassment, there is where they have us.Our leaders certainly use the power of our fears of death and pain, however….as I have mapped all the fears in our lives, I find that fear of embarrassment is the most powerful of them all. Bear with me here. As innocuous as they may seem, the fears of seeming stupid, uncaring, callous, politically incorrect or generally different from the rest of the herd, exert an horrific influence on us all. Negative control of that influence of “group-think” can produce the behaviour that we see in the world today. When we give this sensitive fear-of-embarrassment phenomenon over to MSNBC and their ilk, we have given them the reins of our lives.
So what do we do when we choose to reason things out for ourselves and come up with different conclusions than the groups to which we ostensibly belong…like family, work and community? We find groups that are more like us to join and not only pool our like-minded views, but to ease that “fear” of embarrassment.
Over the years, I have become and “embarrassment” and a subject of raised eyebrows to my family and communities. “Here he goes again about the jews”, or 9/11 or politics in general (we all look for converts) Certainly, that causes me some embarrassment, but I find solace knowing that I have another community here in which my opinions are taken with more interest. No one in her family really wants to hear about how your Aunt Hattie did pearl-one knit-two, except her knitting group. Same thing. We all find our groups that understand and empathize with us. I can’t say I care much for knitting, but human suffering is important to me. Perhaps too important.
It’s YOUR fault!
When bygone memes are demonized…burning of fossil fuels to get to work, thinking homosexuality is a bit disgusting, thinking that Muslims are just people with a different religion and the like(you all know the “political-correctness” drill),
we readily accept blame for having been so insensitive as to have held these practices in any esteem before the talking heads told us no-no. We as the herd are blamed for everything imaginable by our leaders and their media while they remain above reproach. Fine. But there comes a point…a critical mass in which the fear of embarrassment is going to come within sight of the fear of pain and death. When that moment happens in the human herd, as in lower animals there will be a temporary period of chaos, splitting into groups and a “dark passage” into a different age….a sort of New World Order.
I, for one, am ALL in favor of a new world order…as long as the order is changed from the bottom-up. Change to a world that works to repress these basic fears, not exploit them.