Opinion/Editorial

THINGS THAT GO BANG IN THE NIGHT 

by James Strauss

In general, as sociobiology has proven since it was created as a science in the seventies, men and women have significantly more differences than their mere physical attributes would seem to suggest. Men and women use different survival strategies. Women (in general) love things that are quieter, less violent and move much slower than men care for. Women are constantly turning the radio down in the car, the stereo down at home, changing the channel on the television (until the men in the house are all watching a Korean woman sell fake real estate in Texas), and demanding that speed limits be obeyed regardless of any need to get somewhere quickly. Men want to move fast and often in order to maximize their ability to reproduce in an almost unlimited manner with an unlimited number of partners. Women can only deliver a finite number of babies so they are oriented to qualitatively taking care of them. Hence, men like fast things (in general) and women do not. Men like loud noise not because they like to hear them, but because it draws attention. That’s right, men are seeking other women, without being consciously aware of it, by using sound. Loud, powerful sound. Women genetically resist that idea because diverting the male’s attention to other women not only takes attention away from her, but it takes attention away from the children she’s already delivered or is likely to deliver. Men like ‘male-bonding flicks’ that have lots of action, loud explosions and bloody displays because the genetic drive to impregnate endless supplies of females is kept in check only by competition for those females. Hence, males are ferociously competitive in everything from supposed games (most of which are games in name only), employment, and possessions. Owning things can give them advantage over competing males. To sum up human nature (and humans are all the same in these primal sexual interactions) one must also consider that deception is the most effective, and most commonly used, tool both men and women use to facilitate the perpetuation of mankind on the planet. This stuff is simply not discussed, or if it is, it’s lied about.

A few days ago the 4th of July came once more, and the usual pursuit of fireworks (commercial and homemade) was undertaken by many men. The louder, more outrageous, and dangerous the fireworks, the better. Putting restrictions on the sale of especially dangerous fireworks (the kind that blow up or shoot into the heavens) does almost nothing to stop men from buying the stuff in areas where it is legal to sell them, and then use them where it is not. Wisconsin is one of the places that does the “double-wink’ at purchasers of illegal fireworks. You see, in most of Wisconsin, fireworks are legal to manufacture and sell. It is, however, illegal to set off or use said fireworks in Wisconsin. The idea behind that strange legal maneuver on the part of Wisconsin legislators was to assure that fireworks’ manufacturers were protected as they attempted to make a living, while assuring the citizenry that the dangerous products they make would be used in some other state. That was the reason given, anyway. In truth, everyone knew when the laws were passed that people would buy the products near home and then most likely blow them up near home.

Since the real motivation was not in question, that being the traditional use of fireworks as part of the 4th of July celebrations, the belief was that things would work out. And they have. The only people who get arrested for using illegal fireworks are those that either get hurt themselves, or hurt someone else. It works like the old seatbelt laws used to work, wherein you were only cited for not wearing a seat belt if you were stopped for some other illegality on the road, or got in an accident (and survived, of course). That law didn’t work and neither does the fireworks legislation, although the seatbelt laws were changed to reflect that failure where fireworks laws have not been touched. Gun legislation has a bit of the same built in unreasonable irrational foundation. Gun manufacturers and gun lovers (generally also men) have been allowed to argue that it is the person shooting off that gun who must be prevented from having a gun. Hence, the pursuit of laws barring all felons from ever having a gun, or those who’ve been accused of domestic abuse, child abuse and so on. That ninety-five percent of the population ends up shooting other people with their legal guns about ninety-five percent of the time gets the same ‘double-wink’ as fireworks.

Men like guns because they are loud, and they also allow for the extension of their reach. That second part started when men went out hunting and invented the spear because most other animals can run faster than humans. Then came the bow and arrow, the cross bow, and finally explosive powered guns. Where fireworks are great at drawing attention, guns help a lot with that competition thing discussed earlier.

It was the 4th of July and that celebration was about the United States gaining its independence from Great Britain. That was done with a lot of ‘fireworks’ and ‘guns’. The need for attention, on the part of all human males, and the ferocious competition genetically imprinted into the fiber of every man isn’t going away or going to be minimized any time soon. In fact, there are plenty of sociological studies that contend that if those needs ever do decline then so will the birthrate necessary to keep humans populating the earth. Most people think the world’s population growth is huge and out of control but, in truth, the population rate of the world has been declining from its highest rate in 1999 (around 2.5 percent per year) to 2015 (right at 1.0 percent). That’s a fairly precipitous drop when you consider that a negative rate could be predicted to trend toward species annihilation.

Apparently then, unless things change drastically, both the male need for attention and competition will remain as vital to the survival of the species as women’s need to quiet, calm and encourage less violent human activity. There’s a balance somewhere, but it is not yet well understood, that is going to determine whether humans can remain on the planet long enough to move off of it, and thereby save it for continued habitation. The other option is that mankind’s continued presence will begin to stagnate and die off due to a failure to take enough interest in one another to keep it all going.

For the moment, though, great fireworks celebrations in towns and cities across the country will continue to be created by males crying up into night skies in supposed celebration, while in reality attempting to gain attention for themselves. And females will continue to be pained by the noise and violence of it all, trying to ignore the male need for never-ending competition-driven displays, but still appreciating the beauty and visual wonder of the spectacles.
~ James Strauss

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