California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Humans Can Fly to the Moon, but Can’t Make Amends

The Bible predicts that the last days will be met with “earthquakes in various places.”

CNN has confirmed this to be true, just look where Anderson Cooper has reported from in the last few years. We all know from John Cusack’s surprisingly decent movie that the Mayan calendar inauspiciously ends in 2012. Personally, I view Kim Kardashian’s horribly Auto-Tuned upcoming album as a sign that the apocalypse may (and possibly should) be coming.

So if the world is to end soon, where do we stand as the human race and have we reached our true potential?

A hundred years ago it seemed that people could not pat themselves on the back hard enough. The Titanic had yet to sink and World War I had yet to put a damper on the whole notion that going to war could be fun for all to have. Yes, as the modern age reached its zenith, humans seemed to be heading towards the utopia that Sir Thomas More had satirically predicted hundreds of years prior.

So what went wrong? Sadly, the 20th century turned out to be a satire in its own right of the worst possible kind. What many have called “The Century of Warfare” saw by far the largest loss of life of any century prior (even putting inflationary population trends aside). By God, a whole new word called genocide needed to be invented.

However, the 20th century was not all for loss. Look at what we have now: the internet, the cure for Polio, the music of the Beatles, and of course 1983’s “Porky’s II: The Next Day.” But have we truly made any strides in alleviating the pain of life that is interspersed in between all of its amazing joys (or maybe it’s the other way around)? More importantly, if the world was to end tomorrow, can we truly say that we’ve done our best?

A fictional story which offers a perfect explanation for the human condition (no, not Scientology) can be called upon for guidance: “The Matrix.” In “The Matrix,” it is explained that machines had previously tried to create a perfect virtual world for humans to exist in, but that humans had been unable to survive in such a world.

In the Bible, this would fall under the category of Adam and Eve’s untimely eviction from the Garden of Eden. Anyone who has ever purposely created chaos in their life because they were bored or just too content with themselves, may also understand.

Humans are self-destructive creatures; maybe a utopia is inherently unattainable. Then what can we strive for, mediocrity? Can five million people starving to death each year, Muammar Qaddafi’s pledge to kill everyone in his country before he abdicates, or Kardashian’s aforementioned album, even be considered mediocre?

No. There is still much to be done so that we may someday become subpar.

So I say that the world as we know it and continue to define it is not ready to end. Humans are far too megalomaniacal to let that happen. As the species who has mastered cloning and traveling to the moon but cannot find a way to have a college football playoff, we must not allow the world to end so soon. Humans have a reason to get up in the morning and continue to have faith in themselves and each other: The quest for mediocrity.

One day we might stop the killing and merely look upon each other with contempt. We may not actually love our neighbor, but we might not freak out when their recycling is on our side of the curb.

As John Lennon once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Wait, that was Vladimir Lenin. One day, I may too become mediocre.

But the question remains, will we ever find this state of mediocrity before the planet does enviably become inhospitable to life, either in a biblical way or a science-y kind of way?

This is a question that I cannot answer.

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Humans Can Fly to the Moon, but Can’t Make Amends