By Alex Cameron
I can't help but be amazed at the startling capacity of human beings
to enjoy salty snacks despite whatever dreadful occurrence may be flickering
on the screen before them. Nevertheless, I found myself in that exact
situation the other night, putting away popcorn in handfuls while intently
watching a couple break up on the TV. It's upsetting the lack of ethics
one can inherit by simply clutching a bag of Orville Redenbacher's.
There are two conclusions to be derived from this discovery: A, that
human beings are naturally vicious, nasty creatures; or B, salty snacks
have the power to put us into a hallucinatory state consisting of barely
moving, staring at the TV screen, and force-feeding ourselves. Neither
option is pretty.
The truth is, human generations are consistently getting smarter and
less paranoid than their ancestors. Fear was once a useful trait: Urg,
when scared, would stay in his cave shivering against the wall; while
unafraid Gurg would march proudly out of his dwelling and be consequently
eaten by a dinosaur. Guess which guy got to reproduce.
Nowadays, for some reason, fear is disappearing. Horror movies that
would have driven our great-great grandparents into frenzied, hysterical
panic scarcely faze the younger generations. (Of course, any generation
that was forced to grow up watching Barney and Friends would
have to be hardened by the ordeal.) But this lack of fear is most likely
the only way humans can survive living in this era. Back in the Bronze
Age, the only thing you had to be worried about was: A, the Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse; or B, no bronze. In the modern day, we can kick back
and watch the ozone layer disappear, the polar ice caps melt, freshwater
supplies dry up, overpopulation run rampant, and AIDS infect millions.
Besides that, we've also got car accidents, drugs, alcohol, biological
warfare and MAD to think about. The only thing keeping us from joining
our great-great grandparents in their frenzied, hysterical panic is,
simply enough, our absence of fear. And with daily horrors like constant
celebrity news interruptions, it pays to be unafraid.
So munch on, creatures without remorse or sorrow. It's okay to have
no feelings. No one will blame you for stuffing your face with salted
snacks while Janet Leigh is screaming her head off in the shower. Just
remember: if it ever happens in real life, actually take it seriously,
because then you've got a real problem. Otherwise, just stay cool and
collected like humans have evolved to become.
Either that or popcorn really does have mind-controlling powers. Come
to think of it, I wouldn't be too surprised if it did.