Taste for drama and conflict

You know, it's really no surprise Eve took a bite of that apple in the Garden of Eden.

If you were reading that tale for the first time, with no prior knowledge, as soon as it got to the part where they were told to ''never, under any circumstances, ever'' take a bite of an apple on this one tree, you would know immediately what was going to happen.

One, or both, probably, were going to eat the fruit, for one reason, and one reason only - human beings hate happiness.

Have you ever seen those reality TV shows?

You know, the ones with all the people competing against each other?

Or perhaps the one where they just film people's lives, except the directors introduce some new element, some new obstacles for the characters to rally against?

Strange, how there's no show where the camera follows an everyday family, going about their normal, relatively drama-free lives.

It's because it would be boring.

Mundane.

Absolutely, uncomprehendingly, mind-numbingly tedious.

No-one would watch it.

We, as a society, long for, strive for pain, for torment.

It's why we always root for the underdog.

Not because we see ourselves as the underdog, but because it creates drama.

There are no movies about the alpha male or female staying at the top.

We enjoy seeing them knocked off their peg, not because they deserved it, or perhaps were a baddie, but because we hate them for winning, for being successful.

We hate them for beating the system.

Of course, you could say we celebrate defeating them because we want the underdog to win.

And we do.

Because what could be worse than accomplishing all you've dreamed of.

Imagine this.

You're an athlete.

You've run your whole life.

All you want to do is go to the Olympics and get gold.

This is what you've trained for your whole life, spent years ceaselessly preparing for, your whole life revolving around it, and finally, you do it.

You get gold. What now?

Nothing you ever do will be as sweet as this moment.

You could go to the next Olympics, sure, but you'll be forever chasing after that one, thrilling, intoxicating moment of time that you'll never get back.

Really, nothing is more cruel than fulfilling what you've always dreamed of doing.

The underdog finally attaining their dream is even more brutal and heartless than knocking the alpha off their pedestal.

Just ask Jack Lovelock.

And another symptom of the pestilence of pain is how we love to hate.

We relish conflict.

Whether we're actually in a fight, or just watching one, for many it is the ultimate thrill.

Our culture has glorified it to the point where instead of attempting to stop a fight, or even just standing idly by, we actively seek conflict out, and even encourage it.

Our media is deluged in the idea that hostility and loathing, exacerbated to the point of brawling, is something to be celebrated, to be adored, from children's movies, like the Karate Kid, to the WWE, where there are even action figures of the competitors.

This is yet another example of how saturated unhappiness is woven into our society.

It's not a matter of whether we enjoy misery, but rather if it was established in our species from the very start, or it's just been engraved into our cultural identity for so long it just feels that way.

 


 • By Lucy O'Neill, Year 12, Kavanagh College