Monkeys, Muslims, and Excitable Primates
The differences between the minds of monkeys and the minds of men are differences of a graded evolutionary nature. Natural selection follows a forked and winding pathway, diverging and converging unpredictably. The range of primate emotions is remarkably similar from monkeys to humans. All primates -- from monkeys to higher species -- are excitable to a greater or lesser degree.
Monkeys are excitable, like all primates. Monkeys experience rage reactions -- like apes and humans -- but they do not typically organise in up close and personal group attacks like common chimps and people are wont to do. When they flock together, it is more likely in search of food or out of curiosity.
In an evolutionary sense, apes are much closer to humans, and ape behaviour has many more parallels with human behaviour. Apes have been known to carry out sustained genocidal wars against competing groups of apes. The superior size and organisation of the ape brain makes it capable of organising and sustaining rage for longer periods of time on a larger scale.
The human brain is larger yet, and formed in such a way to allow for even more complex levels of societal organisation than is found in ape societies. Human groups have been aroused to violence and warfare for as long as there is recorded history.
Human excitability -- particularly in groups -- can be a serious problem for human societies, and for the ability of humans to get along in non-violent ways. Religious excitability and violence has been a problem ever since disparate human tribes began to assert the superiority and dominance of their particular tribal gods over the gods of rival tribes.
Some forms of relgion - instigated rage appear indistinguishable from caricatures of rage as portrayed in feature films such as "28 Days Later." In that film, a "rage virus" escaped from the lab to infest human populations, leading to cataclysmic violence.
Human rage will often build in normal circumstances -- as in "road rage," "computer rage," and other common situations where other humans may act to frustrate or oppose the wishes of a protagonist (that would be you).
Opinions vary widely, as to what should be done to manage human excitability and rage, to prevent out-of-control violence. Would it be better -- for example -- to release one's anger in a real life "fight club?" Or is it better to salve one's anger in meditation, yoga, or even a "laughter club?"
One interesting suggestion is the creation of "rage clubs," as a means to purge the inevitable anger and rage that tend to build over time.
This is how they would work. People first gather together in a large open space (a barn or warehouse type area – incidentally, no alcohol would be allowed), then several passionate speakers incite the crowd with stories of injustice and exploitation inter-cut with biased news reports (there could even be a standard canon of examples; Bhopal, Gaza, The Crusades, Big tobacco. For ‘light hearted rage’ the subjects could be narrowed down to, poor user interface or badly designed electronic equipment or non existent customer service). The speakers would then lead the crowd into demonstrating their wrath and frustration with screams, tears and rending of shirts (bought specifically for the event from charity shops). A percussion ensemble or rock band will create a throbbing soundtrack of primitive trance like rhythms building in volume. The crowd will simultaneously produce various implements of noise making capability and commence to create a cacophony of sound so powerful it would even make Lemmy from Motorhead stop his ears.
Areas will be set aside where crockery seconds can be hurled furiously at a brick wall. Effigies of slippery political criminals will be stuck on poles and aggrieved victims given fifteen minutes with a baseball bat to put their point across to them (this is contentious I know, but it is meant to be purely symbolic. The signal sent out will be that such behaviour will only be tolerated at the Rage Club but at the same time it will also be a reminder to the authorities and multinationals: “we people know of our power, so don’t screw with us and ignore us at your peril.”)
Ultimately, an energy of pure rage will be created and each individual will experience a catharsis which will lead to exhaustion, reflection and a reasoned course of action to methodically change those things which enrage them. _Rage Club
Would this work? Consider that some of the most spectacular rage displays put on by groups of Muslims often occur immediately after Friday noon prayer at the mosque. Religious clerics often learn to work a crowd into a righteous frenzy. If the group is then released directly onto the streets in the form of a mob, the results can sometimes be quite photogenic.
But what if these excitable primates were steered into a rage club instead? Allowed to vent their rage in a controlled and relatively private manner, such frenzied zealots might gradually ease into a more controlled mental state. Their internal rages may even be satisfied -- at least until next week's Friday noon prayer at the mosque.
It is something to think about.