We all know the old saying of ‘if you haven’t heard of [hip band/movie/technology/person], you’ve been living under a rock’. I don’t know anyone who has lived under a rock but I used to check the bottoms of them for slaters, beetles and worms as a kid so you could make the inference that I have always wondered about the mysteries of such a life. One of the more intriguing features of our human anatomy is our awareness of a better or worse life that is constantly on the horizon. We speak of the upper class who live in their overindulgent houses and ponder what it is like and then we pity those on the World Vision ads who don’t have enough fresh drinking water to sustain their own existence. And then there is us. Us being the majority. The class in between the very rich and the very poor. Globally, we are told that we are in the top echelon of quality of life standard if we have a roof over our head and a job to keep us secure. And yet, many of the people with the highest quality of life in countries founded upon capitalism are the unhappiest or the ones striving to improve their own lives the most.
Materialism leaves us happy to a certain extent depending on our financial situation and what we have obtained in our lifetime. Houses, cars, televisions, dinner parties, prostitutes, fine wine, cocaine and potential empires are what we are all taught to strive for to a certain extent. But let’s face it, most of us may own a house, a car and a television at most during our lifetime as look upon the people who control the empires with envious glares. But who is to say that those who do not strive to collect and obtain personal property are happier? Creatives seemingly have a higher rate of depression, drug use and suicide than those who work in corporate fields. To view the world as an analytical exercise can lead people to see how desperately wrong our methods of attacking and viewing life are to the point of becoming so cynical and disconnected that a complete change in our attitude needs to take place to save our souls from oblivion.
Of course, it is not all doom and gloom. Our genetic makeup leaves some of us more susceptible to negativity and a soul-destroying lack of direction. Others may continue to just push on when the road gets tough. Others might be more inclined to look optimistically at a future where riches are not required. The love and respect of family and friends and the simple pleasures can still be the most fulfilling feature for many and I find that a rather touching notion.
But if we were to all live under rocks and not know of a wider world that surrounds us, how different would our lives be? I’m talking Patrick but without the need to bother Squidward and hang out with effeminate sponges. Your whole life takes place under a rock or in a bubble and you see no need to escape it and look to greener pastures. So what would it be like? Would the same psychological ailments come to haunt you? Would you become lonely? Of course, under some rocks you would live in constant company of others whilst other rocks would be isolated to just the one inhabitant. The act of socialisation of communities and cultures, insects and birds, mammals and bacteria is omnipresent. I am no scientist but I don’t believe there is any form of living matter that does not socialise or cooperate with another of its own species, let alone of other species, on our earth. Stop me if I stop to sound like David Attenborough in regard to my awe of this incredible planet. So living under a rock would still contain the same way of reproduction. We still need to mate, we still need to care for our young and we still need to eat, breathe (which is hard under a rock but let us ignore that pivotal fact) and drink. But if all those needs are able to be met, what becomes of our wants?
Our lives under Rock.
The people under these rocks have no idea that there is a world outside of their under rock world. They may make assertions and imagine another world but they are not aware that there actually is another world with people under other rocks or even a sky, trees and oceans. They gather their food and water from the under rock community. Water is found within the soil, nutrition is gained from the flora and fauna under the said rock. Some rocks are inhabited by only insects, others contain creatures that dig under the soil or roam the land. You know, the typical moles, lions, dogs and kangaroos that love the under rock world. The inconsistencies of my worlds seep through the deeper I go into analysis so use a little imagination. So these communities differ in many ways. Certain people have certain skills but it is achieved through either self-teaching or residual experiences. What do they believe in? Who do they admire? How do they keep track of the things they have learnt and heard and tasted and kissed? Do they know love or only the instinctive desire to reproduce and feel the pleasure of another’s touch? Do they want or only need? How lonely do they feel? Do they feel the need for self-improvement of their physiques, intellect and abilities? What type of person do they find attractive or do we not have the capacity to think above and beyond what we actually see? Thousands of questions arise from this idea and I definitely do not have the capacity to answer many, if any at all.
One example of an under rock dweller could be something along these lines.
Individual 1 lives under a rock. But this isn’t any old rock, this is a busy rock. Three families live under this rock and incest is rife. The family histories are long and tiresome, littered with feuds, battles and forbidden love. The language they speak has developed over the years to something of a few grunts, a few clicks, and a few spoken words that are gibberish. They don’t know who One Direction are, or Kanye West, or Leonardo Di Caprio or even Brangelina. I mean, they live under a rock for God’s sake! Speaking of God, their lord has been created from the small openings of sunlight from the rock occasionally. They have not explored this light but it seems to allow for certain molecules and plant life to grow which allows them to survive. The three families differ in size. Death has met many of their own. Disease has occasionally swept through but never been so destructive as to wipe everyone out but they do know of their fate.
The individual we follow will be referred to as Alex for simplicity’s sake. It is difficult to tell what he actually responds to. His clan, or family as we refer to them, is the smallest of the groups under the rock. His mother passed away at birth and he is unsure of who his father is. There are three men who seemingly lead the clan. They sit around, finding enjoyment in certain ways. Their favourite game is the rock throw where they compete to get the closest to the biggest man of the biggest tribe without hitting him. Their friend was brutally decapitated when he accidentally hit the big man. He was getting annoying anyway.
If I were judging their society with my insight into society I would suggest that Alex is in love. As the sexualisation and gender specifics are not a feature of this society, there is a fair inclination to follow what the body tells them to do. The definition of love in this sense is an innate attraction to a particular feature. The girl Alex eyes off has features that arouse him. Classic Alex, the horny bastard. Fortunately for the sake of our readers with weak stomachs, he is not attracted to his sister. He is attracted to the girl across the other side of the darkness. She doesn’t come out every day but when she does, her beauty radiates. Without the knowledge of clothing, Alex has no need to hide his morning (or noon or night) glory and thus presents his offer to the woman of darkness. I do not mean that to be taken as a literal implication of her racial background… Sometimes I wish I could live under a rock to avoid the inevitable questions about my racial undertones and the stern warnings I receive from others to be careful overstepping the mark. It is not known whether anything will ever occur between the two. If Alex drifts onto the other camp site, he will most likely be killed. Territory is extremely important. True love takes a back seat to the inelasticity of territory. There remains a sense of pride in what is yours and what is theirs.
The thoughts in Alex’s head tend to be purely existential. Where is my next meal coming from, why is that woman starring at me and how do I get to this woman without being brutally crushed by the men in the pack. Alex obviously knows there are differences between the male and the female as they do not wear clothes and the anatomy is different. Much intercourse takes place, some of it appears very painful. Alex is a young man. He has tested the waters in a very instinctual way but does not understand the implications of the act of intercourse. It feels good, hopefully she is impressed with my size and do I ask her to stay the night with the potential for a trip to the local cafe in the morning to be a gentleman are the predominant thoughts going through his head. He wonders where the light comes from. But not for long. Mainly he just watches things go by for the sake of time passing. Not so much to procrastinate but because that is what life is for the under rock community. He sniffs, touches, handles and licks things that interest him. There are no books, no programs, no archival footage of cats playing with string to keep him occupied.
Human entertainment enters his life from time to time. War, fights and tense stand offs capture the attention of everyone of the under rock community. Death is treated differently be each of the tribes. Two of the families bury their own, the other just eats the remains until it is just bone. Sex is occasionally watched when it gets interesting. It is the secret crossover to the other camp site that is the most sought after entertainment. To romantics with a penchant for Shakespeare, this would be love. But I am not sure how it would be assessed by the under rock community. There are instances of homosexuality but no conservative Christians there to turn their nose up at the act. It’s just another thing.
The biggest ‘celebrity’ of the under rock community is young hunter they call ‘Brian’. Brian again may be a pseudonym to assist my retelling of this fictional story. Brian is a strong brute. Long brown hair, blue eyes and a vacant look in his eyes suggests that his uncle is his brother and his brother is his uncle, or something along those lines. He has successfully captured the creatures beyond the soil four times. These creatures are most likely moles that pop their head up from time to time. He does not sing, he does not tell his deepest darkest secrets for $10,000 a pop but he does have an affinity with the people in his cave. Some are jealous, some are lovers, and all are admirers.
Do these people give a fuck about an Oxford comma? Or bury their heads in embarrassment when their father cracks one of his classic gags? Probably not. Do they live in constant fear of the unknown? It is unlikely that they actually know what awaits them on the other side in a very similar vein to us. Have they been summoned by a greater being with the story of someone above them? It is doubtful they have had the time to hire several desperate authors looking for work to pen a book based around the idea of an earth created by a supernatural force… Or Jesus hasn’t quite had time to join them yet. But has the creation or appreciation of something greater than those around them taken place?
I appreciate that this post is just a bunch of questions about how without a pretension or a context, we would be a far different race. I mean, it’s just like starting again. I think we all wish from time to time that we could start again and attempt to change things. Like not allow for monopolies or status and class but the question is whether it would just naturally occur again. Life is all about power and having the edge of another individual. It is a simple summation of a very complicated game but when I drive my car around I notice that every stimulus provokes a reaction. Someone wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Party animal. Someone who drives a Lexus on his P plates. Rich father, spoilt kid. Someone who is well built. Automatic male instinct is to either respect this, envy this or sneer at this.
So what would happen if we didn’t have those automatic receptors and were taken back to the start under a rock without a context? Our individual under rock 1 would probably develop his own understanding of the world, his own beliefs and his own sense of where he belonged. Sure, that could be influenced by another or a prerequisite from those who brought him up but not to the extent that kids these days face. We as children living on a planet that houses over 7 billion are constantly faced with decisions and choices to shape our identities. We are brought up under different circumstances. A mother and a father who love us or a family that has been broken by violence or tragic circumstance perhaps. Or maybe we were born into poverty with little hope to escape as the access to proper education was absent. These are all potential circumstances. Once we have been brought into these situations it is the commercials, the television shows, the computers, the peer groups, the heroes, the sports and the companies that attempt to mold us. Into consumers, into dreamers, into members of society.
It makes you dizzy just thinking about it. The rock would be a pretty nice place to rest from all the bullshit. An existential journey where you could pick and choose who you involve in your life would be the type you would lead under the rock. Where you weren’t guilted into decisions by news sources or influenced by what others made you believe was truth. A place where you could decide who you actually believed was the best rock band in the world. No manipulation, no need to account for your own opinions with facts or even listen to the thoughts and preposterous ideas of others. Just an honest life under a rock.
But then again, who would listen to me? I need to influence someone in an immoral and hedonistic manner.