If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s humanity’s hubris. Collectively, human beings think of themselves as the most evolved species on the planet which in turn seems to cause people to believe they occupy some special place in the animal kingdom. Worse, people think that if we are in fact evolving, that we’re ever evolving into something better than we already are. Such a belief is demonstrably untrue. I submit as evidence (as if there weren’t already a ton of evidence to the contrary) the “handsome criminal,” an apparently attractive man and criminal whose mugshot recently went viral, presumably because he is handsome.
Obviously, the news agencies have nothing better to do than to help such schlock go viral; after all, they’re just trying to keep people entertained so that they don’t spend any time examining exactly how worthless their lives really are. To that end, I don’t really blame the media. But I have yet to say exactly what the problem here is. It’s this: The viral mugshot has the potential effect of further glorifying criminals, a problem you can’t say America doesn’t have. It clearly shows that human beings are no more evolved than any other animal, approving of the worst among us based on looks alone. Worse, women are now acting like men in a situation where they had the opportunity to take the high road instead of behaving in just the way they have criticized for years.
I am not saying it is wrong or criminal to look at a picture, and not knowing anything about the person, pass judgment on their attractiveness. I’m not even saying it’s wrong or criminal to look at a picture of a criminal who is physically attractive and say they’re physically attractive. But I will say it is not only wrong to look at a picture of a criminal who is physically attractive and not only say the criminal is physically attractive but is MORE attractive precisely because they are a criminal, but that such behavior is downright fucked up. Keep in mind we’re not dealing with a criminal who was incarcerated or branded a criminal based on some noble fight against unjust laws or fight for human or civil rights. No, Jeremy Meeks was a gangbanger. It may be the case that since being incarcerated for grand theft auto that Meeks is a reformed man, but then how does a reformed man wind up getting caught up in a sting operation to get guns off the streets? Just asking.
Meeks is not a person a civil society should be lifting up. Sure, I suppose this means we are not a civil society or that the collective vision of American society is or wants to be something else. But if this is how criminals are going to be treated, as celebrities, then don’t be surprised when the next school shooting occurs. (Interestingly, celebrities that act like criminals i.e. Justin Bieber, Linsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Chris Brown, etc. are all the more popular for their antics.) All of this is certainly not evolved behavior if we’re going to hold the word ‘evolved’ to its popular usage.
I’m baffled most by the role women have played in the mugshot going viral. Evolutionarypsychologist have long hypothesized that women adore risk-taking behavior in men – this is why they go for the bad boy, supposedly – but if this were true, why isn’t a picture of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a soldier who threw himself on a grenade to save another man, going viral? Oh, that’s right, his face became a little disfigured in the process. That in mind, women have long been embittered by men objectifying women. Only, given the opportunity, they’re going to do the same goddamn thing? Or worse? Apparently, a commenter on one news agency’s website asked, “Is this the picture of a rapist? If so, please send him to Chile, Santiago.” Women had the opportunity to take the high road here. They took the low road. Women, if you can’t think of a reason why men rule the world now, you never will.
All the attention heaped upon Meeks once again places a spotlight on just how misguided America’s values are. We pay models, athletes, and CEO’s far beyond their worth while the people who do actual work and even sacrifice themselves for others are denigrated. Is humanity’s existential angst so great or self-esteem so low that people will pay any price to be distracted from it? Arguably so. But is there a fix? Yes; extinction. If that answer seems harsh, well, what else should be expected for a species that doesn’t bother to ask if it deserves its place in the world even though it can? Surely, humans think they are the only ones who CAN ask if they deserve their place in the world. You guessed it; I’m not of the opinion that arrogance is an evolved trait.