What a day for a title like that, eh? What, with about a million cattle and sheep herding around D.C., trying to get an angle on how they get to be led around by the nose for the next four years…
Alas, politics isn't the core subject of this post. Rather, I would like to introduce you to someone worth paying attention to. I got an email from this gentleman last week introducing himself, and I'm sure glad he did. His name is Erwan Le Corre and he operates MovNat.
The “zoo” is a modern, global and growing phenomenon generated by the powerful combination of social conventions, technological environment and commercial pressures. Increasingly disconnected from the natural world and their true nature, zoo humans are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
Are you experiencing chronic pains, are you overweight, do you often feel depressed or do you suffer from frequent illnesses and general lack of vitality?
These symptoms indicate that you are experiencing the zoo human syndrome. Modern society conditions us to think that this is normal and unavoidable.
We don’t think so. Our true nature is to be strong, healthy, happy and free.
We have designed a complete education system that empowers zoo humans to experience their true nature.
That stuck an immediate chord with me, as several days earlier I had compared how we had gone soft as humans with the way domestic dogs are ill-equipped for survival on their own, unlike their genetic ancestor, the wolf.
Now, what I'd really like you to take a look at is his video. There is also a YouTube version (of significantly less quality; Later: turns out there's a 'watch in HD' link that is of superb quality) if your particular browser doesn't bring up the one on Erwan's site. The thing to take away from that is to notice how natural and functional are all the movements. This, folks, is the Gold Standard for exercising the body designed by evolution.
Finally, Chris Highcock at Conditioning Research came across Erwin as well, and went and conducted an interview that's very much worth the read. Given the political theme of the day — the inauguration and replacement of the 'old bad king' with a 'new good king,' and with everyone stumbling over everyone else to see who can more quickly and readily dispense with their individualism in exchange for "hope" and duty to the collective, I particularly liked this bit in Erwan's interview.
The zoo is not just an environment, it is a phenomenon, a process, which is designed to keep you a captive of both external and internal cages. It is something that conditions many of your behaviours: clearly it is to me a domestication system, no less. The zoo impairs our ability to experience our true nature which is to be strong, healthy, happy and free. […]
But I personally have a problem with morals or ethics when it comes to deciding what is good or what is not good for me, what is done and what's not, what I should do or what society expects me to do or would like to impose to me as some form of duty.
After all, a tool is useful, a cog in the machine is useful right? I accept no institutional duty. Free will is the most precious thing in my eyes. If I choose to be helpful to others, which I in fact often do because I tend to like others, it is because I decide so and not because I have to. The problem is, many people often think of altruism as sacrificing oneself or one's resources unconditionally for others, even for those that are total strangers to you or even if it's going to be seriously detrimental to yourself. I prefer to impose no moral code in MovNat and leave it up to each individual to decide for themselves what is best when it comes to investing their energy or risking their physical integrity for others, because each situation is different. MovNat training will greatly increase your preparedness so that, in time of need, you have the ability to respond efficiently to practical challenges.
Notice this grand distinction, folks: utility is amoral. Pay attention whenever you hear or read of a justification for something on the grounds that it's useful, functional, efficient. Think really hard.
That, my friends, is the essence of individualism, and there could be no greater contrast between that individualism and those old, tired, collectivist ideas straight form the zookeeper's manual – hauled out and polished up for those ignorant of the failures of history — delivered by the new Zookeeper-in-Chief, himself.
In fact, I wonder if 'zoo' is even the right metaphor for what we're going to get, now. I think ant farm or bee hive might be a little bit more fitting.