I often wonder what animals think when they look at us and consider the society we’ve created. Yes, I know this is fanciful and unrealistic, but what if they could? Would they be astounded at how we treat each other? Would they be disgusted by the ugliness and pettiness which fill so many of our daily interactions? The truth is that I’m feeling pretty disgusted with humanity tonight. I made the mistake of reading some online interactions that I should have avoided — and it sickened me. The people involved appeared to be vile and stupid and arrogant. I wish I could pretend they’re a tiny minority, but I know better. It’s times such as this when I most need to escape much of “civilization” and disconnect from their world. If humans are going to be worthy of “ruling this planet,” we have a lot of growth to do. And I fear that growth is nowhere in sight. So my buddy Thomas, above, and all of his friends would be right to judge us harshly — and to think, “Why do you folks get to be in charge?”
I should have expected this, but I honestly didn’t. The article I wrote last week about disagreements over treatment for autistic children brought me angry emails. You could almost call it “hate mail.” Of the five emails about it so far, two have been to tell me that I’m wrong to even listen to critics of the most popular therapy for autistic children — and the other three tell me I’m wrong for not condemning the treatment as the “obvious” abuse it is. If you read the article, you know I didn’t take a position on the issue, because I simply don’t know enough to have an opinion. But by talking about the issue, I stepped into a heated controversy. The emails from the two sides convinced me of nothing. But they did give me even more empathy for the unfortunate parents who have to figure out for themselves where the truth lies for their children.
Have you ever had what you thought was a new idea — and then discovered that “old you” had the same idea years ago? I had that experience tonight. And it’s been wonderful. I came up with an idea tonight for a very short satirical film that would be a promotion for a fictitious college. The point is to make the college promote — as good things — everything which is actually terrible about most modern colleges. Then I remembered a fake college that I invented back when I was in college. I had created student recruitment brochures and various newsletters back then, so I decided to call my “new” college by the same name I’d invented years ago: Ochita College. As I searched my computer for any old material I might still have about Ochita from the past, I discovered an email I sent to someone in 2009 — outlining essentially the same idea which I came up with tonight. Since I didn’t remember writing that, it felt like magic. So my next film project just might be this one instead. If all goes well, you might soon see “Ochita College: Your Future Starts Here.” This should be fun.