Commentary – The insatiable need to amuse us

Chris Clegg

Ever since Zag and Zog drew pictures on cave walls or arm wrestled to prove who was strongest, the human race has always strived to fill an insatiable need to amuse itself.
After the hunt and meal was over, what were Zag and Zog supposed to do? Staring at the cave wall was rather useless. TV would not come for a long time. Looking at the beautiful sunset can only bring so much pleasure, especially since it was the same thing day after day. Still, it was better than some programming on today’s boob tube.
Zag and Zog became very creative in their quest for entertainment. Taking sticks and banging on other sticks or rocks became the first music. Perhaps Zog found a hollow stick or reed and decided to blow into it. A new noise! New music! A flute! Strike up the band!
And of course, with testosterone flowing, tests of strength were a must not only for amusement but survival. Who was strongest to rule the clan? Aha! The first sporting events!
Humans have evolved to enjoy many pleasures from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the passive to aggressive. By today’s standards, boxing and football are barbaric. Why would anyone want to punish their bodies to that extreme if not for the lure of the almighty dollar? Still better than the fights to the death in the Roman Colosseum. Want blood and guts? It was the place to be!
At least Zag and Zog competed for meat and honour! How we humans have evolved!
To each their own is aptly applied when it comes to entertainment. The vast options humans have created to amuse themselves is as varied as there are ethnic groups in the world. It makes sense. Try playing hockey in the jungles of Africa or South America. In many cases, entertainment evolves from the environment surrounding us.
Whether we dance, listen to music, go to sporting events or dinner parties, there is a group of people ready to participate.
There is little doubt the biggest entertainer in the world today is TV. We each beat our own drum when it comes to watching shows we prefer. Many detested Jerry Springer but he enjoyed a decades long run on TV. How embarrassing was that to the so-called superior human race!
Humans continue to invent items to amuse us. Sometimes, the more ridiculous, the better. How in the world did the Pet Rock sells tens of millions? Gosh, it’s a darn rock!
This Sunday we will celebrate the goofiest of all events: Halloween. I mean, dressing up in zany costumes and going door-to-door asking for candy. Truly no value in this foolish exercise except to keep the local dentist busy. Talk about job security.
If Halloween isn’t the perfect event promoted by Cadbury and Hershey’s to increase sales, what else is? Perhaps Valentine’s Day?
No matter. What is important is humans are still amusing themselves after Zag and Zog drew on the case walls. No matter what the activity, as long as it makes someone happy is all that really matters.

Share this post