Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Oversocial Atavism

"We are informed [...] that you experienced a major atavism today involving antisocial violence."

So Perry Nelson, the protagonist of Robert Heinlein's For Us, The Living, is accosted by the authorities after punching his perceived sexual rival in a fit of jealousy. He then spends some chapters discussing social mores in a futuristic minimum security psychiatric day spa. It's a ... slightly odd little book.

That is, however, a phrase I'd love to see enter public discourse not only in the case of violence but also social manipulation. If someone should display symptoms of religiousity or babbling about all-caring creators:
"Sir, you appear to be experiencing a mythopoetic atavism involving idealized parental figures."

If it's someone fired up about moral superiority for being born the politically correct nation or race:
"You experienced a tribalistic atavism. Care to review your ancestors' actions more objectively?"

Perhaps most importantly, any woman attempting to abuse subliminal cues of sexual availability, familiarity and closeness, neotenized vulnerability or neediness to influence male behavior should be accosted with:
"Your falsetto voice, artificially highlighted innocent eyes, overly-familiar body language and falsely reddened lips suggesting aroused labia indicate you are experiencing a 'precious little princess' atavism leading you to believe you're entitled to favorable treatment. Your prosocial manipulation of others' instinctive protectiveness belies your hypersocial parasitism."

She would then be politely escorted to a psychiatric day spa in which she is made aware that sentient beings converse as equal, rational individuals and not by attempting to subvert each others' primitive codependent impulses for personal gain.

The day when subsentient manipulation of another's instincts and emotions is viewed as despicable primitivism, not by law but by common consensus among civilized beings, intellect will have begun to advance past the state of naked apes.

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