Origins of Civilization… and this Blog

I’ve heard my field of anthropology called the ultimate liberal art. It’s the study of people: everything we are and everything we do. Yeah, that’s pretty broad. In the years since I earned my degree, I’ve discovered that it’s something everyone does: we all talk about people. But there is a point to all this.

From film production to sports and event marketing to freelance writing, one common theme has bridged my career: human interest. If people are interested in it, it’s worth filming, putting on tour, writing about, and talking about. To me, the most intriguing of all human interest stories is the age-old archaeological dilemma over beer versus bread.

Whether civilization began for the reliable sustenance of bread or the unpredictable epiphanies of booze, for me the debate extends into all walks of life. I see this tug-of-war between the sensible and the sensational in the flickering images of film and art, in other writers’ work, in effective marketing strategy, in music, and in just about anything thoughtful humans wrap their minds around.

Without care, the debate can become an endless chicken-and-egg game. Or as Tom Robbins wrote:

Ambivalence is a bigger nuisance than schizophrenia. When you’re schizoid each of your two personalities is blissfully ignorant of the other, but when you’re ambivalent each half of you is painfully aware of the conflicting half, and if you aren’t careful your whole life can turn into a taffy pull. — Another Roadside Attraction (1971)

Me, I’m seeking a New Ambivalence, one not about good and evil, but about sustenance and transcendence. Let us eat our bread and drink our beer, too. Thanks for reading. Cheers,

Greg

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nathan austin August 1, 2012 at 2:42 am

Well spoken! Ambivalence is the unfortunate theme of my life. Your insight has offered me a new perspective on the subject of decision.

Reply

Greg I. Hamilton August 1, 2012 at 8:13 am

Thanks, Nathan. And good luck with that. =D
GH

Reply

Leave a Comment