In 391 AD the ruling patriarch of Alexandria ordered the Great Library of Alexandria burned to the ground. A little over 1600 years later a single guy living in Alexandria, Michigan, burned the Great Movie of National Treasure to DVD. While both events were cosmically tragic, the social and technological underpinnings and how they affect mankind is the subject of this article.
The average man is changing as he changes the world around him. We are physically the same human beings who filled caves tens of thousands of years ago, but psychological, technological, and philosophical differences abound. Finding and understanding those differences (or similarities) is the chief goal of this study.
The "evolution" of the average man examines six representative individuals of six distinct periods in mankind's social development. Let's take a look at these six individuals.
Meet the Average Men
|Cave Man (30,000 BC)|
Born in a dirt pit to a hideous dirt-covered mother, Cave Man is 19 years old but looks like a 30 year old Klingon. He speaks rudimentary language and is illiterate. His aspirations include living to be 20 and placing his penis inside various cave women, wild animals and seductive rocks. He wears uncured animal hides that attract flies and he wields a wooden stick with a round rock jammed into the top part. He sometimes hunts with spears and for transportation will occasionally fall into a rushing river and be sucked downstream until he can grab a log sticking out of the shore. Cave Man does not get along well with other males of his loose tribal community.
|Middle Ages Man (1150 AD)|
Born the bastard son of a visiting Norman prince and a buxom tavern wench in a bed of flea infested straw. Middle Ages Man has been lucky enough to become a middle age man of 23. He has been unlucky enough to get sucked into the Crusades and will probably die from an arrow to the face in the next six months. He is a Christian from Saxony and his natural prey are Saracens and Berbers. He rides down on his white warhorse. He has fewer than ten teeth, smells of feces and infected saddle rash, has three venereal diseases, one of which he contracted from having sex with a dead body, and is the very model citizen of 12th century society.
|Gilded Age Man (1880 AD)|
A junior mine foreman at the Warrick Lode in Kentucky, Gilded Age Man was born into poverty and now lives entirely within the Warrick Company Town. He is 31 years old and has, as yet, avoided the black lung that afflicts so many of his peers. He is addicted to laudanum and enjoys Gin Fizzy Punches followed by a hearty round of wife beating. He has just read about the electric light bulb and believes that one day soon the information contained in entire libraries will be reduced to a single wagon full of punch cards. Gilded Age Man belongs to a men's lodge and is very friendly with his bosses at the lodge in an attempt to secure a promotion at work. He hopes to some day raise enough money to buy a Chinese woman.
|Atomic Age Man (1957 AD)|
Born to a middle class family, Atomic Age Man enjoys all of the luxuries of America and loves it when his pretty wife wears a sensible dress. He is a scientist working in the advanced field of transistors and he hopes to some day discover a type of eletric device that can calm the bestial urges of the negro male, transforming him into an honest member of society. Atomic Age Man owns a television, an automobile, and three handsome daughters who he religiously ignores. Atomic Age Man loves to talk about stag films and a lady's stockings with his fellow lodge members. At night, in the solitude of his study, he takes his pistol out from his desk drawer and wonders if he should use it to put an end to his homosexual urges.
|Information Age Man (2007 AD)|
The product of a broken family, Information Age Man grew up as an only child with two affluent parents vying for his attention. He has made a small fortune day-trading online, loves Internet poker, and he hopes to one day make it into the finals of the World Poker Tour to meet his idol, Phil Hellmuth. He has mastered the skill of listening to a self help audiobook on his iPod while talking on the phone to his mother. He was enormously fat until 2002 when he underwent gastric bypass surgery. He is currently dating a real estate agent and former Miss Teen USA named Karyn. She is ten years his junior and he has no emotional attachment to her. He enjoys roleplaying rape with her and once accidentally choked her unconcious during sex. Thinking she was dead, he was digging a shallow grave when she awoke and asked what was going on.
|Future Man (2080 AD)|
Future Man lives in the post-apocalyptic city-state of Libria. He is 31 years old and obediently takes his daily doses of Prozium to minimize his emotional reactions. He is the highest ranking gun cleric of the Tetragrammaton and it his job to destroy all materials rated EC-10 for dangerous emotion-provoking content. He is an expert of Gun Kata and he enjoys staring at walls and having nightmares about his wife being killed by the oppressive government. He has a loveless relationship with his son, is alienated from his daughter, and he spends most of his day grimacing. Recently upgraded his sleeves so that they launch his pistols into his hands. One day hopes to leap out of a window while something explodes behind him.
Examining physical disparities can provide evidence regarding nutrition and medical advances, but these are secondary to this study. Instead, we have opted to ask the six average men a battery of nine questions. Their responses are presented together to allow for ease of comparisons.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.