We human beings are strange creatures. We seem to be hardwired to be compelled to slow down and look at conflict and carnage.
Remember in high school when a fight would break out how the kids would stand back and start cheering rather than try to break it up?
Or can you tell me why a car wreck on the highway will cause a traffic jam in the other direction as well while each car passing slows down enough to get the best look possible at the carnage?
Just Like Everyone Else
I guess I’m just like everyone else in that department.
I must be as morbidly entertained by a brouhaha as the next person because when a blogging friend of mine mentioned this one to me in a conversation we had over the weekend I put it on my list of things to check out when I got a chance.
This morning I got a chance to take a peek.
Read down through the comments of that post. I felt like I should have been munching on some popcorn while I read that thread.
Now to be clear I’ll reiterate that I consider both of these guys friends of our blog here. I’ve had email exchanges with each of them. Very pleasant, both. So I am not choosing sides here. Got that?
Besides, to me the whole thing seems to boil down to a simple difference of perspective. Often that’s the case in conflict, isn’t it?
Bloke’s issue is basically, “You didn’t link to me.” And Darren’s point is, “I’m not a big fan of your contrarian approach.”
Is either position worth arguing about? I guess that depends.
Why is Conflict so Compelling?
But my question is why do we so often find ourselves entertained by someone else’s conflict?
I mean that question is right up there with the great slap-stick comedy question. Why is watching someone slipping and falling on ice or otherwise getting hurt funny?
I have a theory about it. It goes something like this.
We are so relieved that it is someone else and not us in that circumstance that we are compelled to watch. And in the case of slap-stick comedy we express that relief with laughter.
What do you think?
Is that anywhere close to the why? Or is there another reason we are compelled to watch?