The true meaning of chaos

I know, I promised I'd think about something bright and cheery and not dystopian, but I'm still thinking about chaos.

The word chaos always flashes me back to Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, when his face lights up as he is talking about systems and how eventually they all devolve into chaos.  If you asked me to name the one way that humans are different from other species on this planet, other than our seemingly boundless capacity for destruction, I would say our fear of change, specifically negative change, which we often see as lack of control and which I call chaos.  We like control.  We like systems.  We like to think that we control the systems.  But the recent spate of tremendously popular dystopian and downright apocalyptic books and movies and video games might suggest otherwise, both that we also like chaos and that we know we don't actually control anything.

One definition of chaos is: complete disorder and confusion.  Its many awesome (if you like words, and I like words) synonyms include disarray, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, and and maelstrom, to name a few.  Now granted, most books and movies bring a degree of order by the end, but have you noticed that the ends have gotten darker, less shipshape, less over the rainbow?  Take the end of The Hunger Games trilogy, or the Divergent trilogy, or Elysium?  Dark.  Very dark.  Do we deserve it?  In my mind absolutely, we absolutely do.

What I like about it?  Mother Nature is fighting back.  We've treated her so badly, and it looks as if she has had enough, hence the seas rising, the tornadoes blooming, the typhoons blowing, and the weather shifting here, there, and everywhere.  That one little tendril of kudzu vine?  It can pull down a skyscraper given some time.  And unless we actually blow up the planet, not out of the question of course, then Mother Nature has time on her side, just like Mick whines.

As the incomparable Mary Oliver said, "life's winners are not the rapacious but the patient;" see the shark, the alligator, and the snapping turtle, for starters.  Yup, we're the rapacious, if history is any judge.  I'm not proud.



No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments and questions and will do my best to answer in a reasonable time, though working on my next novel has to come first.