Humans everywhere use culture to turn fear into play. Video games turn paranoia into survival ecstasy and fertility—more life. These deep creaturely motives are symptomatic of many concerns today, from terrorism to virtual identity.
In video clip on Facebook a presidential campaigner promises prospective voters in a New Hampshire tavern that he favors treatment for addiction. Within a day or two, more than two million people called attention to the clip. What's the magic?
We're impossibly conflicted creatures. We're biological animals, but also symbolic creatures who can conceive of the Higgs boson, the Mona Lisa smile, the yo-yo, and infinity. To keep your mental balance we use denial to manage these creaturely contradictions. Whether it's healthy or toxic, funny or crazy, denial is built into us. It protects us from the undercurrents of terror and insanity that course through life. We joke about Da Nile to raise our spirits to explore it.