Sebastian Junger is an American journalist and author and also an anthropologist. He wrote a book called 'Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.' which looks at why comradery and, as he calls it, 'tribal sentiment', is such a rare thing to see and experience in modern day society. He writes about veterans returning home from war have a hard time reintegrating back into modern society because all those feelings of belonging to a group for survival are lost as soon as they get home. The book also dives into history, anthropology and psychology to make sense of why we behave the way we do in our busy modern day lives and the common repercussions of our behaviours.
Our modern day behaviour in this individualistic society, as he puts it, rejects our basic human instinct of wanting to cooperate with each other for the sake of something greater which everyone is a part of.
According to Junger, most suicides and depression occurs in first world countries in well to-do communities because those are the places where both the least amount of selfless behaviour between one another and the most amount selfish behaviour occurs. Looking out for one another and teamwork doesn’t really exist in these places. Comradery is gone. It is this kind of environment war veterans struggle to get use to again which is why Junger says soldiers miss war. is completely gone and that’s what soldiers miss the most.
In an interview he gave to Joe Rogan on his podcast chat show ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4KiOECVGLg&t=4452s), he summed up most of what he was saying in a simple phrase which everyone is pretty familiar with; ‘The less you have (things and possessions), the happier you are’, implying that human connection is the most important thing you could wish for. We in our modern-day society tend to forget this because we are surrounded by the spoils of a rich first world country and our focuses are on these rather than the people around us.
Junger stated in this interview, ‘Challenges make people feel good. Not ease.’ To me this is quite profound because it seems when complainers complain, it is them making up in their heads that their life is a struggle when it’s not. Their life is so easy that they have resorted to finding things that they think may have threatened their ideal way of life. When struggle is removed from our lives we have time and energy to spend on making our lives comfier. In doing this, however, we forget this is not what its all about. The other thing he said that ties in well with this is ‘If you’re not deprived of something, you will not appreciate it’.
These types of people who have had many things given to them and many things easily accessible to them tend to whinge louder. Because they haven’t been challenged enough to compare easy things to hard things.
This ties in with my theme really well. People want Things rather than people. Becoming so invested in the ideal world you want that you forget who the people are in your lives. I make my animations to convey this message.
I want to get the message across that we mustn't become numb to how lucky we are to live in the environment that we do, in much the same way as John Oliver warns us not to become numb to all the crazy scary things that are going on in the world right now.