Mankind: The Story of all of us
A Critical Review
By: J. Marlando
Mankind: The Story of all of us—perhaps you’ve seen it? As a person who has made and been part of making documentaries I will begin this view by saying, I believe that “Mankind’s” writers, producers, directors, costumers, set designers, camera people, editors and all the rest who obviously worked hard on the making of the story of all of us did a wonderful job. Well, it is easy to find something wrong with anything but, with this in mind, it is my view as an ex-documentary maker and reviewer that Mankind—the story of all of us, was a superb job of documentary making including Josh Brolin’s narration.
Now then, with that favorable review in mind, what the heck has stirred me to criticize?
My critical opinions are not at all about the show. They are, if you will, about the story of all of us. That story is over 80% about greed, cruelty and the rest of man’s inhumanity to man. With little exception, it reveals “us” as exactly what we have been at least since the dawning of so-called civilization: War-mongering, social-Darwinists, psychopathically causing suffering and death in the quest of money and power.
The story begins in East Africa with early man making spears for hunting and self-protection and virtually ends with the dropping of the early atom bombs—between the two, we journey through a history of thievery and murders over Sugar, Gold, Silver, Opium, Salt, Pelts and rubber as well as human beings to populate the slave trade.
When it comes to us Americans we clearly see that our own Civil War was fought over industry not human freedom or anything else so honorable. The documentary also revealed our past of tragic racism especially during the 1960s when Civil Rights was still only a dream of Martin-Luther-ism. A movement that had actually begun ten years before by a courageous woman by the name of Rosa Parks who simply refused to give up her seat on a public bus for a white man or…for anyone else.
The documentary left out the outrageousness and self-serving of the Spanish American War and more recently Vietnam, not to mention the current war that began simply to please the House of Saud.
Our world history has unfolded millennium after millennium in bloodshed and Gordon-GekkoismsHitler is the poster child for cold bloodedness in our times but on the other side of the same coin, what was Alexander the Great or Napoleon but mass murderers hailed as historic heroes? What was Stalin but an extended personality of the murderous Nero or the crack-pot killers during the Crusade like King Richard and Saladin? Even God was created in the image of a jealous, tyrannical warlord to give support to the darker side of our kind.
The brutality that ran through the documentary was actually a mild representation of our kind’s inhumanity with all its torment and torture. Look at today’s fanatics who become suicide bombers. They are so dumbed down that they attack innocent people in the quest to prove their loyalty and religiosity but succeeding only in revealing their stupidity and blind faith.
Indeed, our entire (civilized) history as a species has been a kaleidoscopic showing of stupidity and blind faith; the pledging of allegiance to the demagogues of politics and religion those robber-barons of the human spirit.
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER J.P. MORGAN
We have had somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 years of civilization, when Homo sapiens began their trek as agriculturalists creating centers of their unnatural environments. From those small village settlements arose city/states and soon enough empires. With them evolved the two most destructive constructs in human history: Organized religion and nationalism; the two designers of the “them” and “us” worldview; the worldview that places “all of us” in the center and everyone else outside the center.
White against black, Muslim against the Jew, Catholic against the Protestant, poor against the rich, communist against the capitalist and the list continues even into new attempts at genicides in massive slaughters of men, women and children. In regard to this, there is only one question to be answered—why can’t we learn from history?
Mankind: The Story of All of Us becomes a testimonial to our egomania as a people from which arrives our self-serving and self-aggrandizing motivations. From the arrogance of it all evolves the nonsense of my politics, my beliefs, my determinations, my desires, my values are the truth and the way; it is only through my doors that righteousness prevails.
The path to creating a happier, safer, healthier, more productive and loving world is no secret—it merely takes treating others as we would be treated. How simple is that? And indeed, it is like Gandhi said, we must become the changes that we desire for the world.
Just think about it—science is still deeply devoted in creating more weapons of destruction big business is still warring to expand markets; medicine has become a price gauging enterprise; governments are still grounded in nepotism and self-service; racism and sexism still persists and religions remain at odds. This is the story of all of us as we creep further and further into the millennium. And, in many ways, our world is on a pattern of eventual self-destruction unless…we change. We need to reduce capitalizing war and destruction and begin (truly) fighting poverty and disease. Can you imagine what the trillions of dollars spent on war and weapons would do for the researchers of new, healing medicines, the fight against viruses and so forth. Can you imagine what the trillions of dollars spent on war and weapons would do for the possibilities of finding future places to inhabit for an overpopulating earth.
In my view, the television documentary, Mankind: The Story of All of Us is a story of victors and victims, two of the most UNNECESSARY and DESTRUCTIVE concepts there are. We need to create a world of cooperation so that the next documentary of mankind (that tells the story of all of us) is a love story.