Home » Academic Article » Human


We see the world changing so fast. The meaning of “changing so fast” has to do with the advancement of technology. The advancement of technology has trapped us and we do realize this fact. We are to become slaves to what we create. We used to think we can control our creation, technology, but as time goes by we see that the technology cannot be controlled. The question has been around us for so long: “Will we end because of our own creation?”.

Again, the issue I propose here is not a new one. Have you ever watched the irony depicted by I, Robot and Wall-E ? We, human, will be the major cause of destroying ourselves. We keep greedy, we compete too much, we do not make our limit. If Engber (2008) sees the issue portrayed by Wall-E in the context of misjudging fat people for a wrong “analogy between obesity and ecological catastrophe”, I would rather see the film as a warning for us. The film states it clear that we are heading to the end of the world if we continue the way we live now. We cannot put ourselves into a catastrophic situation by putting all aspects of our life managed totally by our creation; technology.

Another issue I have been thinking for quite some time is that our dependency on technology. Frankly, I do myself feel that the speed of our life has changed so fast too because of the advancement of technology. Have you ever been thinking that the life we live now is irrational? We thought when we had better technology our life would be easier. Thus we keep inventing the better technology for our life. But now we may think that the advancement of technology has made us work faster yet ladener. We see ourselves alienated. We feel powerless, meaningless, normless, isolated, self-estranged (cf. Seeman, 1958). We do not have time to enjoy our time and understand the essence of what human is. We are here, in this world, in confusion.

Now we need to listen to The Killers. Their song, Human, gives a cry about life nowadays.

“Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?”

This song actually tries to confront the essence of being human in modern life. This song was inspired by the words from Hunter S. Thompson: “we’re raising the generation of dancers” (Montgomery and Norris, 2008). If we take a look upon the song we will get this picture:



It is alive


It is a ‘robotic life’
Indicator: My sign is vital


Indicator: dead body; my hands are cold
Interpretation: Life is joyful. Interpretation: Life has dramatically changed into unpleasant life. Human is not human anymore. Human has become a new species, dancer. Dancer(s) do not think but follow the music. They perform the dance to the world but do not enjoy the minutes. They are expected to precisely follow the music. This also explains why Brandon Flowers did not put ‘s’ in dancer. He is trying to point out the changing term of human into dancer.

Do we still have a certain optimistic view to change the world as we can see it in Terminator 2? A bold and provoking statement on the table created by Sarah Connor which says there is “no fate” so it is never too late to start the change? Or, it is just our wishful thinking? That in reality, everything has been determined (cf. Lee, 2009) since the first creation and not even a slight change can be made by us? We are dancer(s) in the context of faith or modern life? Have you found your answer?


Engber, Daniel. 10 July 2008. Fat-E; The New Pixar Movie Goes Out of Its Way to Equate Obesity with Environmental Collapse. Web: slate.com. Accessed on 2 November 2011.

I, Robot. Dir. Alex Proyas. Perf. Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2004. Film.

Lee, Mark. 2 June 2009. No Fate But What We Make: The Greatest Terminator Lie Ever Told. Web: Overthinking It. Accessed on 2 November 2011.

Montgomery, James and John Norris. 31 October 2008. Killers’ Brandon Flowers Stands Behind ‘Human’ Chorus, Feathery Jacket. Web: mtv.com. Accessed on 2 November 2011.

Seeman, Melvin. 1958. “On The Meaning of Alienation” A Paper at The Behavioral Science Conference at the University of New Mexico.

The Killers (Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr.). 2008. Human. On Day & Age [Download]. UK: Island Records.

Wall-E. Dir. Andrew Stanton. Perf. Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin.  Pixar Animation Studios, 2008. Film.

This part is added on 5 September 2013

I was on a bus in a journey to Jakarta. I was listening this song couple of times and eureka!.

I found myself re-interpreting this song.

It was so breath-taking that I couldn’t get rid this new but simple interpretation until I came back home in Solo.

Here’s the interpretation:

I’m on a spaceship.

I still cannot get any connection to communication center on earth. I have tried many times.

I was taken to this project as volunteer; I wanted to make contribution to mankind.

I was drilled into many kind of situations. I was trained hard. They taught us many things.

I’m talking to myself: why are they leaving us?

Don’t they know that we are human and not dancers to be left behind curtain after the show ends?

I’m hopeless. There is still no answer. We are hopeless. Our hands are cold.

Noted: we are still alive. Don’t they monitor our life-signs hence know that we are still alive?

Where is earth? I miss my home; my lovely earth.

Creative Commons License
Human by Dipa Nugraha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at dipanugraha.blog.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.