Friday, August 19, 2005
It satellite links
Our United States of Unconsciousness
Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
The methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
You can flip through all of them
And still there's nothing worth watching
- Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
Just like you.
If it's not the news then it's the soaps or sports or sitcoms or cartoons - Lord knows the dramas' not just for your mama. Whatever our specific tastes demand you know with absolute certainty that when our show is on we will be in front of the television to get our fix. Or we'll have TiVo blow us a shotgun. We've got to get our fix as soon as we can - we're a nation of addicts.
Don't believe me?
Try this - go a year without turning on your television. Sounds ludicrous, right? Alright junkie, try a month. Still too much? How about a week? Can you even make it through one single day without turning on the television? Kind of like the smoker who says that he can quit any time that he wants - hold out for 24 hours, just to prove that he can, and then he's right back to his drug of choice, dragging longer and deeper than before. Here's how you can know with certainty that you are addicted - go without television for a couple days and see how quickly you start manifesting withdrawal symptoms. Here's something that you may not have known - television acts on the central nervous system of human beings in the same manner as an opiate. It's true.
So we're all junkies - who cares? Well, anyone involved in politics who needs people to be able to reason based on facts and logic should care. People don't just watch television - they absorb experiences. People store what they see on television as real events, real experiences. Yes, people can differentiate between fiction and reality - they "know" that what they see on television isn't real - but after the show is over and short-term memory fades into long-term memory, the effect on their thinking is like they vicariously experienced the actual events that unfolded in the show. Television shapes opinions and embeds "facts" into the subconscious of the junkies who watch. But don't take my word for it - from Wes Moore's article:
Psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that after just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves , which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity. Alpha brain waves are associated with unfocused, overly receptive states of consciousness. A high frequency alpha waves does not occur normally when the eyes are open. In fact, Mulholland's research implies that watching television is neurologically analogous to staring at a blank wall.
I should note that the goal of hypnotists is to induce slow brain wave states. Alpha waves are present during the "light hypnotic" state used by hypno-therapists for suggestion therapy.
When Mulholland's research was published it greatly impacted the television industry, at least in the marketing and advertising sector. Realizing viewers automatically enter a trance state while watching television, marketers began designing commercials that produce unconscious emotional states or moods within the viewer. The aim of commercials is not to appeal to the rational or conscious mind (which usually dismisses advertisements) but rather to implant moods that the consumer will associate with the product when it is encountered in real life. When we see product displays at a store, for instance, those positive emotions are triggered . Endorsements from beloved athletes and other celebrities evoke the same associations. If you've ever doubted the power of television advertising, bear this in mind: commercials work better if you're not paying attention to them!
An addictive mind control device . . . what more could a government or profit-driven corporation ask for? But the really sad thing about television is that it turns everyone into a zombie, no one is immune. There is no higher order of super-intelligent, nefarious beings behind this. It's the product of our very human desire to alter our state of consciousness and escape the hardships of reality .