I used to have a neighbor who once told me that the television antennas on all the roofs of all the neighborhood houses were the crosses of the devil. He told me this while he was selling me, a minor, a discounted case of Ripple. I wanted the Ripple, so I nodded my head in agreement.
I didn't really think that way though. I loved television way too much back then, as most of us did. Too much to actually think about all the harmful effects that it has wrought. Whenever someone did one of those studies, there must have been at least fifty of them, as to television's harmful side effects, I always thought to myself that they should just shut-up and go away.
I don't think that way anymore. I think we no longer have groups of people who are brave or intelligent enough to tackle the question. For the most part, people have just learned to accept that we are not going back anytime soon to an age before the television didn't tell us what to buy, think, or do. I do think that that's a crying shame.
Don't get me wrong. I still watch a lot of television. Even now, while I am writing this upstairs, the television is on downstairs loud enough to let me know that it is on. I have become addicted to the noise. This is especially true since my wife has left, and I am home alone most of the time.
However, things have changed. I no longer believe that television is good or has had an overall positive impact on human development. It has always had very great potential. However, it has been bought and sold more times than a five dollar prostitute. Television is controlled by those people who own most of the rest of the world. You know the ones who want us to be quiet and not make waves.
It is ruled by those who desire to squeeze money out of the general populace. Sometimes, I think they like the squeezing more than the money.
Excessive money in sports has helped to ruin the once wholesome nature of collegiate sports and has changed the rules of professional sports to the point that it seems that the number one rule of all professional sports is "Make more money!"
There were once TV shows that showed honorable men and women doing and saying honorable things. Nowadays, fathers and authority figures are usually portrayed as bumbling comic figures.
There use to be a pretence that the news was fair, unbiased, and on the level. Nowadays, politically connected news organizations make-up the news up whole cloth and have the audacity to call us names when we catch them red-handed trying to convince us that their lies are the truth. I can't think of any plausible reason why anyone would believe a word that came out of Chris Cuomo's mouth, yet, there he is night after night.
The worse though are the talk shows with their incessant blathering and their beliefs that their words are the gospel on any subject that see fit to blather about. The ladies on The View say some of the stupidest stuff I have ever heard, yet they have millions of viewers who can't seem to do without their daily dose of banality. Oprah and Ellen are extremely wealthy because people no longer trust in their own ability to think about anything. Nice people? Yes. Experts? Not by any stretch of the imagination.
We are where we place our focus. We have greater options than sitting before a TV set letting Madison Avenue tell us where to place our focus. Television is all about the buying and the selling. These people, left or right, know the score, and are willing to take money from the mainstream media in order to guide us into a commercial break. We get most of our news and information from people who want to sell us shit! Would we let a car salesperson become such an intimate part of our circle? Yet, we fall in love with the likes of Ellen, who for all of her immense personal charm, is basically a car salesperson too.
Most men can usually talk about sports pretty easily. Yet, nowadays they are usually found listening to the non-stop arguing of the so-called sports experts, whose real expertise lies in the ability to talk non-stop. They even raise their voices while doing so in an imitation of how our friends and family members would argue about sports.
I don't give a flying fuck if you have memorized the batting averages of every man who has played professional baseball since the days of Abner Doubleday, or if you have all the coaches on speed dial, if you are being paid massive amounts of money to talk about sports, you are still a dipshit. High salary notwithstanding, you are still a phony willing to sale your audience on the idea of buying shit that most of them don't need.
The Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith writes about the problems that mankind faces because of its dealings with this virtual truth in his interesting book Freedom: The End of the Human Condition. He refers to our current state as being the second level of delusion because we never did a damned thing about those problems that all the studies found wrong with our addiction to television.
We are facing more and more new problems and yet have never regained solid ground from the first level of delusion. Griffith believes this has led us into ever deeper delusional thinking and has issued dire warnings that this type of thinking could eventually lead to the ultimate extinction of the human race.
Imagine the irony of that. Television, probably the main source promoting the idea of climate change, remains totally silent on the mental/emotional pollution that it spews forth into our psyches on a daily basis.
The television industry also jealousy guards its role as the lead opinion maker in the world. If Jesus Christ suddenly came back today, he would struggle getting air time to express his ultimate message. Some fucking idiot would decide that his story just wasn't compelling enough. He would need to video himself doing something crazy and upload it into Youtube and hope that it went viral.
Mankind so desperately needs to be devoting some of its energy into getting things right with the universe, yet for all we know, the universe could already be ready to spill all of its secrets and no one is paying attention.
It would be more likely that television would run with the story about a celebrity, famous for play acting the roles of non-existent human beings, getting busted for drunk driving than ever expressing any interest in the story of a man tasked with the mission of saving the souls of the entire human race.
After all if he succeeded, who would watch TV?