Monday, December 15

No one wants to hear what you dreamt about unless you dreamt about them
I am suddenly outraged at my complacence and frightened for the future of our society and world. I have been reading Culture Jam, by Kalle Lasn (editor of Adbusters Magazine). Nick loaned it to Phil and I stole it last night and read the first few chapters -- enough to realize that these nagging feelings I've had lately about culture, society, assimilation and happiness aren't just the unsettling parts of maturing and growing up. I have a legitimate reason to worry that my excessive commercial media intake is negatively affecting my psyche -- making me ancy and depressed at random intervals because I can't decode my own fluctuating emotions about anything and make them make sense. I am drowning in mixed messages and counterfeited truth. It's flying at me from all angles. And this book sat me down and said, "Hey, there are others out there who feel the same way and, guess what, we're not crazy! We're ready for a revolution!"

So I've been thinking about changes I could make to remedy my situation and, possibly, help procure a better future for those around me and any children I might eventually have. I am ready to trash my TV. Now, I have defended television in the past and I will defend aspects of it today. But I'm not sure if I'm ready to allow what I see as the positive aspects of TV (i.e. the shows I actually like) to outweigh what the rest of the drivel does to me and how it makes me feel.

I can't count the times in the past year that I have caught myself channel surfing, making multiple rounds through the 60-odd channels, my temper flaring because on channel after channel, something is insulting me or upsetting me or subverting my intelligence and self-confidence in order to establish an environment that might make it easier to sell me a product.

Just think about how much better I might have felt -- I might feel now -- had I spent that time painting, reading a book, listening to music, or anything creative. Instead, my mind was polluted with image after image of beautiful people buying the right things, followed by image after image of the right medication to round out that perfect persona.

I am totally for hedonism in small doses, but the twisted hedonism and self-importance that has allowed such a consumer culture to emerge and label itself as a free society is saddening. I have a hard time imagining how future generations are going to look back on our massive consumer binge. Will they even recognize it as excessive, or will they be so immersed in the culture we laid out for them that it's just inherent in their nature to assume that this is the normal, natural course for human development to take?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home