Charles Hugh Smith has a good post today with people commenting on television: I've never posted my thoughts on the effects of television, so here it is responding to that:
Does television and video games cause violence?
No, the massive amount of violence and anger outbursts Americans are caused because our system is based off of exploitation. If you are poor, you are born poor while others are born with more, source of anger. Probably the only jobs you can get are shitty ones like landscaping and non-union construction. If you are black, many places won't hire you because you're black. A lot of businesses fill their three to four black person quota and won't hire anymore. Poor people have no real political power.
If you are blue collar you work hard but your bosses treat you like shit. You can see that your money and time are being stolen from you, etc.
You are white collar, living in a tiny claustrophobic city apartment, or living out in the dull suburbs in a cul de sac. And your bosses don't care about you either and exploit your time and money. You engineer the parts, design their commercials, everything that makes the money. And never end up on the board of directors.
And life is generally shitty, you will always stub your toes, have heart burn, get the shits, and we are all facing our future deaths, never knowing when the minute will be where we say goodbye. Life is not easy for anyone, considering we are stranded on a rock in a vast cosmos of nothingness. I can see why people would believe there are aliens, being so afraid we are truly alone.
Violence is weird in America, the poorer and more powerless you are. The more violent you are, which makes sense. But also at the same time the rich and powerful who have a God like place in our world are also violent, not personally in your face like poor people, but they do not mind sending other people to commit violence.
But commercials and television do add unneeded wants and desires which creates frustration which leads to violence:
Commercials constantly scream at us, "YOU FUCKING NEED THIS." And at the same time commercials scream, "YOU ARE THIS IF YOU HAVE THIS." Also they scream, "YOU AREN'T THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE THIS."
Commercials are like the antithesis to Buddhism and Jesus and Diogenes and Kant and basically every worthwhile peaceful philosophy humans have ever come up with:
No where on American television and in the American worldview does this idea exist, "Be happy with what you got, because you got shelter, heating, schools, infrastructure, pell grants, even cheap cars, etc."
There is no attempt by any major media personalities to foster the idea of looking around, acknowledging all the good things one has, and being happy.
To me, in my experience I've really learned this by going to National Parks. I've been to seven national parks. Everyone I went to had almost a complete lack of Americans. It was predominately french and Japanese who were there.
When I was in Mesa Verda and The Arches, Besides Bernice and I, there were no english speaking people. None whatsoever.
This signifies to me that Americans would rather go to Las Vegas or just sit at home and spend their possible vacation money on big screen televisions and cars.
America has some of the most beautiful views and places in the world and Americans don't even care. They are taking them totally for granted.
Our whole worldview is focused around money and objects and consumerism and taking things for granted.
I don't know if it is the television and movies fault that Americans don't go to their own national parks, but I would say it hasn't helped.
Television inundates, overwhelms, terrorizes the viewer with images of prosperity, of things to buy, how those things will make them this and that, how men should think and behave, how women should think and behave, and usually the thoughts involve nothing but stale illogical cliches that if one lives their life off of that, they will end up with nothing but suffering.
TELEVISION IS APOLITICAL:
This is horrible: Before television people read books and usually in books there is a political slant, the author has a belief system that they are working with.
Sitcoms and soap operas have no political slant. They are completely apolitical, humans living in a world that doesn't require politics. Which is absurd. Politics are always there lurking in our lives. And having our major media outlets not taking notice of that is morally disgusting.
THE TOTAL LYING:
How many sitcoms have fat ugly men dating really attractive women?
How many dumb ownership based cliches get spouted as truisms on television in a day?
Does Anderson Cooper know a goddamn thing about anything, I seriously doubt it. And I won't even go into Hannity or Beck, that would be too easy.
DOES TELEVISION CAUSE ADD?
Television doesn't cause ADD. Everyone I know with ADD had parents that were not consistent in their punishments causing cognitive problems later in life. And if ADD is caused by watching television, that means THE PARENT is letting them watch too much of it.
I would say in terms of history and anthropology humans are meant to do at least four hours of labor a day starting at the age of five. They are meant to like strip bark for houses, dig with their fathers, make clothes and cook with their mothers, harvest crops, etc. Humans were meant to do small labor activities when they are five. We don't give humans labor related activities until their teens now. A fundamental part of human nature is not being, the only way I can say it, brought to light. The instinct to work with one's elders during childhood is not occurring, being repressed, causing cognitive problems.
WHAT SADDENS ME MOST ABOUT TELEVISION
Television is caught in a paradox. It has to sell soap, televisions, cloths, golf cloths, etc.
It can't depress or anger people, it has to sell products, because television people want to make a lot of money. And making a lot of money is not done by being honest and kind. Humans noticed this 2000 years ago, Buddhists, Hindus, and Catholic monks all noticed that money was not the way to kindness and peace.
The thought process is that when you have nothing, you must depend upon other people, and they must depend upon you, so acting kind is vital to one's survival.
As opposed to having a lot, when you depend upon no one. And therefore can act anyway you please.
Imagine this for a minute, just sit back and imagine if television covered the energy crisis with legitimate responsibility.
It would have contacted Richard Heinberg, Mathew Simmons, Kunstler and other people. Gave them free reign with some good graphic design people. And allowed those men to give the information to the people in a three hour show on prime time and every channel would be showing it, because they know it would be their civic responsibility.
But instead the peak oil people get like 6 minutes to explain a theory that takes in reality a semester of college classes.
Something so vitally important to our lives gets six minutes because it doesn't sell soap.
I want to add one note:
Our schools foster many of these same ideals about ownership and that one's identity is based upon what one owns.