Friday, September 19, 2003

Turn off your televisions. You're living through a false matrix of thought predefined, prepackaged and engineered to make you placid. I may sound like this a lot, I may sound histrionic in what you see as paranoia, but this is one thing which is absolutely true.

There is no "them." The sad irony of the whole fiasco is that we willingly continue the cycle started when TV became a part of the American Dream.

Point 1: When you watch TV, the left side of your brain functionally shuts down, leaving the right lobe to process information in illogical, nonsensical ways. You cannot possibly process information spewed at you by TV in any semblance of reason. Ad agencies know this, use it to the point of exploitiation. The switch in nodes also releases endorphins, a substance chemically almost identical to opium. The endorphins leave you placated and listless, unwilling and almost unable to stop watching. You know how you feel after watching TV for a couple hours? Disoriented and sick? There's a reason! It's unhealthy, and yes, addictive. People removed from television for a few months go into withdrawl, be it mild, in which they are temperamental and unhappy.

Point 2: You have lived with television for so long that you have begun to believe that the world portrayed in television is more real than the world in which you live, and that your life somehow fails to fit television's image, and therefore is unexciting, undesirable and banal. Before you dispute, think about how many times you've turned off a TV, looked around you and morosely walked through the motions of your life for the next half hour, feeling slightly unfulfilled and unhappy with the hand you've been dealt. Where is the logic in this, that we value pure fiction and lies as truth?

Point 3: Television has created a common language which we now share. It's creepy. If someone says "Can you hear me now?" everyone immediately understands and chuckles even though we all know the catch phrase is not at all funny in the slightest way. On top of this, listen to yourself speak during an emotional moment, and just track every single sentence you say back to movies or TV. I've done it many times, and it makes me sick.

TV limits what we can achieve, keeps us from attaining happiness and forces us into grim acceptance of the world we now perceive as violent, unfair and ugly. The average American watches four hours of TV a day. FOUR HOURS! That's 28 hours a week, 112 hours a month. Think of what you could do with that time. Even if you watch TV for half an hour every other day, that's still a chunk of time too precious to sacrifice to an institution designed to keep you emotionless. You will never get that time back. Ever.

Trust me, there is a world surrounding us that is more amazing, more mysterious, more unbelievable than anything I've ever experienced before. I have discovered a universe so unspeakably, complexly beautiful that I feel more alive and in love than I ever have, and I cannot wait to see what's next.

But go watch Friends, it's just so mildly amusing and distracting!

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