It was not uncommon to hear from my elders growing up that television could rot your brain and you shouldn’t watch it too much. Quite a bit has changed since then but they weren’t wrong then and the sentiment if anything, has only become more accurate.
The problem of course is that these same people (primarily Boomers), are totally under the spell of the media they warned me about. Even then, the cartoons and video games they were warning me about in hindsight, are far less dangerous to perceptions of reality than are the news programs they were viewing every day of the week.
I was never in doubt when watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or playing Sonic the Hedgehog about what was and was not reality. There was basically zero danger of confusion when consuming such media. The danger was mostly to do with the unproductive nature of the activity in general. If I was allowed too much time in front of the screen, it would certainly sap my creative and productive energies and to some extent, this came true.
What about the nightly news broadcast though?
This year has been interesting in the contrast I have seen between myself and the average person. As I don’t watch news, read newspapers or spend much time at all on mainstream news websites, I generally only have a vague idea of some current events. Major ones filter to the surface in various ways but day to day happenings do not.
So while I still see the silly signs, hear the silly announcements and am subject to a number of the ludicrous restrictions, my life on the whole is pretty much as normal. My calm seemed quite abnormal until I happened to catch a news broadcast while visiting a relative recently. Most of this broadcast was filled with pornographic levels of fear mongering.
After viewing this I could well understand how it affected those who used to tell me playing Super Mario Bros. would turn my mind to porridge. They’ve been trusting these broadcasts for much of their adult life and they find it hard to see the stark difference between how reality is presented and how it really is. They take these broadcasts onto the street and themselves broadcast this false reality onto everything they see outside.
Calling this brainwashing might be thought hyperbole but this is really what it is. It is almost impossible to reason with these people or bring any doubt to their mind. Roosh observed in a stream a few months ago that any progress you might make with these people is undone once they view the news again.
Not all people are susceptible but the people that aren’t probably don’t watch the news with any regularity and probably also consume a variety of media. Even that can still affect you in ways you don’t realise. My own consumption of Internet media probably has similar effects though I tend to break habits and have very few websites and commentators I can say I have frequented for more than a few months or years.
Adam Piggott has recently had similar thoughts and I share his solution: just quit. We shouldn’t even be linking to laugh at the latest absurd proclamation because sooner or later, we’ll be expected to embrace it. Rather than let it out of the bag, we should hold the bag tied and beat what’s moving inside with a shoe until it stops trying to get out. As he points out; there are so many things being discussed in earnest when we should really be wondering how someone came up with them in the first place.
This is particularly bad now with the results of the US election which we are told has been decided and anyone who says otherwise is one or more of a variety of pejoratives. We are accused of gas-lighting but this is exactly what’s being attempted on us and many will fall for this. The typically spineless conservative political class is either making ineffectual murmurings or maneuvering to maintain their position whatever the outcome. Very few are making genuine efforts to stand-up and fight.
The same is true of what will one day be considered the most criminally overblown health scare in known history. I have lived much as normally as I have been allowed for most of this year. I have not worn a mask, I have not been unwell. I do not know anyone who has contracted what is supposedly a highly contagious and dangerous virus. I know many in the same position and yet I’m supposed to deny my own experiences of reality and submit myself to what is fed to me by the media. In many cases by people who have no more authority, knowledge, intelligence or competence than I do.
The news really can imprint itself on reality and we should do as much as we can to stop ourselves at least from being ourselves imprinted on. This is as simple as turning away from it.