There's a great deal to be said for the idea that communication technologies lead to enslavement. Once such far reaching media becomes electronically viral it's very difficult to maintain individual freedom. For the past 60 years just about every American family has been sharing their living space with a maniac known as television which has corrupted the language of common discourse. I mean how is a person supposed to react to a headline like the one I read a few weeks ago that said 'Organic Food is No Healthier Than Conventional'? When exactly did it happen that chemically produced factory food became the norm and organic food became unusual? We all know how much worse it's become when we're subjected daily to Orwellian concepts that leave our heads spinning. War is peace in Afganistan and Iraq, torture has been rationalized, national health care is dangerous, the super rich are benevolent and care about you, banks can't afford to lend money, the stock market gained 3000 points so what are you complaining about? It goes on and on.
The thing is you don't have to watch television to be affected by it because everywhere you go you're surrounded by people who've been accommodating this crazy uncle for several generations. They talk about characters they listen to more closely than they listened to their father or teachers and even if much of the time it's with disdain for celebrity gossip they still know all the dirt and are more interested in it than how it is that 3000 points on the Dow mentioned earlier was paid for out of our own taxes and those of future generations. A trillion is one thousand billion and so far the banking industry has been bailed out to the tune of three trillion and still counting. The idea of instituting national health care is a cruel joke being fought out in the media under the guise of rational argument with the brain washed, ignorant and hate addled downtrodden part of our society. I can't tell you how many former fiscal conservatives I've had to find public assistance for at my job. They had a career and health insurance, then got sick with a possibly terminal disease, lost both the job and the benefits accrued and now need public assistance they voted against all their working lives. Such things are beyond sad - they're criminal.
The novel 1984 presented a number of symbolic words, phrases and concepts that have become common parlance but the less well remembered novelist and social commentator from the last century was Aldous Huxley whose novel Brave New World described in satire a perfected humanity where everyone is fed their daily dose of Soma. 75 years later just how close have we come to the society of vapid consumers, idle pleasure-seekers, inner-space trippers and programmed conformists that it presents? Meaning has been eliminated and the populace has embraced its own intellectual dismemberment.
I have no doubt there are a few uplifting things to be watched on television but overall, it's like watching a giant lightbulb and you know what happens to insects who get seduced by a flame. Lastly, it's occurred to me that high intelligence is far from being a valued commodity in society at large. If you're very intelligent you're much less likely to follow the political strictures that make the larger culture amenable to control. Smart people are trouble makers.
Okay, that's the end rant from the August of my discontent. I promise to be more positive next month and will let Crow grumble now and again when he returns from his summer excursion.