Have you ever given a moments thought to the true purpose behind television programming? I did, and to be honest, it’s still something I find a little bit unsettling.
As a child I wondered how the people of generations past could have ever lived without television. It provided me with hours of entertainment and pure, simple-minded happiness. Until my early twenties I soaked up all the programming one could procure with a $50 dollar cable connection. However that all changed one fateful night after three hours of channel surfing. A figurative lightbulb had been illuminated in my mind. I realized that I had been sitting there glued to the tube in a trance-like state for three hours, and hadn’t watched a single thing. Two questions entered my mind. “where did all that time go?” And most frightening, “where did my mind go?” I pulled the proverbial plug on my cable connection that week, and the learning began.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
During the 1950s, television became the primary medium in which to sway public opinion, and bring marketing directly into consumer households. Television was revolutionary in comparison to radio. It took passive viewing to a whole new level, making it harder than ever before to live in the present. Have you ever noticed the transitional period from Halloween to Christmas on t.v.? It takes place November 1st at the strike of midnight. Fuck remembrance day, and the american thanksgiving. They have no commercial appeal. It’s Christmas time bitches! ‘Tis the season to hemorrhage your hard earned cash in exchange for petty bullshit no one needs.
We’ll do your thinking for you
Noun: a planned series of future events, items, or performances.
Verb: arrange according to a plan or schedule.
Let’s get theoretical for a moment. I never thought much about the term “television programming” when I was still plugged in. I thought that’s just what they called t.v. shows. What if it means something entirely different though? What if it’s not commercials, news casts, or t.v. shows, programmed by the network to be broadcast through your television set at a predetermined date and time? What if in reality, it is actually programming for the human mind?
A newborn is much like a computer hard-drive with no information saved to it. Over time the infant grows and learns about It’s surroundings and environment through the five senses. Programming begins with the parents or caretakers: Speech, ethics, religious beliefs, etc. The school system takes over after the basics have been installed. Much like how educational institutions program and prepare people for the work force, television leaves us vulnerable to all forms of suggestion, fills our brains with propaganda, programs us to consume, and skews our values and self-worth.
I sometimes wonder if we can truly consider ourselves independent individuals when it seems as if the choices we make, thoughts we have, and opinions we form may not, in origin, be our own. It seems that since birth we’ve been placed on an invisible, predetermined path by the powers that be. Chasing after the carrot on the stick, being led to what ever end they see fit. Like the gears and cogs in a clock. Every piece placed in a specific order. Living each day dependant on the system, trapped, with no fucking way out.
It’s a sad reality that after a long work day most people only have enough energy left over to sit and rot in front of the t.v. screen and shut down any form of residual conscious thought. Coupled to the effects of fluoridated water, and the super-connectivity of personal devices, it seems the zombie apocalypse has finally arrived. Unlike in t.v. and film where the consumption of human flesh is priority, in this world the zombies lust after the pornography of consumer goods, information, and social media.
Welcome to digital armageddon.
Written by: Arik Wagner