United Statesian, who controls your mind? Is it you? Is it someone else?
Have the individualistic or antihero values of our culture been lost? How deeply can the average United Statesian now think? Has true human experience blended into the rectangle eye of modern perception?
Objective reality is perceived as an average of eighty percent by sight, and the other senses support that sight, equaling a comprehensive reality perception. The rectangle TV eye offers a controlled construct of a visual eighty percent which we then accept as true reality. If you have the latest surround sound, then you get “almost life- like” sound. We click on our sixty inch high definition television—which everyone must have,–“it looks so real–so life like”–and we absorb constructed visual input with formulated sound. We listen to the newscaster and accept what is said as valid. We see images of destroyed buildings, and occasionally a corpse—but nothing too gruesome, for the producers don’t want to push away the viewers, so as to sell commercials for profit. Commercial. When the talking head says, “There was an up-tick of violence in Iraq today,” we see the buildings, or cars burning, but we do not smell the burnt flesh, the burning hair, guts splattered on the ground, fresh blood on the sidewalk. We see only what is meant for us to see; images, but not reality? Commercial.
We do not hear the wailing of true human suffering. We do not touch the cooling bodies. We do not taste the bitterness of bile and outrage. We do not wipe the grit from our eyes. It was just an “up- tick in violence.” Nothing more. Commercial. The spot has made money. Profit has been made. We watch. We do not plan the burials. We do not wash the bodies, smelling the familiar fragrance of our father, mother, child. We do not hear the screams of pain from the mutilated, living people. We do not see the permanent damage done to living humans. Commercial. We do not smell the diarrhea of despair. We watch a quick clip of images chosen by the producer—a planned message? We watch. Commercial.
We watch this everyday; it becomes our norm; our pattern of flat perception. It is like our living rooms; so familiar that we no longer even acknowledge it. It is so ingrained in us that we actually choose the commercials which we think are good. We enjoy them and see them as an “art form”—at least that is how reality is presented to us? Commercial. We are not even conscious that the commercials are to get us to buy–to make profit for the television network and others. We watch tiny flash patches; no long term, in-depth thought required. Commercial.
What we watch is formulated into a construct of a superficial message and an unobvious secondary message, but we are unaware. Commercial. We don’t question why one news clip follows another clip, or if they are chronologically coherent? When were—where were the images filmed? We don’t recognize that the limited vision of the camera and the rectangle eye disallows us to see the message production, or the broader, peripheral vision of reality. We watch. Commercial.
We click from the construct reality of the news and watch a nature program. We see through the rectangle eye images of nature; a bear; a bird; a stream; a fish, but we do not touch, smell, taste the fruit of nature. Nature’s omniscient eye is closed. Commercial. Nature too has become a capitalistic product, for profit is the only value in theU.S.
Not only do we sell the animals, we sell the human too. We watch the “criminal” being processed into his/her cage. We watch with cruel fascination as a fellow human being is caged for something they have done against society? Commercial. Commercial. We hear the slamming of the cage door, but we do not smell the fear, or feel caged insanity. Message? We sit in our living room; safe with our snacks. We watch. Commercial. Commercial—profit from human suffering.
In this pattern of reality the fascinating spectacle with no thought becomes the norm. We watch as the spectacle, like the fireworks on the fourth of July, dazzles our eyes and we do not consider the emptiness of the flashes in celluloid. We watch; disconnected from live human reality.
We sit, dazed in very short patches presented to us by whom? Commercial. What is the purpose of these images to our minds? Does someone have a purpose for these constructs? Commercial. Commercial. Commercial. Maybe I should buy that carpet cleaner? Oh, I need a new car. Oh, those paper towels are better. I should buy some. Commercial.
Commercial–oh, politics. Who should I vote for? How will they help me make more money? Seconds of words? What do they mean? Oh, turn the channel to the cop show–the Super cops who will catch the bad guys. My, how many bad guys there are today. It’s not like when I was a kid. Commercial. There is so much crime today. The news is full of it. Everyday bombarded by the bad people. Commercial. How can I survive? Commercial.
Commercial–that’s a good one. I should take down that number. I’m so far in credit card debt, but I really need that. Commercial. I should call them. Commercial. I’ll switch to that detective show. He has a disability, but he still is a hero. He catches those bad guys despite his disability. What is that called? Commercial—oh, have to pick up meds at the pharmacy. Oh, OCD, I wonder how he can survive, and be so smart? Commercial. Commercial. Commercial. News break! Some rich person has died? Who is it? Commercial. Commercial. Boy, I wish I had that kind of money. Commercial. Commercial. I’m tired. Time for bed. Work tomorrow. Commercial. Click—some sleeping pills; work; pay bills, tomorrow.
Copyright Kim Rush, published in Double Dare 2007.