19 November 2009

Things Not To Do

I know you were probably hoping for Part 2 of “The Big Story”, but it’s not quite ready yet so here’s something short and sweet to satiate your blogging hunger a little.

Over the years I have done many things some of which I'm sure you don't want to hear about (in fact I'm certain), but this little blog isn't about them so don’t panic. This particular blog is about all of the things that (ironically as you will see) in my infinite wisdom I have decided are contrary to a healthy life and a healthy mind. There are just three of them so this should be pretty short.

They are (in rising order of evilness):

  • Cars
  • Arrogance
  • Television

Cars: I gave up cars mostly out of poverty, I just couldn't justify owning and more importantly maintaining one when I spend almost 33% of every day on trains (yes you read correctly). But since that forced sacrifice I've discovered that I don't miss them at all. I mean if the needs be I'll drive one. Hired or borrowed cars for holiday etc yeah sure fine. But in general I've managed to get along fine without one now for over three years… and I don't see that changing.

Arrogance: Now considering I'm sitting here writing a blog about my own personal life and experiences and posting it on the internet because I'm sure you dear reader just can't wait to get into my amazing head again… I think you'd agree I'm treading on some pretty thin ice whilst talking about arrogance. Well I'd have to pull you up there and say whoa steady… it all depends on what you think arrogant is or more to the point what I think arrogant is ;)

There are some pretty reasonable people in the world, they're certainly in the minority which is a shame but they're out there, maybe you're one of them who knows. But and it's a big but (tee hee I said big but)… for every reasonable person you might encounter in your life there are approximately 14,000 total arseholes. It's a popularly believed fact.

And probably the easiest way to find out if someone is one of the aforementioned arseholes is to ask them if they could possibly be wrong about something. See for me arrogance takes over from confidence when a person loses the ability to admit that there is even a slight possibility that they are wrong, especially when they are obviously not an expert on the subject in question (whatever it may be). Some people just have a hard time differentiating their opinions from facts, it's about as simple as that. Some people can't tell the difference between something that depends on a person's own personal preferences or life experience or just plain old personal choice and something that they can define as correct or incorrect.

Anyway, long story short. Arrogance is something that I watch for in myself and stamp on when I see it, and it's something that when seen in others tends to guide me far, far away from them. Really don't need people like that around full stop.

And lastly (but by no means least)…

Television: Now I'm not sure if television rates the highest on the "Devices that future historians will pin point as the thing that destroyed the world as we know it" list… that honor belongs to the refrigerator (more on that another time)… but it is certainly the device that has been misused and had its potential squandered and twisted into something that would have Zworykin and Farnsworth yanking out their hair and screaming NO in unison rather than arguing over who's invention it was or plotting to beat up John Logie Baird as normal.

You see television has, or more correctly had, a lot of potential to be one of the greatest inventions of all time, but since its inception it has slowly been subverted and perverted to such a degree that I and a lot of other people (I hope) see it literally as paragon of modern evils.

Sounds like I'm over doing it a bit? Well read on.

The two greatest evils delivered into your home no worse than that, delivered right into your brain by this wonder box are advertising (no shocks there) and so called reality TV (which I'm not going to cover today).

Why? Well advertising is such a humongous monster of a topic it probably deserves an entire blog of its own but lets dust over it in short form for now.

Point 1
A large proportion of TV advertising is just plain old lies delivered with such cunning and deceit that they fool a lot of the people a lot of the time.

Point 2
Television advertising has become almost a science in its own right and that science revolves around manipulating you. Not only manipulating you into spending your hard earned cash (which is fairly obvious), but also manipulating you into believing that by doing so you're going to make your life better than it is when in fact you're actually more likely to make it worse.

So insidious is the long term and well funded campaign of deceit that TV advertising has to a lesser or greater extent altered what entire generations believe to be good or bad… think about that. A commercially driven enterprise fueled basically by greed has changed what people accept as good or bad… now that cannot be right.

TV advertising has recently begun to be regulated. They have had to redress the way they advertise to children (though they have not always had to). Highly impressionable children, exposed to such determined and pervasive an adversary really don't stand a chance do they? Now this must have been a bit of a pain in the arse for the evil advertising overlords but they have plans to overcome and side step this problem don't worry, they have already begun, their profits are assured and in fact will increase over time. They have tools and schemes of such subtle complexity I'm not going to even touch on them here, but trust me they are in our children's heads and they mean to stay there regardless of any regulation. Advertisers do not view children in the same way as the rest of us, they do not see a vulnerable section of our society that naturally needs our protection from evil until they are old enough to defend themselves oh no. Advertisers view children as a long term exploitable resource, they see children as profit machines, little consumers who also have the fantastic ability to not only buy any peddled crap that can be marketed in the right way, but who can apply pressure to another group of individuals (parents) getting them to make purchases too. They view children as high impact consumers who one day will spawn their own clutch of new little consumers that will inherit the sensibilities of their parents and continue to fuel the corporate monster we have all allowed to take over our world… GOD DAMN IT… ahem…. sorry wrong blog. <>

I've gone off topic a little. Suffice to say I became so revolted by TV advertising that I decided to stop watching broadcast television completely. I now have no TV antenna attached to my television, I have no cable, I have no satellite, I have no freeview. There is no way for those evil bastards to squirt their putrid advertising piss into my house or my life. I have not watched a single television advert for over three years. How many have you watched in that time?

For one day, just count them as you’re exposed to them Add them up and then work out how much time that equates to assuming an average advert is 20 seconds long… go on add it up, I dare you. Then multiply that by 1095… that's how long you've sat watching TV adverts in the last three years… it's a lot isn't it. Every three adverts is another minute of your life gone… for no good reason… for the profits of others perhaps… but what are the benefits to you? Probably just lower self esteem, as you once again fail to measure up to the ideal of perfection and happiness that's been crammed down your throat for god knows how long.

And when you've worked it out how much of your life has slipped away in the last three years watching TV adverts, remember that while you were sitting there for that startling amount of time, absorbing their brainwashing filth… I wasn't. I was doing something else… I was painting or reading or making love or watching a movie of my choice, or talking with people online and off, or maybe I was just sitting and staring at a sunset and thinking… in fact it's pretty irrelevant what I was doing… because whatever I was doing it was simply something more enriching that being force fed advertising.

Think about that…

… then turn off your TV and join me.