RANGER AGAINST WAR: Video Killed the Radio Star <

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Video Killed the Radio Star

--No escaping it  

 Fasten your seat belts,
 it's going to be a bumpy night
--All About Eve (1950) 

 'Cause it's the new mother nature taking over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new mother nature taking over
She's gettin' us all
--No Sugar Tonight,
The Guess Who


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.
We have guided missiles and misguided men
--Martin Luther King,  Jr.
_______________________

Get ready for the New Normal -- national schizophrenia, a la carte. Tune in anywhere, and you will be updated on the grievance du jour. Because everything's O.K., and we're everybody.

One theory on schizophrenia says the patient lacks the ability to filter out irrelevant stimuli. One is overcome and overwhelmed, acting out in inappropriate and spectacular fashion, or not reacting at all.

That is our national life as fed to us on the tube, or the various circuit boards to which you are glued. An initial convulsing -- much like a paramecium in a petri dish into which an irritant has invaded his happy medium  -- followed by catatonia.

The reactionary unicellular animal is not dead; he is simply rendered incapable of self-generated movement. So there we are, stuck in the gelatin, seeing hazily, but not seeing how it is we got here. Perhaps a better analogy would be the marionette puppet who has no control over the strings tugging on its every limb, all for the amusement of the audience.

We are both the puppet and the audience, the watcher and the watched.

The presenters of the data pull you hither and thither, aiming to shock you with an overwhelming diversity of visual data bombarding you at such repetition and speed that focus and comment become irrelevant. The newscast template is unvarying, and only the visuals change

They will deliver you some Bad / Mad / Sad / Happy© within a half hour, and you will feel sort of o.k after the familiar wrap up, and go to find succor in a beer and chips. But while you have developed a pattern, the national players haven't sorted out their template for the new normal, yet.

Following the shooting in the Orlando gay night club, congressional members react emotionally with a sit-in encouraged by the President. The shout out of the day was to close the gun show loophole, despite the fact that the shooter did not use that loophole.

In fact, most of the recent shooters have not used it, and as a recent piece in the UK Guardian put it, it is like saying you will give up donuts in the face of a cancer diagnosis; it fails to target the problem.

The halls of Congress have become a place of demonstration, mimicking the convulsions of their electorate, rather than a forum for the creation of realistic legislation.

We live in an era of the Sportification of Death. Our entertainment and foreign policy is packed with violence. The U.S. proliferates weapons in the Middle East, while criticizing civilian weapons in the hands of U.S. citizens. Because we are fed a bleak future, many turn to the past in protest and rejection.

We live on a new frontier, but there are no babbling brooks or soothing nature sounds here. Instead, the frontier at which we gaze is all binary, 1's and 0's, coded to form a simulacra of the things to which our minds have become accustomed to seeing over eons of evolution. Only yesterday, our eyes were delighted by the magic lantern shows.

We are not seeing the same things in the same way, and we are taxing the same old brain to run as fast as it can.

Some people are reacting very poorly to this visual onslaught. Our challenge is to impose order upon the new chaos, and crocodile tears in Congress will not fix this.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous mike said...

I like your petri dish analogy. I find myself stuck in the gelatin quite often. I turn off the tv, which is a barren wasteland even with its visual theatrics. I try to stick to other sources but print and radio seem just as bad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 5:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's crazier than I've ever seen it out there and I see sense slackening of the fire.

I am not a robot

avedis

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 8:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shoot...I guess if I was a robot I wouldn't make type mistakes either... meant to say sense no slackening of fire.

avedis

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 8:42:00 PM GMT-5  

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