In ancient Rome, the Roman elite used free food and blood sport entertainment by gladiators in the arena to keep the poor and disadvantaged under control. I think much of modern political policy is designed to do the same job with the complicity of the media.
After the ugly campaign followed by the election of a candidate who managed to insult every possible group in our diverse society, I decided that I had had enough of the wasteland that is TV programming. So I disconnected the dish and vowed to abstain from paying attention to the news anywhere else for the foreseeable future.
What a relief!
No more channel surfing trying to find something that didn’t insult my intelligence. No more talking heads blathering about possible events or decisions by our president elect. No more commercials telling me that I need to buy their products to live the good life. No more situation comedies that aren’t funny. No more ‘junk food’ documentaries about the existence of big foot/mermaids/lost treasure/ghosts on the history channel. No more violent ‘news’ images of wars, crimes, fires and floods which happen to have been recorded on video for us to watch.
I’ll admit that I still reach for the TV remote until I remember that it no longer works. But the absence of TV programming simply means I can do other things besides dulling my mind and spirit with the messages of media circus each day. I can watch my favorite Ancient Aliens on the computer through history.com or watch my guilty pleasure AFV on my smart phone. I have time to watch my library of animated films or see new ones on Netflix. I can read a book, play in my art studio, take a walk, chat with friends.
Perhaps we all ought to take a time out from the message saturated media and reflect on what the true American values are. If we spend more time living our lives in line with our values and less time trying to fit in with an obviously dysfunctional image of what our lives are supposed to be, we might all become saner, happier people.