topiary cats

topiary cats

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Out of Mo's Mind

I didn't write any of this.  But I did copy and paste it here, and my judicious use of CTRL+V must surely merit some kind of credit.

I don't watch television.  Don't even have one. There hasn't been a television in my living space for about 15 years.  But this also applies to internet. Finally, someone with some sense!

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Out of Mo's Mind
“ 'is the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la, la la la la!”
-Traditional Christmas song written long before the invention of television, modern journalism or the Internet.

I've said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s possible to have a wonderful holiday and keep from falling into cultural stereotypes that insist we’re destined to get the blues. As sure as what we eat makes us what we are physically, what we ingest mentally controls how we see the world.
What follows are a few observations that might help you keep the “jolly” in the holly.

Watching what you watch is a valuable tool for figuring out why you may be filled with angst, sadness or the unquenchable desire to buy/eat/drink to extremes.

For example, one evening last week while watching television, I saw the following: numerous shootings, a couple of stabbings, stalking, waterboarding and other acts of interrogation too disturbing to mention here, sexual assault, promiscuity, theft, human trafficking, terrorism, ubiquitous alcohol use, drugs, political corruption, conspiracy theories, pedophilia, and various and sundry other antisocial acts, and that was only in the commercials. (Just kidding)

Actually, commercials promote trading stuff for love and sex, regaining your childhood by eating sugary cereals that you loved before you had common sense, flaunting your wealth, striving for wealth, striving for your neighbor’s wealth, flaunting your pretended wealth, getting new things because the old things are not only outdated but also make you look stupid, giving a luxury car as the only real expression that you love your family and so many other twisted messages that Hermes himself couldn't untie them.

Then there’s social media.
It's interesting to note that we use the term, “going viral,” for both the outbreak of a deadly disease and an extremely popular video on the Internet. I've seen some of these viral videos and the very fact that they’re so popular explains why this phenomenon is linked to disease.

I’ve also noticed a general lack of patience in our society as well as a sense of disconnection and self isolation. I have tons of theories as to what this may be due to, but I’ll leave the curmudgeon-based rant for another time. Suffice to say that we live in a chaotic time, but that we don' have to be influenced negatively by the chaos.

I have a friend who urges me to watch shows that espouse conspiracy theories, corruption, fears of global terrorism and the walking dead. I get all the zombies I can stand by going to the grocery store, thank you. As for the rest, there’s always C-SPAN.

That brings me to the news. Here’s what most newscasts seem like to me: catastrophe, tragedy, fear mongering, political spinning, more fear mongering, putting reporters in extreme danger in order to cause you to feel more connected to them, or perhaps just to cause more drama, sadness, catastrophe again, lots of commercials in between all of this and finally, a heartwarming tale involving a dog, child, sick person, charity, tale of heroism, or all of the above.

Here’s my point. I choose shows that I watch carefully. This means making choices. You might not agree with all my choices, but then I wouldn't expect you to.

Sure, some of what I watch makes me shriek obscenities, but mostly because local newscasters abuse our language and use atrocious grammar and pronunciation. It makes my brain itch.

The shows I don't want to watch, I ignore and I've done so for a reason. If I find that a show or media event is affecting me negatively, I remove it from my consciousness. That's the best part about all of this. The vast majority of the sensory assault we have to deal with is a matter of choice. We just have to realize that fact and exercise our right not to be manipulated.

If we learn to make choices with something as simple as a TV show, we’ll find that we’re making choices in other aspects of our life.

The bottom line is, tis the season to be jolly and you can be pretty darn ho, ho ho. All you have to do is recognize whatever it is that’s annoying you, or bringing you down, and turn it off. Try it. It may surprise you.

Until next week, I wish you peace, love and lots to fa la la about.

1 comment:

  1. I got rid of my TV about two years ago, gave it back to the management at the hotel after realizing I could reclaim 1/6 of my living space and get rid of the big blank screen.

    There was literally nothing good on that I couldn't get on Netflix or Amazon minus the commercials, which are a bit like a three year old interrupting to scream at you that he wants something irrational. No, I don't want a car, let alone a luxury car and ave no money. No, I have a phone and like the one I have. No, I don't use women's cosmetics or personal care stuff. No, I don't want to eat those expensive foods I'm allergic to anyway, you don't know my tastes. GACK no I do not want to get a wife and then use Abilify to turn her into a Stepford Wife because she's depressed and a cartoon bathrobe is harassing her. That one was really the creepiest in all its iterations. Right down to the disease taking notes on the medication.

    I have my own rants on the loneliness and I wouldn't be surprised if yours were similar. One of the reasons is so simple it's ludicrous.

    People move and relocate every two to five years for reasons of work. That's a pattern of life in America today. And what happens with that is you lose everyone you lived next door to and it takes two years to start building up offline contacts at all. By and large people have online social networks and whoever they live with that moves with them and that's it. Relationships and friendships take time to build, including a relationship with a neighborhood and a climate.

    When I came home to San Francisco I didn't know anyone again, but I felt better as soon as I crossed the bridge and recognized it. I knew I would find people and three years later, I have, even with my disabilities. But it is a slow process.

    Work seems to be eating up most people's lives, work harder for less money with more intrusion in personal life. Boundaries that I held during all my working years have vanished. No job was worth getting called on my time off and interrupted in what I was doing or having to reply to emails from it off shift. When I left work I did. I pulled plenty of overtime in the 80s but when I went home that was it, work didn't exist till I went back.

    Lots of things combine to make life harder, but the social media do help mitigate it. There's nothing so immersive as real people on teh other end of the tech, whether that's phone or tablet or computer. TV can't begin to compete. Real life can though if you go somewhere you really love and put in deep roots.

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