Friday, August 10, 2012

Mass Media Illusion

The people I know who are still sound asleep don't see anything going wrong.  They are content and distracted, completely disconnected from the world that sustains them.  They have no understanding of this. They think their state of disconnection is actually being connected.  What are they connected to?  The mass media.

Some folks sit in front of a television set for hours every day. They will turn on the TV in the morning and leave it on all day whether they're watching it or not. The TV is the last thing that gets turned off at night.  When they do sit down to watch it, their favorite shows are interrupted every few minutes with groups of advertisements trying to sell products of every conceivable kind.  The ads don't just play once but are shown over and over and over again.  The constant interruptions are outrageous and insulting but they don't mind.  They don't feel the insult of it and won't refuse to put up with it.  They would never say "Enough is enough", pull the plug on the TV set and cancel the cable TV account.  It would never occur to them to phone the cable company and say they are no longer willing to be abused and exploited by people who want their money and that they're closing their account and won't be back until the commercials are gone.  They will probably never just walk away from it all and go do something else instead.  No.  For the rest of their lives and their children's lives they will sit in front of the TV set for hours each day and night and intake the commercials as if the commercials are a part of the show.  As if commercials naturally belong there like unavoidable thorns on a long stemmed rose.  As if commercials are a natural part of television.   It's a trade off they have come to perceive as normal and expected.

Trade offs in nature are not unusual.  Coconuts have impossibly hard shells to break in order to get to the edible white nut inside. Watermelons are unfortunately studded with little black seeds that are not pleasant to bite on.  Bees make honey but they also sting people, and so on.  In nature the upsides often come with downsides.  But there is an important difference between coconuts and TV commercials.  TV commercials are not a naturally occuring phenomenon.  In fact they are wholly unnatural.  There is no human need for them.  For the most part people don't like them or want to watch them. After an established fifty plus year track record it is safe to say that TV advertising is pernicious, destructive and hated.  Any sane person of sober mind would undoubtedly agree that TV commercials should be abolished.  

Television should be for people. It should be about people.  It should benefit the public, not the ethically crippled profiteers who feed on our minds, bodies and cash.  Television as a technology has the potential to reach, teach and inform.  It could also facilitate two way communication as opposed to passive one way output,  allowing people at both the local and national levels to actually talk back and to participate and do interesting things, even paradigm changing things.
For instance, we could use the TV for voting. We could stop voting for personalities that pretend to represent us and instead we could directly vote on the issues that affect our lives ourselves.  We could do that and actually have a say in how things are done around here. TV could be a people empowering technology that makes us stronger, smarter, wiser, more knowlegeable than we have ever thought possible. TV could lift the whole world higher. But no.  Instead, the commercial TV product makes people passive and stupid, disconnected from reality, insecure and covetous.  It addicts, disables and disempowers people, turning their brains to mush while making corporations richer through carpet bombing the human psyche with unmitigated idiocy and scientifically perfected mechanisms to undermine and destroy the capacity of people to think for themselves at all.  TV is nothing more than a tool of exploitation of all of our people so that the rich and powerful can get richer and more powerful and maintain an ever increasing control over all of our lives to an extent that is truly horrifying.  It's really quite rude.

When I say things like that to those who are still asleep they look at me like I'm crazy.  They don't deny what I'm saying they just don't see it as that big a deal.  They are sure that they are too smart to be affected by anything on the TV set, programs or otherwise.  They feel informed and in control and are not concerned about what I'm saying.  By the same token they don't know anything about the economy or history or what their dearly elected are doing.  They often don't even know the name of the vice president or for that matter the names of their alleged representatives.  They can't name or describe a single piece of legislation that has ever been on the table or was passed into law and don't pay the slightest attention to all things political.  They can however tell you all about Bart Simpson, sports, their favorite soft drinks, the Oprah show and their favorite places to shop and go out to eat, what the kids want to buy and have and do and with rare exception no one in their family ever picks up a book or considers reading or taking a trip to the library.  They think I'm funny for even bringing it up.

To them I am the disconnected one.  I am the one who does not see the way and the light.  They are plugged in to "the happening" as it unfolds each day and is presented to them.  They know who's who and what's hot and what's not.  They know the latest movie that everyone wants to see and the newest cool cell phone model and all about cell phone plans and costs.  They know all of the pop stars and all of the popular songs, the TV shows and TV stars and hottest people and movies out of Hollywood.  When they turn on the car radio they enjoy listening to it while I can't stand the car radio for two seconds because it is sheer insanity.  Insanity is the norm in this country.  Insanity is good.  Insanity is fun.  Insanity for one and all is the goal and the reason for living.  Plug in to the insanity and join the insanity collective and you can be normal too.

Here's the thing.  There is no such thing as "the happening".  It is all an illusion.  It is believed to be real because it is an ongoing story that people identify with.  People live their lives vicariously through identifying with an externally generated stream of illusion.  They take their identities, perspectives and values from an externally generated, pervasive, all encompasing, non stop, 24 hours a day, illusion stream.  It feels real to them.  It is real to them.

Take away the TV set, the movies, the advertising, the pop stars, the radio, shut it all off.  Now tell me who you are.  Tell me what is real.  Tell me what matters now.   

A shock of silence happens when the external bombast of the mass media collective is removed from conscious awareness.  Attention is abruptly focused within instead of everywhere else except within.  In that silence you can hear yourself think.  Only in that silence can you hear yourself at all.  The question is, can you stand it?  

Can you stand hearing your own mind and no other voices?  Can you sit in silence and think?  Can you bear being all by yourself?  Have you ever considered doing something on your own, without anybody else being with you?  Does the very idea of being alone frighten you?

If you feel that being disconnected from everything happening out there would be horrible and unbearable and that you'd feel lost and alone and wouldn't know what was going on and wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do with yourself, then I have a question for you.  Do you actually exist?

Would there still be a "you" if you were blocked off from all of those external things and other people?  Do you exist as a unique individual with your own identity and ideas that come from yourself and are not dependent on what anybody else thinks or says?  Who are you?  Do you know?  Do you know what the meaning of your life is? Do you care about what it means to exist in a world floating in space, or why you are here, or why it matters?  Does it even matter to you?

I can't show you proof to support this, but my guess is that most people ask themselves questions about meaning fairly early in life.  Around the time we're becoming teenagers we start to wonder about things like why we exist and where we come from and what it all means.  This is the time when we stop being Mom and Dad's little acorn, a product of the trees they are, and we start to become a tree of our own.

The first thing a tree has to do is set down roots.  Unless and until it can do that it can't do much growing.  If the spot it tries to grow its roots into isn't optimal for growth then it won't become a big strong tree.  It might not die but it will be limited in its growth and will likely come out small and scraggly and unable to produce much, if anything at all.   

You are a tree.  I am a tree.  We are all trees.  The difference is that we can decide when and where to grow our roots and just as important, what we want to use as our life's ground.  Whatever we grow out of will be the foundation of everything about us. What we grow into and become is inextricably linked to that foundation.  The roots I am speaking of are not physical, they are mental.  The roots of our mind will determine who we are.  

It's easy to see how plugging in to the collective mass media illusion seems like an easy and obvious way out of facing up to and dealing with the questions of identity and meaning churning around in the turmoil of everything else inside us.  It's also very difficult to ignore the mass media or avoid it.  It's as if there are enormous flat screens floating over our heads at every moment of our lives depicting the ongoing stories, the illusions, of the collective. We have no control over what is projected nor are we a part of its story.  We don't personally know any of the familiar people on its screens or anything about them and yet we feel as if we do know them and they feel like real and authentic people to us who are somehow a part of our lives.  Nothing on the screens are our own story and nothing we see and hear has anything to do with our lives; but there it is anyway and the people projected there are glamorous and beautiful, wealthy and successful.  They are cool, they are right, they are popular, or authoritative, or extreme or geeks or they're angry, rebellious, fighting back, lashing out, being stalked by a lunatic with a chain saw, having sex with everybody and anybody, there is always somebody up there to identify with.  Whether we know it or not or like it or not we will emulate these illusory people.  We will dress like they dress and try to look like they look.  We will say the things they say and behave as they behave.  They are our illusory role models, digital projections who are not even real, but we don't think about that.  We just take it in as our reality.

If the collective mass media becomes the soil we put down our roots into then illusion becomes the foundation that supports our world view.  Illusion becomes the source of our personal identity. And illusion becomes what interests us most.  Life is easy to understand because all questions are already answered, all values are already assigned, and everything is pre-labelled, pre-chewed, pre-discovered and provided.  Life becomes effortless.  All you have to do is choose.  Choose an identity and go buy the accessories that go with it.  Life is but a dream.

Nothing in the illusion can answer our questions of meaning, self worth or true identity.  No illusion can supply the real meaning that is the only soil we can grow in.  Even our growth is an illusion.  Our thoughts and opinions are based on illusions, along with our self image and ideas about everything in the world.  Our thoughts, feelings and values about these things don't come from our own tree, they come from a tree of illusions and we are only pretending they belong to us and are us.  We will never feel whole or satisfied without answering those questions ourselves.  Those questions will be like sneakers in the dryer of our minds, banging around waiting to be pulled out and dealt with.  If we ignore them long enough or talk ourselves out of paying attention to them, eventually we won't hear them anymore.  If we fear facing those questions, if we avoid them, deny them, or tell ourselves that they are proof that we are not like everybody else and we must hide them or nobody will respect us anymore, then eventually we will learn to successfully block out the noise they make inside our minds.  It is a choice.  Listening to our truth within, or choosing the collective mind.  We can choose reality and truth and grow ourselves, which is plenty interesting and rewarding. Or we can opt to allow exciting and beautiful illusions to define us.  We can let other people form our mind, construct our self image, think for us, and make us believe that we are no more than what they want us to be.  If we allow the illusion stream to define us then our life is an illusion and we will be entirely unequipped to handle reality when it inevitably rears it's terrifying head and vomits into our lap.  

Please, if you have kids, pull the damn plug on the TV.  Don't let your kids sit in front of the thing morning, noon and night.  They still have a slim chance to exist for real, not as an illusion.  I don't know what life will be like when nothing is real anymore. The day is coming.  In fact, it's pretty much here.


  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    I hate television. I went completely without one for many years, but admit to owning one (just one) now.

    All I watch on it is a DVD, when I can't stand another minute of the world's insanity.

    I don't get cable. Only three stations can be received here and 1 is a repeat of the other, so it's really just 2 stations. I don't watch them. But when turning it on, the inevitable commercial will display.

    Each time I think, "Are people really that fucking stupid?" and after a nanosecond of thought, I think "Yeah, they really are".

    Television is poison to the mind (and so are the DVD's). Holey Wood (read Celtic Rebel) reveals itself for the propagandists and destroyers of culture that they are.

    But you're preaching to choir as they say. Amerika is lost, inebriated to the gills at the altar of the media. It's much too late now to save anything in this kountry.

    Speaking truth is a lost art. Americants lack the skill set now to even recognize the truth. Moreover, they simply don't care. At all. About anything.

    Witness the ongoing slaughter brought to us daily by the US Military. Americants are stupid enough to send their sons and daughters off to die in foreign lands fighting imaginary enemies for "American Freedom". I don't feel a bit freer. I'm sure I'm not.

    The blood altars must be renewed, and what better to propagandize this wanton destruction then the media? They're all prostitutes, whoring themselves out to the highest bidder, ensuring that with each passing day we consume as much as humanly possible while ignoring everything on this planet that actually does matter.

    Holey Wood glorifies the battle. The conquest. The adventure. The moral rightness of killing millions in the name of Uncle Sam. How disgusting is this?

    Now we get treated to the next idiotic (s)Election, the process by which the next fool in charge is installed into the highest office of the land. The media as usual will make a very big deal out of this. I'm not going to watch it because on this topic, I truly don't care. I don't give a flying fuck about any of it, because it is completely and utterly meaningless and changes nothing.

    A script is being played out that this country follows religiously. In this script, it pretends to offer the people choices, freedom, voting, options and a hope in the future. The understory of the script however is it is all an illusion, propped up by a complicit media that fashions and shapes public opinion and perception. If you're not "plugged in" then something is truly wrong with you.

    These truths, all that can be spoken, are falling on deaf ears. The people have no heart. They have no compassion. They have no sense. No reason, no cognitive abilities, no foresight and no concern. They are as dead as the ones they gladly slaughter in foreign lands.

    It's tragic, it's sad and it's the truth. It's how things are now, thanks in large part to the media. They've betrayed us all, seducing millions to flickering screens and glitzy advertisements, brainwashing the sheep into a dizzying array of false belief systems and little understanding of important matters.

    What this country needs is a massive power outage - for about ten years. Just long enough for die-off to eliminate the fools and morons, wean us off a diet of McDeath and frozen food, and undue decades of mindless brainwashing.

    1. Anonymous,

      I know you are angry. I know you are disgusted. I understand how you feel.

      The people being most victimized by all of this are just that, victims. If you give up on everything and everyone you'll have done exactly what the organizers of this hell on earth want you to do. They want you to see nothing but hopelessness and to throw in the towel. They want you to go down without a fight. This is standard war propaganda. If you can make people believe they have no chance because you are too powerful they will surrender and let you take everything. Do not fall for it. They don't want a fight because they can damn well lose a fight.

      Understand something. If you really believe that NOBODY cares at all and that EVERYBODY is too dumb to know when they're getting screwed to death I would ask you to reconsider. I care and know better and so do you. A lot of people care and know better. And every day more and more people are stumbling out of the fog beginning to see the Dark Idiots pulling the strings of this illusion. In your anger don't blame people who are trusting and being lied to and destroyed. This is not their fault. Be aware that we can easily become what we hate, and is that really what you want to become? Don't wish harm on victims. Wish for them to wake up and blame the guilty instead.

      Most important is not to lose yourself or your values. Keep your head.


    2. Anonymous10:14 AM

      wow, just so you know, Ang, who is who here i am the anon person who was complaining about the stupid hoops one must go thru to make a comment. i am not the author of the anon post to whom you made this particular reply.
      i simply read your reply to anonymous # 1 and was moved by your kind and wise response.
      i certainly hope you have someone in your life who deeply cares about and for YOU. it is my hope that you have someone to whom you can vent without fear. someone who loves you for you. i feel that you must have someone because you are so well put together...wait that didn't come out right. i hope you don't have to face these trials alone. i hope you have someone with whom you can relax and enjoy life. people with your obvious wisdom and love for life and truth are so few and far flung these days, and i hope you aren't "stuck" with an albatross. it is none of my business, i know this. i just hope the best for you is all...

  2. Anonymous8:37 PM

    excuse me, Ang, i don't mean to be a spoil sport, but is it you or is it the website that *makes" you demand that we prove we are not robots just to get a comment seen? if this is not your doing, i am sorry for my rant, forgive me. it is so insulting!!! what robot would type anything of real importance?
    it wasn't like this before. i used to be able to comment and select anonymous, and click. now i must go thru the bullshit of proving that i am a human??? who or what else would bother to make a comment if not a human? i suspect it is to discourage us from commenting? and the choices they offer are UNREADABLE, forcing me to choose again and again, just to be able to read the choice! INSANE. i really like your blog, and will continue to read and post. but these "hoops" i am forced to jump thru piss me off.

  3. I hear you anonymous, and I totally agree with you. That stuff torks me off too. That is why I allow anonymous comments and do not require commenters to have certain accounts or be members of anything. It is certainly not my design to force people to endure insulting demands in order to leave a comment. I too have an impossible time trying to read those idiotic misshapen nonsense words and I get irritated having to repeat the exercise until they're happy. So nope, it's not me doing it to you.

    And because I approve all comments, I can easily recognize spam and other crap that is not a real comment.

    Not to mention that google's spam filter for comments is robust and very effective.

    I have to agree with you. The trouble and frustration is to discourage comments.

    Kinda shitty aint' it.


  4. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Very nice post.... :) I have a few friends who are as asleep as the come so I hope reading this article will help them wake up. One other thing, TV shows/programmes (what a funny name btw... tv "programme") were created in order to make commercials more viewer friendly. No one would just watch adverts on TV for the sake of it so to make sure TV sets sold well, something had to be added to the stream of commercials i.e. TV shows about x y or z depending on what product is being sold in the commercial

  5. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Great article Ang.

    The majority of the population of this planet will not read or see this(Or similar) articles, because they are happy acting as sheep. We should focus our efforts on helping those that are awakening themselves and want to become Enlightened. I am also surrounded by robotic sheep that only like to talk and think FLUFF.
    On occasion I try to talk with one of "them" on a subject outside of their reality and get the usual stare as if I am the anti-christ.

    Ang - your efforts are reaching the masses. I found this page as I was browsing David Ickes blog.
    Thank you. JBAKER.

    P.S.- About the comment above "it is my hope that you have someone to whom you can vent without fear". I have no one to vent to and have No Fear. Eventually all humanity will reach this level and move on!

  6. Anonymous9:36 AM

    "There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it will never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes." - John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times, called by his peers "The Dean of his profession", was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the New York Press Club

  7. Anonymous3:40 PM

    I haven't had a TV nor watched it (except for the odd Australian rules football grandfinal ) Ok I'm only human, for well over 7 years now, I came to the conclusion that is being used as a weapon, The hurry to roll out the digital signal in Australia also convinced me they had new ammunition for the Tele waiting in the wings, and was confirmed last year when visiting Tasmania, A friend told me she & her sister were watching her newly installed Digital set which at the time was having signal strength problems and kept locking up from time to time, this happened one night and the image obviously buried in the data stream read "Drink Alcohol" it flashed on just long enough for both of them to perceive it, it wasn't an add it was a statement nothing more "drink alcohol" so I think you'll find they technology has stepped up to a new more insidious level with digital signals. It's a weapon people everything else is just smoke & mirrors to distract you while they rewire your brain.

    Here's a little poem i wrote some years ago that i think pretty much sums it up.

    Switch it off

    Switch it off that fucking box
    That coloured vomit that mental pox
    Primetime lies corporate alibis
    Electron weapon, Mordor eye

    Switch it off that fucking tube
    The system’s slime the evening news
    They pin you down with electronic blues
    9/11,Colombine,Oh those stories intertwine

    smell the fear .the boogie man here.
    He’s over there oh what a scare
    “just stay tuned folks cos he’s everywhere”

    Switch it off that palantir
    It’s up your nose it’s down your ear
    but you just switched it on !
    your not to blame !
    you make me sick so fucking lame

    Switch it off
    disengage read a book turn a page
    cultural desert information age
    to be informed is all the rage

    what a joke you make me sick
    you caffe latte swilling pricks
    labour liberal democrat
    bankers whores you silly pratts

    switch it off that fucking screen
    spewing bile a ruptured sleen
    putrid toxic circus act
    rape & murder back to back
    from 6 to 12 churn out the fear
    stay safe indoors it’s very near
    mainstream movie
    mainstream shit
    mainstream lies
    a corporate hit

    switch it off shareholder’s moll
    you volunteer don’t you by remote control
    slice it open and cut the hole
    into your forehead and through your eyes
    you drink the poison
    the sacrin lies
    lambs to the slaughter
    off you go ,trusting dullars
    so fucking slow

    switch it off , and break the spell
    and realize , your not that well
    digital madness , plasma scream
    techincolour tractor beam

    “Don’t touch that dial ! ”
    I hear them say
    assasins words a clever play
    smoke & mirrors “HEY ! look this way ”

    The butcher creeps up from behind
    and slips his knife into your mind
    they carve you up & steal your soul
    while you sit eating corn chips from a bowl.

    switch it off , take a break
    it’s just a phantom, a carpet snake
    switch it off you’ll be surprised
    how green the grass
    how blue the skies

    1. Anonymous,

      That is a truly lovely poem. I like it very much. "Technicolor tractor beam". That says it so well. Nice work. Thanks for sharing.


  8. Absolutely fantastic post. This was linked to on another blog I follow and I’m glad to have discovered this blog because of it. Strangely, I wrote an entry for my own blog recently comparing modern humans to bonsai trees – it really ties in rather well with the tree analogy expressed here. The two analogies might be reconciled by comparing the illusory ‘media’ world with a shallow bed of soil under a greenhouse or polytunnel; whereas the deep, untamed soil of mother Earth provides a reality in which to take root and connect once again to meaningful things – a reality most are disconnected from.

    See my blog entry here:

    This topic could be extended to include Facebook, smartphones and tablets. So desperate are people to be constantly tuned in to this illusory landscape of celebrity, fast-entertainment, convenience and popular-opinion that one is hard-pressed to have a conversation with someone without having to experience the indignity of having them pull a smartphone out of their pocket and tap away whilst pretending to listen.

    I’m sick of it. I used to hear people talk about getting rid of their TV and thought they were being extreme. Thankfully I’ve been blessed with a slow but sure awakening over the last 10 years and now television programming sickens me. Both theoretically, for the reasons expressed in this article, and because most shows are an insult to my intelligence. Unfortunately my wife and I do enjoy films, so we have a screen for that purpose.

    The important part about all of this is the ability to detach from “the world” and focus on just your own mental, spiritual or physical health; or to focus directly and exclusively on family and loved ones; or art, nature or any one of the other truly enjoyable things which do not threaten our intellectual and spiritual sovereignty.

    TV is an addiction, plain and simple. It’s easy to give it up it just requires a few days of will-power and then you’ll wonder why you ever thought it so important.

  9. Anonymous3:53 PM

    So you now know you are not alone.

  10. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Hello Ang!

    I just "rediscovered" your website, and this was such a good post to do that with. It reminded me of why I used to visit you so often.

    I found your comments on politics and people's lack of knowledge about legislation and vice-presidential identity a bit puzzling, though. It seems that politics in amerika today has become a thoroughly illusory matrix, devoid of any reality to the degree that we can influence or change it. Are you saying that people should engage in a system that has become so far removed from our influence?

    I should think that knowing the name of the vice-president would secure your position in reality about as much as knowing the name of a character on any of the other "reality" shows.

    I used to be very politically motivated, and continued to be so long after it could have possibly mattered, but that was where I had put down my roots. In the '60s people were rapping politics everywhere I went, and some of those discussions led to true and meaningful changes.

    But the public still influenced politics at that time. Today the public has no say in national affairs to a very large degree, or international affairs at all. Those who still vote opted for change, but all they received was more chains.

    This was certainly no surprise to many of us outside that particular matrix, but it surprised the hell out of those that weren't. I refuse to co-sign their bullshit any longer.

    Today a growing number of us feel that the only refuge for reality is in the intentional community movement. We are trying to build local, sustainable communities that will allow us to take care of ourselves when the economy inevitably tanks and the grid goes down again.

    We can't really afford to be concerned with what Nero is doing during Rome's final hours, nor is anyone I know disposed to even look. It would be too much like starting to watch television again!

    The rest of your post was spot-on, and as I said, it has always been a pleasure to read your insights on our ship's trajectory.

    I'm thrilled to have you back!

    By the way, I've begun to use my Native American name these days. The anglo-american one, Jerry, never really turned me on, but it fit that matrix.

    Apparently a tree can sometimes transplant itself in more nourishing soil.

    Wandering Bear