Reading time: 1,860 words, 5 pages, 5 to 8 minutes.
Many times I’ve admonished my readers to abandon their TV’s and get a life because the boob-tube is a stealth brain-killer. Finally, I have the facts to prove it.
After years of yelling at the stupid thing, I trashed my TV in 1988. Withdrawal wasn’t painful. TV-watching is a habit, not addictive and habits can be broken. Re-emergence into the real world was not immediate. It took time to realize I was slowly distancing myself from my brain-addled compatriots.
Regular readers know I don’t pull my punches and that political correctness disgusts me. That’s a warning. Here goes:
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who separate people into two kinds and those who don’t. I do. I do so because stark contrasts are often very instructive.
There’s another two kinds of people: those who do things and those who watch. There’s still another two kinds: winners and losers. The winners do. Losers watch.
Hey, I warned you didn’t I?
Around the water-cooler at the office I’m sometimes asked “if I watch …” and no sooner do I hear the word ‘watch’ and I respond that no, I do NOT watch. I have a life; I do things. I let losers watch other people. Most people immediately go on the defensive. They say they don’t watch much TV; well not a lot; well not all the time and then they try to justify their insidious habit with a litany of great TV shows I’m supposedly missing.
I don’t care if it’s the so-called news, or the History Channel, or National Geographic, or Myth-Busters or whatever. It’s all junk; it’s garbage, it’s all propaganda and it’s rotting what’s left of your feeble mind. That’s why we call it the boob-tube. Did you ever wonder why the industry itself calls it ‘programming’? The best place to hide something is out in the open.
Let’s take the History Channel as an example of pure propaganda. Ann Medina introduces Hollywood war movies showing the Americans winning World War II. I have news for you. The Americans haven’t won a real war since the Spanish-American War of 1898. That was more than a century ago.
Russia was instrumental in winning World War II and probably could have defeated Hitler without the allies albeit at a much higher cost in lives and time, and it would have taken Russia much longer to recover. The Russians sacrificed more than 20 million people to bleed the Nazis dry. About 8 million of those deaths were Russian soldiers or about 20 times the soldiers the allies lost. By the time the Americans entered near the end of the war, it was pretty much a mop-up exercise compared to the Russian “Patriotic War” effort.
This does not diminish the Amerikan role as a supplier of munitions and material to the Russians. However, in terms of militarily effectiveness, the Allies were still struggling to get off the beaches of Normandy when Russia drove the Germans out of Russia and were already well on their way to capturing the Eastern half of Europe.
In the ass media, Americans have been winning WW II for more than six decades. As explained above, it’s all bullshit. So much for the History Channel!
Propaganda is but one of TV’s insidious effects on your brain. Although the Nielsen Company announced the number of American households with TV’s declined to 96.7 percent from 98.9 percent, it does not account for internet substitution. The amount of time people spend watching the boob-tube is still appalling. The Daily News reports that Americans over the age of two spend 34 hours a week watching TV and the “amount of time watching shows via DVR has doubled, and that game-console viewing is growing…[and ] As in years past, we watch more TV as we get older.”
The ass media coverage of everything from news to politics as well as the weather is a joke. Even sports with its false hero adoration is a primitive form of tribalism. “Whether it’s drunken soccer hooligans in Glasgow
or Israeli Jewish fans who are so racist that they boo their own team’s Muslim players whenever they score goals, sports can strengthen the chauvinism inherent in more nationalistic societies.” Some even call it a form of religion.
It gets worse. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the price of a ticket to a sporting event entitles you only to entertainment. They did NOT rule on fairness, adherence to rules or whether the game was staged or rigged. Everybody but a complete dummy realizes Pro Wrestling is staged. But, did you ever wonder why Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning conveniently forgot how to throw a football during the last Stupor Bowel?
It’s not surprising that James Hall writes that our society is, “populated with marginally functional and enthusiastic compliant serfs.”
Mind Control Theories and Techniques used by Mass Media is an excellent analysis of the ass media as “the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society.”
James Hall writes that the goal of this propaganda machine is an “unquestioning and obedient populace perpetually distracted from serious issues and unaware of comprehending the linkage and ultimate aims behind world events…”
However, the worst aspect of ass media propaganda is its mind control. Herbert Krugman conducted a series of experiments on the effect of television on a person’s brainwaves that are very startling.
First, you need to understand the difference between the brain’s alpha and beta states. Melisa Melton says that ‘Beta’ is a normal state where the brain is fully awake. On the other hand, the ‘Alpha’ waves “are experienced in a deep relaxation or ‘daydreaming’ state. When in the Alpha state, a person is subjected to a passive learning experience with the right [emotional] side of the brain at the wheel, leaving critical thinking skills behind [in the left brain].”
“Krugman monitored a person through many trials and found that in less than one minute of television viewing, the person’s brainwaves switched from Beta waves — brainwaves associated with active, logical thought — to primarily Alpha waves. When the subject stopped watching television and began reading a magazine, the brainwaves reverted to Beta waves.”
In other words, TV induces an ‘Alpha’ state where the brain is on auto-pilot, incapable of using critical thinking skills; a brain state associated with suggestibility.
Furthermore, Wes Moore writes that the brain switches from the left to the right hemisphere when we watch TV. “The right hemisphere is twice as active as the left, a neurological anomaly. The crossover from left to right releases a surge of the body’s natural opiates: endorphins, which include beta-endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are structurally identical to opium and its derivatives (morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.).”
He says that, “watching a lot of TV is like undressing your mind and submerging it into a bath of negative energy. TV effectively numbs the left side of your brain and renders you helpless to your right brain which is incapable of decoding and critically analyzing the information being presented to you.”
Many of us think that we forget most of the advertisements we see on TV. Moore says “the public comes closer to forgetting nothing they have seen on TV. They just ‘put it out of their minds’ until and unless it has some use… and [then] the response to the commercial continues.” In other words, “once you have experienced something on television, your brain is effectively desensitized to it and you remember what you have seen forever.”
Moore concludes that, “In addition to its devastating neurological effects, television can be harmful to your sense of self-worth, your perception of your environment, and your physical health. Recent surveys have shown that 75% of American women think they are overweight, likely the result of watching chronically thin actresses and models four hours a day.
“Television has also spawned a “culture of fear” in the U.S. and beyond, with its focus on the limbic brain-friendly sensationalism of violent programming. Studies have shown that people of all generations greatly overestimate the threat of violence in real life. This is no shock because their brains cannot discern reality from fiction while watching TV.
“Television is bad for your body as well. Obesity, sleep deprivation, and stunted sensory development are all common among television addicts.”
TV’s affect on children is even worse. The Daily Mail reports on a study titled Children who watch three hours of TV a day could be left ‘educationally stunted and prone to bullying’. The study found that, “after two hours of viewing, every extra hour of TV has the potential to harm a child’s development, both physically and socially. They have poorer vocabulary, maths skills and attention span. Too much TV also leaves them physically weaker, researchers warn.”
So, is there a way to stop this? Yes, there is. Turn off your stupid TV and read a book or magazine or the back of a cereal box. Does this mean you should never watch TV? No, never say never. It means you should watch a lot LESS TV because the more you watch the more damage it does by turning you into a though-controlled robot; one controlled by someone else to accomplish their agenda, not yours.
I never replaced my TV because for two reasons. First, the bit I do watch away from home shows me it’s even dumber now than it was 26 years ago. It’s much more difficult for a regular watcher to notice the gradual slide into ever increasing dumbness. Second, I understand my strengths and weaknesses and I know all too well how easy it is to come home at the end of the day, put my feet up, turn on the TV and descend into a vegetative, blissful stupor. It’s the path of least resistance. It’s the path most people take.
By the way, there’s no reason to think that internet movies or YouTube videos has any different affect on your brain than TV. That’s why I limit the amount of videos I include in my articles. Because they can’t be trusted nor can you be trusted to critically analyze them. I use them more as examples than instruction.
Now do you see why I keep admonishing you to get rid of your boob-tube? Or, do you like being a serf?
February 28, 2014
Your comments are WELCOME!
If you like what you’ve read (or not) please “Rate This” below.
Lengthy comments may time-out before you’re finished so consider doing them in a Word doc first then copy and paste to “Leave a Reply” below.
Hi nice reading yourr blog
Wonderful article, and thank you. People truly are programmed, and they won’t be told. But what can they substitute, where can they escape it? I’m talking about people who aren’t “readers” or elderly/sick. I wonder if all this applies to me as I only watch religious programs – if I learn about my faith, hear prayers, see beautiful churches, etc. Thanks.
Good question, Susan. As I mention, one alternative is alt news on the internet and even there you have to take it with a grain of salt. Some of the more reliable alt news are here https://geroldblog.com/2013/03/17/real-news-alt-news-blog-links/.
However, as you say not everyone reads. Also, not everyone has internet access or are computer savvy. I find more and more alt news providers are migrating to YouTube videos. Unfortunately, as I say, it’s difficult to do critical thinking and analysis of videos just as with TV. Even more unfortunate, it indicates that reading is becoming extinct in our ever increasingly dumbed-down world.
First, I have to say that I recently got rid of cable, and I must say, that I do not miss it at all. In fact, despite being a young man, I find older shows like Hogan’s Heroes more entertaining than things on tv now.
Having studied WWII extensively, I would like to add a few points:
1. In both WWI and WWII, when we first entered the war, we thought we were the best and this led to many early loses. In WWI, we stormed trenches expecting to win, because we are AMERICA, but the British tried and learned from this already and tried to warn us about it. We did not listen. In WWII, we went into Africa, thought we knew best, and Rommel ripped our first tank offenses apart. So, we lost many men, from stupidity and arrogance.
2. Most of the German troops guarding France and which we largely fought against were conscripted. Many of them were crippled by stomach aliments, and were made up of older men. The very best of the Waffen SS lived and died in Russia.
3. In one case, an entrenched tiger tank took out 40 shermans.
4. Strategic bombing was less effective than perceived. It is estimated that, in the early days, 60-80% of bombs missed their targets (And hit fields and the like).
5. Really, we outproduced the Germans. Americans did not win because we were “better”. In many cases, German fighters were outnumbered by the thousands.
Congratulations, Paul, on being a recovering TV addict.
Indeed, that’s the trouble with propaganda and bellicose patriotism; people start to believe their own bullshit and it’s usually to their own detriment. Pride and hubris maketh great pain.
Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but Amerika hasn’t really won a war since the Spanish-Amerikan war of 1898. Third-world Vietnam handed Amerikans their asses. The U.S. entered both WW I and WW II at the end of both wars after others did all the heavy lifting (admittedly, the U.S. supplied a lot of war material) and there was little left for the Amerikans to do except mop up.
It was Russia that won WW II by sacrificing 20 million of their own people to bleed the German army dry and leaving the Allies to face retirees and 15-year olds. Russian ground forces had already captured the Eastern half of Europe while the Allies were struggling to get their sorry asses off the beaches of Normandy after the so-called invasion. The fabled but under-powered U.S. Mustang P-51’s managed to down a few remaining Messerschmitt ME-109’s because they outnumbered them about 17 to one.
Very likely, the Russians would have won the war by themselves although it would have been costlier and taken longer. Afterwards, the U.S. gained economic and military super-power status because everyone else had been bombed back into the stone age.
Incidentally, recently de-classified documents finally revealed why the German city of Dresden was fire-bombed despite having no military or strategic value. Eisenhower and Churchill were scheduled to meet Russia’s Stalin at Yalta to convince the Russians from over-running all of Europe. Although Russia had ground superiority, the Allies had to demonstrate they had air superiority and convince Stalin they could destroy any city anywhere within 24 hours thus putting further Russian conquest close to Allied air power. They needed a pristine (un-bombed) city close to the Russian advance. Only Dresden fit the bill. The rest, as they say, is history.
I bet you’ll never see that on the so-called History channel.
Thanks for the info on Dresden. I was thinking about that recently and did not have any rational explanation for that incident.
I would argue that the last “war” was actually the American-Filipino War of 1899-1901. This was really the only war in which we defeated an insurgency. What we did was brutal though. We used makeshift concentration camps (Which is interesting because the first use of the concentration camp was by the British in the Boer War) to house questionable people. Then we secured areas, moved the surrounding populations into them, and razed everything outside these areas. Without food and supplies form the locals, the insurgents surrendered and we won.
I say the same tactics could be used in the Middle East to great effect. However, given liberalism and the what to be perceived as “nice”, we have not done this. Machiavelli once said for an enemy that does not share your beliefs and system, you must break their will to fight.
Of course, would such tactics be considered brutal in the long-term? I mean we have devastated the Middle East with our wars already. If we won them quickly and brutally, would this be better than long and drawn out? Is short, immense suffering preferred over long, drawn-out suffering?
But yeah, every war since then was questionable. Korea was a stalemate, Vietnam a failure, the wars in Iraq a coalition and against a vastly inferior foe, and in the current wars, we are like the British in the American Revolution. We can’t even beat a “bunch of farmers with pitchforks”. The terrorists had no funding and little support. After our interventions, they now have tanks and an air force. Truly pathetic.
I don’t think its anti-American to rationally analyze weaknesses and strengths. I think that it could actually save lives over the current “America pwns all”. As Sun Tzu says “Know your enemy and know yourself”.
An interesting irony is that we have become more communistic, while Russia has become more capitalistic. A twist of fate if I ever saw one. A new Cold War, with the roles reversed.
Odd you should mention the British concentration camps during the Boer war as I recently re-read James Michener’s “The Covenant”, an incredible history of South Africa that accurately presaged the current stupidity in that benighted country.
I think the historians are going to have fun with us Westerners. It’s too bad most of us never learn from history. Or, as one wag put it, “Those of you who never learn from history are really annoying to those of us who do because we have to listen to you whining about the painful mistakes you make by not having learned from history.”
We should create a pool to bet on what language those future historians will speak. I doubt it’ll be English.
Currently, it seems it will be Chinese. It could also be Russian.
Or there may be no language at all, since we all nuked each other and several generations of no education has created a language vacuum.
Russia is the world’s largest country spanning 9 time zones (compared with Canada at 4 ½ and the U.S. at 4) and has incredible untapped natural resources that remain largely untapped because Russians are drunk, incompetent and their population is rapidly dwindling (suicide by alcohol).
China, on the other hand was the world’s preeminent superpower for millennia until they turned inwards a couple centuries ago. They’ve now re-awakened, looking outwards again and many Chinese are working in Eastern Russia and Siberia developing their resources.
It’s never wise to extrapolate current trends forever, but if they do continue for a while imagine Russia’s vast resources controlled by the Chinese? Sayonara Amerika!
I’d put my money on future historians being Chinese. Too bad because they’re such boring clods …
I’m not worried about nukes. The only country to have used them against civilians is Amerika (Hiroshima & Nagasaki) and that was just to test them. Since then, the superpowers use them just to keep the masses in a perpetual state of fear but they’re too smart to use them and suffer mutual assured destruction.
On your last reply, since it doesn’t have a further reply button…
Your analysis of Russia is accurate. I went there a few years back and vodka flowed like water. I would say they are trying to forget the Soviet days, as everything they worked for in those days was for naught.
China DID have a stable system, based on legalism (A Chinese philosophy that was created before Jesus was even born), which lasted for two thousand years. However, now they are simply following the US capitalist model. That isn’t to say they aren’t smart, as the government is comprised mostly of engineers and economists, but they have not realized their potential.
There is a saying that westerners play chess, the easterners play Go. Go is about outmaneuvering and surrounding opponents. Chess is about direct confrontation. See the similarity to today? We charge head first into the Middle East, while the Russians and Chinese are slowly eroding the petrodollar.
Legalism worked because it emphasized merit ( a peasant could become general by capturing a set number of enemy heads – This was a time when rank by blood was the norm), a disciplined culture (Unity mindset) , and an efficient government of laws (It was centralized and merchants were kept under a tight leash – IE, today the government is too weak to fight corporate influence). It functioned like Prussia. After they won the civil war that existed at the time, they forced everyone under their domain to read the same Chinese characters. This unified writing system still exists today, despite the many dialects. My one professor mentioned that without legalism, China would look more like Europe today – Fractured and weak. Europe was never unified in such a way and probably never will be. Many have tried, and all have failed.
Paul, you have an uncannily accurate analysis about China. That they’re adopting Western economics and are already oligarchic instead of meritocratic does not stand them in good stead. They’ll likely join the ranks of the corrupt like most of the world. Too bad they’ve had thousands of years to practice their crooked ways and can run circles around Westerners. I once had hopes for them leading the way out of our miasma, but I no longer hold my breath.
It would be an interesting study, if you had the time, to study what happened after a collapse. When Rome and China dynasties (Zhou, Han – for example) fell, they split into different states (While recent histories of the Wiemar Republic and Russia point to merely a change of leadership) . Thus, only the most skillful and determined gained power. So, many of these attributes (For example, the meritocracy) were regained, as the situation only allowed the most skillful to reign successfully. Those who lived by the old ways were killed off.
Things have a habit of changing quite drastically in times of chaos. Again, the phoenix metaphor.
Jared Diamond does an excellent exposition of the collapse of numerous peoples and empires in his book “Collapse; How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”. The subtitle sums it up well. It’s a matter of choice. Few collapse unexpectedly. Most have ample warning.
Sometimes the solution is top-down as in the Japanese Shoguns who saved their forests and sometimes the solution is bottom-up like the New Guinea highlanders working cooperatively and learning farming methods from trial and error over thousands of years.
However, as you elude there is very little knowledge about surviving a collapse. I find that strange and disconcerting. It’s almost masochistic that we wouldn’t want to know. After all, there’s been so many collapses.
Also, the more I study history, the less I trust it. Check out Anatoly Fomenko’s work:
Thanks for the book. I’ll look into that. Right now I’m reading ancient texts on statecraft. to compare what made states work and what didn’t. There are interesting similarities. Machiavelli, the first European realist, seems to be a mere introduction to the subject of political realism (Legalism and the Arthashastra was before), which is unfortunate, since many conclude erroneously that he was the father and sole creator of realism. The legalists and the Indians get into much more detail about these realist matters.
What about Chinese and Asian history? Femenko does not seem to go into detail about
those regions and focused exclusively on European history.
For example, the Arthashastra, which was written in about 300 BC, talks about what look like accounting practices that seem very modern. Some attribute this to their genius, but your point is making me question that view. Although, even the translators admit, that these could have been written by students of these writers, or compiled by students over time.
Well, assuming history is accurate, it seems from personal research that the modern nation-state was created due to the threat posed by nomadic tribes. You had the Magyars, the Vikings, and Huns running around and only strong states. Then, without the threat of tribes (Removed by standing armies), these states turned on each other.
Therefore, my premise is that this process will repeat after a collapse (If the central government completely disintegrates). Nomadic tribes (Gangs) will run around, terrorizing communities and attacking soft targets, with will lead to many regional states developing. Then, the gang threat will disappear, creating a situation of regional warlordism.
I think there is not a lot written on these subjects because of arrogance (It will last forever mentality) and because it is so depressing for people. There is also the attributed “Defeatist” stigma.
Can’t say I’m looking forward to a Mad Max future. I think, given the increase in separatist movements, we’ll likely see the large nation state devolve into smaller regional states; 5 or 6 regions in the U.S., Quebec separating from Canada thus leaving the Maritime Provinces adrift, etc. Scottish secession was prevented only with massive bribes and once they realize politicians’ promises aren’t forthcoming (who’d have thought the Scotts were stupid enough to believe them?) they may stir up more trouble.
Martin Armstrong, whose forecasts are so accurate he predicted most major events the last several decades and was convicted for contempt in refusing to relinquish his forecasting model, predicts a major event next September so we’ll have less than a year to see how that shakes out.
And, you may be right that the “normalcy bias”
may prevent the study of recoveries after past collapses.
Having studied anarchy, I expect anarchy to arise out of the chaos of collapse
and, as you say the eventual resurgence of the nation state. Rinse, repeat.
Thanks for the info on Armstrong. I’ll be following him for now on. It seems like the doomsayers of 2012 were off by a couple years 🙂
This is fine because it will give me more time to prepare.
However, the question I am pondering is what strategy to take? Should one try to join these nomadic raiders (Or form one) or take the lone wolf approach that most preppers are? The problem with the lone wolf is that if they are discovered, being loners, they will not be able to withstand the greater numerical force of raiders. In addition, having farmland automatically increases the chance of being discovered (It is said 1 acre of land is needed to feed a person for 1 year). Meanwhile, the storage of items will only last for so long.
The main problem for me personally right now is psychologically preparing myself. If killing a thing is needed for survival, I do not know if I can do it until it happens. And I am constantly being “assaulted” by others, who are not nearly as prepared psychologically, who influence me in becoming more conformist.
I have to admit that even I’m surprised everything has held together as long as it has but that shows the power of momentum not direction. Some countries like Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina are already coming undone. Japan is poised for demographic and debt suicide. Southern Europe is again dragging the rest of the EU down with it.
Many of the analysts I read like Jim Sinclair expect U.S. currency to collapse in 2016, the “Great Levelling” in 2017 and a new global currency in 2020 i.e. 3 years of pain (barter?).
Judging by survivors of Sarajevo and the collapse of Russia, lone wolves don’t last long because they don’t have eyes at the back of their heads and have to sleep sometime. Small groups have a better chance i.e. make friends with neighbours to cover one another. Most preppers realize this and they may appear to prep in silence and isolation but few plan to go it alone.
I’ve always been leery of the “head for the hills” crowd. Too much wishful thinking. There’s too many people and not enough hills. Bugging-in is preferable to bugging-out because defence is better than being exposed out in the open. Staying put also has the advantage of having neighbours close by and watching the street. Anyone in an isolated rural setting runs the risk of home invaders lingering, torturing and killing at their leisure with no nearby neighbours to see or hear anything.
Also, most people have no experience growing their own food out in the wild other than gardening (big difference). My preference is toughing it out with a stockpile,
friends, neighbours and wait for the dust to settle, marauders killing each other off then deciding which warlord to join.
Orlov has some interesting perspectives
as well as good survival advice
Marching to the beat of your own drum isn’t easy especially when we’re surrounded by so many people suffering Normalcy Bias.
However, I would argue that WWI and WWII shows the limitations of defense against a very mobile enemy (Like gangs would be). Although, we are assuming the gangs have intelligent leadership and they don’t use the “charge in” strategy.
Although Clausewitz pointed out that defense>offense, in the sense that all the defense has to do is apply enough pressure to make the attacker think the offense too risky or won’t pay off for the losses. However, if gang leaders were smart, they would use guerrilla tactics to weaken defenders over time.
I was always thinking to store massive amounts of toilet paper. Since no one thinks of it, it could be used to get other goods.
The problem with storage again is that you can only store a finite amount of things. It eventually runs out. Then, there is the question of where to put it all.
Although, your suggestion on toughing the initial onslaught of collapse is probably best, as during this period, people will turn on each other as quick as hyenas and then eventually, it will settle.