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TV drug of a nation

Often I think about both Brave New World and 1984. It's quite amazing how most of what those two books predicted has come to pass, not explicitly, but implicitly.

For example, 1984 shows us a government reinventing history every few hours, but that isn't necessary: the media is bombarding us with so much information at such a high rate that things fade quickly. Doublethink is unnecessary when thinking is a rare commodity, and History is obsolete. Brave New World presented a future in which most of the people are controlled through drugs, without being forced. This is true today even without considering illegal drugs, such as Heroin or Cocaine. I'm not even talking about alcohol. I'm talking about Television.

In 1992, the group Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy released Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, (possibly the pinnacle of hip-hop as a form of protest). One of the songs in that album was Television, the Drug of the Nation, which I think brilliantly makes my point. These are the lyrics:

Television, the Drug of the nation

One nation
under God
has turned into
one nation under the influence
of one drug

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., it
satellite links
our United States of Unconsciousness
Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
The methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there's nothing worth watching
T.V. is the reason why less than 10 per cent of our
Nation reads books daily
Why most people think Central Amerika
means Kansas
Socialism means unamerican
and Apartheid is a new headache remedy
absorbed in it's world it's so hard to find us
It shapes our mind the most
maybe the mother of our Nation
should remind us
that we're sitting too close to...

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V. is
the stomping ground for political candidates
Where bears in the woods
are chased by Grecian Formula'd
bald eagles
T.V. is mechanized politic's
remote control over the masses
co-sponsored by environmentally safe gases
watch for the PBS special
It's the perpetuation of the two party system
where image takes precedence over wisdom
Where sound bite politics are served to
the fastfood culture
Where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it
Race baiting is the way to get selected
Willie Horton or
Will he not get elected on...

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., is it the reflector or the director ?
Does it imitate us
or do we imitate it
because a child watches 1500 murders before he's
twelve years old and we wonder why we've created
a Jason generation that learns to laugh
rather than to abhor the horror
T.V. is the place where
armchair generals and quarterbacks can
experience first hand
the excitement of warfare
as the theme song is sung in the background
Sugar sweet sitcoms
that leave us with a bad actor taste while
pop stars metamorphosize into soda pop stars
You saw the video
You heard the soundtrack
Well now go buy the soft drink
Well, the onla cola that I support
would be a union C.O.L.A.(Cost Of Living Allowance)
On television

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

Back again, "New and improved"
We return to our irregularly programmed schedule
hidden cleverly between heavy breasted
beer and car commercials
Where oxymoronic language like
"virtually spotless", "fresh frozen"
"light yet filling" and "military intelligence"
have become standard
T.V. is the place where phrases are redefined
like "recession" to "necessary downturn"
"Crude oil" on a beach to "mousse"
"Civilian death" to "collateral damages"
and being killed by your own Army
is now called "friendly fire"
T.V. is the place where the pursuit
of happiness has become the pursuit of
Where toothpaste and cars have become
sex objects
Where imagination is sucked out of children
by a cathode ray nipple
T.V. is the only wet nurse
that would create a cripple

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

Television, as it exists today, fits both the information overload necessary to replace the history rewriting of 1984, and the trivialization of everything into a form of numbing entertainment, to 'pass the time', similar to Soma in Brave New World. As always, reality is stranger than fiction, and some times even hard to believe. Would Brave New World be as good if the drug was Jerry Springer instead of a chemical?

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 17 2002 at 7:51 PM

Copyright © Diego Doval 2002-2011.
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