Stare into this magic box until your eyes get weak and your ass is sore. The box will tell you what to like, what not to like, and what is popular. The box will also tell you how to dress, what music to like, and what to think of other people who are not like you. The box will also tell you what to think of yourself. Media has gone hog-wild as images, communication, and sound bites have emerged as the focus of our consciousness while art, science, and critical thought falls by the wayside. News journalists have turned into professional gossipers and shit starters instead of the investigative reporters we once trusted. Entertainment- music, movies, and now internet stars have penetrated the minds of the viewers influencing culture more than ever before. Have we been over conditioned to believe every thing we hear/see on television and the internet? Are we too worried about what the talking heads in the magic box are saying anyway?
The world is in a great state of hypnosis. We are enthralled like no generation before us in media images and television. The spread of information through television and internet like no other medium before it has brought culture foreign of our own right into our living rooms. Before anyone bashes MTV, BET, and VH-1 for their programming choices, the fact must be stated that without these channels race relations in this country would be vastly different. Hip Hop music in particular has virtually erased racial stigmas that older generations were bred with. The problem with today’s Hip Hop culture is that all is solved with a great party, hot chicks, and alcohol. Through our cars messages of good times, good parties, and good sex are pumped through the radio waves. The common themes of decadence, hedonism, and arrogance have replaced the integrity and knowledge the rhymes and beats once rocked. Pop culture is sprinkled with people who have no particular talents other than being sexy or stupid. Will power and hard work have been replaced with hustlin’ and game. Our nation has become obsessed with the “show”. We even pick our politicians by who can tell the most clever lies. The real issues that the great magic box should address are never brought to the forefront, and if they are most of us think it’s too boring to even tune into. The power of suggestion of the television fools us into believing the worst about ourselves and others. Every black woman isn’t trying to get pregnant by a rapper or athlete, and every white woman isn’t some red wine sipping Ambien poppin’ neurotic. Freedom of speech has been hotly contested while radio jocks, bounty hunters, and comedians have been fired and ostracized for making outrageous, ridiculous statements. The super information highway has an HOV lane straight to the unemployment line for people who make these crazy claims about other races, ethnicities, and genders. The lines have been so blurred between education and entertainment on the magic box that people can seldom tell one from the other. The public then turns into an angry mob seeking “justice” for some off-color remarks yet we allow abuses of our legal system, the looting of our country by private banks, and a war that is entering its second decade of destruction. Streets of major cities like Chicago are filled with young killers and rural communities in the south are polluted with methamphetamines (FOR REAL). Women are being sentenced to prison at a rate 700 times higher than previous generations. American children are getting dumber and fatter. Our politicians have been bought and paid for by private corporations, in the same way the people who work for the channels on the magic box have. The tremendous conflict of interest is ignored by the American public because we are too busy finding out who Kim Kardashian’s banging now.
Life is hard. No one wants to be focused on problems all the time. Since we are wired to be the best consumers we can be, its difficult to see our world outside of material wealth and our favorite entertainers. The way we choose to entertain ourselves has grown to define who we are as individuals. If Harriet Tubman had internet access, I doubt that she would be using it to laugh at 50Tyson or Antoine Dodson I doubt she would even be so offended to publicly express her distaste with the corrosion of blacks in the media. Maybe Harriet Tubman would be on CSPAN or Mother Jones preaching to an empty congregation that skipped out on service to talk about who’s gay and who’s having an affair. Great water cooler convo.