Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why do people watch so much TV?

We've seen a lot of good replies to this question already, emphasizing the reasons why people choose to watch television within the normative framework that accepts the motivations TV-watching fulfills. Television offers, as others have pointed out, entertainment, ease, and vicarious living, which (like, say, Tolstoy) has positive and negative aspects.

Let's explore the question a little deeper, though. The only reason television is an option for fulfilling any of the desires people listed above is because aspects of non-vicarious living were (and are being) eliminated from the marketplace. By enclosing the commons, for example, banks and their pet royals force socializing to take place either in the home--difficult for those who can't provision large properties--or in paid establishments. Ergo if you want to socialize, you can't just go to the village green anymore, and look for someone willing to talk, and you also don't have the benefit of a large multi-generational family home with pre-existing courtship and cooperation networks which you have inherited (and which, by Terran birthright, you deserve). Instead, you have to go somewhere. Work, school, a club, a mall, a bar, a yoga class--free socializing has been eliminated, which makes television the lowest-cost form of social satisfaction. In the absence of this normative framework, television becomes the sensible, efficient choice. It's fake, but it is no less fake than a bunch of people in their mid-40s taking Thai cooking classes as an excuse to meet potential friends or spouses (or, in a lower income bracket, a bunch of people in their mid-30s drinking beer and watching the UFC).

Television is like Microsoft: a monstrous perversion of technology that claims to be the free choice of free enterprise, but which owes its existence to a marketplace carefully honed over the centuries to make certain facets of human interaction increasingly impossible without its usage. In an actual free market--in which, say, government did not mandate community design--regular people could build Amish-like communities which fulfilled their social needs. Not in the sense of excluding technology (unless they so wished), but in the sense of providing free choice in safe, inherited, segregated means of courting, playing, and competing. A supportive community allows local instrumentalists or ballplayers the opportunity to not feel stupid and inadequate for doing their best as a member of the group. If people had the opportunity to build their own communities, then the barflies would, over the decades, lose their interest in television football and replace it with playing with their buddies.

The abhorrently low quality of, say, television and Microsoft and the Department of Motor Vehicles is both by-product and deliberate result, for the acclimative provisioning of soylent, like visual Clooney or narrational McDonald's, crafts expectations, desires, and, most importantly, a lack of ability to distinguish between normative availability and potential availability.

The massive importance of property tax regimes is even more profound in this realm than that of forced association, for the inability of actually space owning outright prevents the forming of internally-socially-reliant communities. Over the long run, the internally-socially-reliant community--the community which can satisfy its basic social needs without resorting to, say, Hollywood--proves even more important than the community which is internally-food-reliant. The community which can provide for its own socializing is able to feed and reproduce and entertain itself, while the community that is not can buy food and entertainment and matchmaking services from outside, thereby walling itself in.

Yes, television, movies, and professional sports are fantasy: a stunted vicarious expression of an unwitting prisoner's genuine nascent interests. Herein lies the same self-pitying deceit imposed upon 2016 Terra by the invaders, though: these are not the fantasies in which the prisoner would engage without being forced to give up other choices. We adopt "masculinism" and "feminism" not on our own, anymore than we generate cancerous tumors in ourselves on purpose. We choose television because it is all we have left. Our forbears fought hard against the theft of our technology and the plagiarization of our storytelling, just as they fought for their legacy, and it is only now, with fangs deep in our necks, that we have the ridiculousness to claim, "Oh, well, I guess this is what we did to ourselves because of our decadence." But no, these are lies: World War I could only occur with the Federal Reserve, which was sold on lies and threats, and the ensuing century of murder and decay was not something intrinsic to us, no matter how earnestly the bacterium would like to explain that it was our "ease" or our "pathological altruism."

These things, these teevees and these superbowls, only command power because the other options have been removed from the marketplace. The enjoyment we derive from them is mysteriously, sometimes indecipherably shallow--we know something is wrong, and we know it has to do with human contact, but we're often not sure what realistic things would actually be better. This is the variant curse of the forlorn clubgoer or blogger: either you don't know why life feels empty, and you believe it's impossible to be otherwise, or, you do know why it feels empty, but the market forces are so solidly entrenched that there's nothing you can do except stare down the void. All the croplands have been salted, all the skies burned, and all that remains to eat is soylent ("All restaurants are Taco Bell"). So yes, we go to the bar, we go to the blog, knowing that to establish a social club means punishing commercial property taxes, handicapped ramps, wiring codes, and other indicators of vampires committing gluttony on their dwindling human populations.

7 comments:

  1. Eh, yes, but this is only sratching the surface. Destroying community life based on traditions is the whole point. you cannot have the project-constructivist approach to history, craved by elites for centuries, if you have strong communities based on their own cultural matrix. But, you can have that if you transform what was formerly communities, into a mass of atomised individuals (lonely crowd). A mass of individuals is completely defenseless without tradition. You can do whatever you want with them. (That's one reason the elites do not care that the population is armed to the teeth. Who cares, if they can no longer even formulate reasons to take up arms, not to mention that they are completely unable to 'raise as one', LOL. The rare occasional lone-wolf self defense outbursts are easily controlled etc.) The elimination of any notion of a legitimate authority has been a priority, and the task is accomplished. Eat, drink, watch nihilistic porn (I do*), and stare into the void or shoot yourself. Pretty much the same thing from powers that be perspective, but cleaner.


    *The hottest girls i saw in Moscow were all in churches, deep into prayers. Good for Russia.

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    1. Indeed. As vile a deed as it is to rent out the commons, the rent wasn't actually what they cared about; rather, the long term profit of being able to deny an alternative commons. E.g., because somebody owns it, everybody owns it, therefore no one owns it, therefore it does not exist.

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  2. Well the option to read a book is still quite an easy one. Hookers are an option too.

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    1. Yes, but that doesn't reach the same level of imagined congeniality. Joint marketing projects like Twilight, where the books are part of a suite of togetherness sold alongside web- and movie- and TV-content, attempt to bridge that divide, but by itself, the book can't provide that sort of experience. Which is good--that's not what that art is for--but which doesn't help satisfy the social needs of people who resort only to books, and not to the fanfic and media hubbub that surrounds them (which must ultimately climax in a bad movie, anyway).

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  3. I never got the clubbing thing. Parties at a friend's place were great, but why being forced to pay an entrance fee and/or for overpriced low-quality drinks for the dubious pleasure of being allowed to get packed into a loud, crowded, stagnant box and force-fed awful music seemed a good idea to so many people was beyond me. Your post articulates my innate misgivings perfectly though, so thank you for that.

    The question is, would they've been able to bribe me with good music, pleasant surroundings, and affordable quality alcohol? The notion of having a price put on meeting someone cute and the circumstances and rules of engagement being dictated by some entity with entirely selfish motives would be pretty disgusting in any case.

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  4. This is mostly wrong, but as a housewife to a successful working class man, I no longer live in a society that grants me the leisure to explain why this is mostly wrong.

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