COMMENT: i.e. TV as a major reason we’ve lost sight of Constitutional government and failed to pay attention to and hold in check our leaders, elected or otherwise.
Aug 10, 2010
I think most right thinking people are agreed that physical effects aside, the content of the majority of TV programming today (I emphasize the word programming, a process that involves a passive receptor of information) is designed to instill a social worldview and value system that is self-centric and is in fact the opposite of what a healthy and enduring society requires. Individualism at any cost rules the day and it is more and more evident that empathy for one’s fellow citizen and a sense of personal responsibility are rapidly vanishing along with the morality that all healthy civilizations have known to be necessary for survival. Only recently a car I was traveling in was bumped from behind by a driver who was, I would guess, in his mid to late thirties, looked quite respectable and drove a new and expensive car. Rather than stop and offer his details for the damage done he feigned an apology and when our vehicle pulled off to park safely he took his opportunity to flee the scene, no doubt congratulating himself on avoiding a messy process involving insurance agencies etc. People today are only made to feel guilt when caught and exposed for their crimes. They have no higher authority to fear and the current direction of societal attitudes puts paid to that particular view often espoused that it is possible to remain moral and upstanding without religion or a guiding moral principal if you prefer. The crime figures, road rage and general attitude of fellow citizens would tend to indicate otherwise. I believe TV has much blame to shoulder for this.
People spend a lot of their spare time in front of the television. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to state that TV is a major source of many people’s opinions and views on pretty much everything. Given the amount of time people spend watching television it makes perfect sense that if you want to shape public opinion the TV is the medium par excellence by which to disseminate your information. It stands to reason then that if you agree that a movement exists, and I think a lot of people of do, whose aim is to re-make the world in man’s image, albeit a skewed and perverse one, then it makes sense for such an organization to consolidate control of the TV airwaves and turn it into a propaganda video-drome. Some might say that the proof is in the pudding, that TV is so biased toward the crude, libertine, amoral lifestyle and that the portrayal of the Christian religion, the very force that created our society, is so negative, misinformed and hostile that surely such a conspiracy exists. Now to extrapolate this thought is an article unto itself but the facts are there and the conspiracy is out in the open. To give just two examples, we have the admission by the BBC following a leaking of an internal memo wherein it was admitted that they are anti-Christ in their outlook. After complaints that BBC programming repeatedly errs on the side of sensitivity to Islam & other minorities (religious or otherwise) & bias against Christianity (especially Roman Catholicism), the British Broadcasting Corporation has admitted its guilt. A summit meeting of BBC officials culminated in admissions that “the BBC is not impartial or neutral,” as BBC political editor Andew Marr put it. The closed-door summit’s conclusions were leaked to the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday.
Evidence also exists that governments control news output and content. On January 14,1983 President Reagan of the USA signed into effect directive 77 which gave the CIA and government full power to determine and control the content of news that the American public receives, news which can now be uploaded and or modified in minutes with modern technology. Goebbels would be proud. Think about it. It only takes a decision made by one chief editor to determine the news received by millions and in the US it is said that upwards of 90% of all media formats including newspapers and magazines are controlled by 3 or 4 corporations, a number which is going down as more and more news agencies are bought up and amalgamated. All an agency has do to make sure the news delivered suits a particular agenda is to put a very small number of people into the right positions.
Alex Jones, a rising star in the American “Truth Movement” is an independent syndicated radio talk-show host and investigative journalist from Austin, Texas. He has had personal contact with people from many of the US’s major news agencies like FOX and CNN and he says that many people employed with these companies don’t agree with the style and content of news produced and in fact know and believe much of it to be contrived, mis-represented or simply incorrect.
The physical way in which TV affects the brain makes it a perfect vehicle for propaganda. It’s important to note that your eyes grow directly, stem-like, from the brain. They really are the window to the soul and the perfect conduit to access the brain’s inner sanctums.
The human brain works at 4 basic frequencies. These are Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.
Beta waves are produced when one is thinking and using one’s higher faculties and Delta is associated with sleep and/or deep trance like states. The radiant light and flicker rates of TV cause the brain to drop down to a level of activity somewhere between Alpha and Theta – essentially a sleepy dreamlike state of mind where the higher critical functions are turned off. Even if you’re reading text on a television screen the brain registers low levels of Alpha wave activity. Theta brainwaves engage inner and intuitive subconscious. You will find theta in places where you hold memories, sensations and emotions Any information therefore imbibed from the TV by-passes our logical, critically thinking sieve and goes straight into those sub areas of the mind associated with more emotive response. TV then appeals more to the emotions than the mind and of course how many of us engage in lively informed debate anymore? Very few. The more common reaction to big questions is usually an emotive response followed by a quick change in subject. TV viewing is a somatic experience which means it is “of the body, not of the mind”. I’m reminded of Huxley’s book, “Brave New World” where the drug of choice was called soma and enabled people to escape un-palatable intellectual life problems.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Psychologist Thomas Mulholland found that after just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity. Alpha brain waves are associated with unfocused, overly receptive states of consciousness. A high occurrence of alpha wave activity does not occur normally when the eyes are open. In fact, Mulholland’s research implies that watching television is neurologically analogous to staring at a blank wall. It’s worth noting that the goal of hypnotists is to induce slow brain wave states. Alpha waves are present during the ‘light hypnotic’ state used by hypnotherapists for suggestion therapy.
The critical side of your brain is the left. As you read this you are making judgements, passing opinions and coming to conclusions which take the form of beta brain wave activity. These are the waves activated when you begin to use that left hand side, the center of logical human communication and analysis.
Researchers have found that once the television set is switched on, that left hand side and all it’s faculties tends to switch off. Instead the image from television go straight to the right brain. The switch from beta to alpha waves shows this. Alpha brain waves are the ones we associate with meditation and sleep. By no means does this mean that we are not taking the information in – we are taking it all in, we are just not able to critically evaluate it as we would with information coming from other sources.
Video Games have been shown to lower brain activity to below that of the Delta frequency!
The TV screen flicker rate alone is known to induce mesmerized states in people. This flicker rate is the rate at which the screen image is updated, generally about 50 or 60 times a second. DARPA is a US military funded research programme. One of their endeavours concerned developing TV flicker rates that could be played whenever a mesmerized state was required in a given section of the population.
Endorphins are released by overexposure to light. The radiant light from televisions causes a release of endorphins. Researcher Herbert Krugman showed that while viewers are watching television, 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.). Activities that release endorphins (also called opioid peptides) are usually habit-forming (we rarely call them addictive). These include cracking knuckles and strenuous exercise. External opiates act on the same receptor sites (opioid receptors) as endorphins, so there is little difference between the two.
Even casual television viewers experience such opiate-withdrawal symptoms if they stop watching TV for a prolonged period of time. An article from South Africa’s Eastern Province Herald (October 1975) described two experiments in which people from various socio-economic milieus were asked to stop watching television. In one experiment, several families volunteered to turn off their TV’s for just one month. The poorest family gave in after one week, and the others suffered from depression, saying they felt as though they had “lost a friend.” In the other experiment, 182 West Germans agreed to kick their television viewing habit for a year, with the added bonus of payment. None could resist the urge longer than six months, and over time all of the participants showed the symptoms of opiate-withdrawal: increased anxiety, frustration, and depression.
Herbert Krugman’s research proved that watching television numbs the left brain and leaves the right brain to perform all cognitive duties. This has some harrowing implications for the effects of television on brain development and health. For one, the left hemisphere is the critical region for organizing, analyzing, and judging incoming data. The right brain treats incoming data uncritically, and it does not decode or divide information into its component parts.
Researches into the effects of TV have warned that children under two years of age shouldn’t watch any at all due to the negative impact on various areas of a child’s development which include skills of observation, speech, hearing, depth perception, reading ability, inducing attention deficit type behaviour, a lack of motor skills due to immobile viewing habits and so on. TV is a wholly inappropriate and ineffectual teaching tool. It’s pointless having debates lamenting the demise of intellectual ability and endeavour when intellects have never even had a chance to naturally and properly grow due to the numbing effects of television on children particularly.
Conversely its worth noting that radio has the opposite effect and actually develops a higher rate of concentration, the audio forcing people to be stimulated to visualize what they hear. Reading of course further extends the ability to concentrate and critically examine information over longer periods.
Even the style of TV production these days is geared toward an amphetamine-like addiction people have with regard to information reception. The cadence of scene changes, that is the rate and beat at which images are changing on the screen is very fast and further inclines the mind under development to be unable to concentrate for long periods on long pieces of textual information. Average rates of attention span are down from a few decades ago to mere minutes where once it was more than one hour for deep critical thinking.
Studies have linked quality of life to high vocabulary rates which heavy TV consumption impacts negatively. If you have good communication skills you are better able to express the world you live in and how you define it and if this is a yardstick to judge by then for many of our countries’ young folk the world must be very banal indeed. A poor vocabulary means you have a myopic existence, you have a tunnel-like perception of this great planet and your quality of life is adversely effected. Just listening to pop stars in particular, the idols of the young, can make one cringe with embarrassment at the vacuous and inarticulate clap-trap they come out with.
We live in a world today were people’s personalities are formed by unreal things: TV, the music industry, video games, movies, the effects of drugs (be that of the recreational or psychotropic variety). Virtual reality dominates the interests of a lot of people out there, even young adults and people of my own age group in their 30