|We are "on television" where ever we go. Big Brother is Here..|
Television and Social Deterioration
Response to Flickr Friend Mark Shaw on March 1, 2012
|We Must be Entertained Where Ever We Go|
Great capture of a great work of public art. The rapid ascent of the mural as acceptable art form is a wonderful addition to our cityscapes. Blank or featureless walls are dead space in cities; people instinctively avoid them. In the West we have had a long period of lifeless architecture since society has been dominated by the car. Architects ignored the views from the pedestrians’ viewpoint. After all, weren't we all supposed to be driving cars? The end of porch culture came to a crashing halt with the arrival of the electronic heroin, also known as television. Social life, once thriving and vital, died when suddenly people didn't sit on their porches and chat with neighbors and watch the parade of walkers, baby carriages ,and dogs. Within half a generation, neighborhoods died socially. People no longer even knew their neighbors’ names. The power of the electric narcotic put America to sleep; and ,no one was even aware of it, except a handful of communications futurists like Marshall McCluhan (The Media Is the Message, c 1960). His concept of electronic media overwhelming our nervous systems’ evolved capacity to handle new information caused us to cut the then- inappropriate stimulation(interacting with people) to avoid insanity. Being unaware of the effect of the electronic heroin ,however, which was universally accepted as benign, we didn't turn off the television. In fact, we watched more ! Just like a junkie, it took bigger doses to obtain the same level of numbness; thus, Instead we stopped interacting with those closest to us : spouse, children and friends. The result: marital stress, couples stopped talking about their problems----too busy watching TV. The TV moved into the bedroom and that was the final blow to marital intercourse both verbal and sexual. Soon ,the divorce rate soared, kids floundered at school as parents lost interest, stayed home to watch the superior high quality heroin the "Soap Opera" instead of attending PTA meetings or parent teacher meetings. TV spawned consumerism, creating a demand for stuff we didn't know we needed but bought anyway on credit. Soon the women were working, too ,to pay the bills. Between TV and work ,we stopped paying attention to community issues, including the architecture and zoning laws which spawned the suburbs and further dependence on the car resulting in less walking and even less attention to the neighborhoods which now were built in such a sterile manner (every house looked the same) that who wanted to walk around anyway ? And finally we stopped paying any attention to what our politicians were doing, which is why we have governments full of rich people who care nothing for the people they were elected to serve, but only sought office because those in office were able to double or tipple their net worth in a few years. Our vigilance was so poor hooked up to our IV electronic heroin nightly on "Big screen" TV's ,that politicians stopped following the Constitution ;and, even if we noticed it, we said nothing, did nothing. The truthful "The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance", is now painfully true as we find ourselves with a completely corrupt Congress, a former President who attacked another country to protect the super rich's oil wealth, in spite of the Constitution specifically stating that ONLY CONGRESS can declare war. We complained a bit, but still did nothing.
What does all this have to do with murals? Murals get people back into the streets moving about, interacting, paying attention to the condition of their cities and neighborhood. Anything that offers an alternative to the evil electronic heroin contributes to the rehab of society.
Public art forms have never been more important than they are today.
Look, paint , decorate. Walk around; get to know your neighbors. Get rid of your TVs ( the average American family owns well over one TV per person. TVs are still getting bigger and more expensive; and ,the sound and resolution have turned the heroin into morphine. AND we, as a culture are unaware of how destructive this habit is.
|Electronic Morphine Example|
Have you Brits had any weird weather lately? The drought here in Texas is going to destroy the economy and reduce the population from 25 to <million people. We are totally unprepared for such a migration. With the world weather giving all signs that it is becoming more turbulent, more violent, and rapidly changeable, we must learn a much higher level of cooperation or our chances of survival will be greatly reduced. The 20th Century was a fluke: the calmest weather in a 100,000 years or so. But we thought it was normal and industrialized the world and the population soared to 6.5 billion from 3; which is not sustainable as we continue the transition back into what the real "normal" weather pattern is: violent and often catastrophic for millions of people with each major regional weather change.
This is a wild time to be alive.