In Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle” he describes a world where reality has been replaced by the spectacle, a sort of Matrix like world.
When I was working at the Big Box I was appalled by all the children wandering around oblivious to the world while utterly distracted by their hand held computer games.
Even though I used to walk a great deal as exercise when I live in San Francisco and Los Angeles I never owned a Walkman in any of its various incarnations or multitude of brands. Some how having my ears plugged and filled with sound seemed like too much distraction from the real world.
I do own both a desk top and a lap top computer as well as a cell phone with a camera. The manual says I could text with it but I have never come up with a reason as to why I should want to do that. After all I have a computer with a nice big key board that I can send e-mail on. It has a camera… Whoop de doo… It takes crappy pictures although it also does video and could come in handy if I were to witness a cop murdering some one the way that pig murdered Oscar Grant.
IPods keep beckoning me with their come hither pitches as attractive as media hookers in their shiny colors with their glossy screens. But again… Why? Why would I want to reduce my awareness to the external world and whose interests does it serve for me to be oblivious to the aural world around me? Or do those selling it see my time walking around as wasted unless I am consuming sounds I bought the rights to listen to?
Radio is free or satellite radio is subscription but offers more choice even though opting to listen to it means subjecting myself to a constant barrage of sophisticated and not so sophisticated pitches to buy more useless meaningless crap to fill up the void created by the horrors of the reality behind the spectacle.
Red pill or blue pill, awareness or oblivion?
What happens when one says no to buying into the constant deluge of propaganda aimed at creating desire for objects rather than authenticity?
We had a friend visit us recently and it seemed like she was totally hooked on her IPhone and IPad. Like they were highly demanding infants that she could not turn her attention from. I actually see drivers stopped at intersections playing with their 3G/4G phones. It frightens me that they are so unaware of their surroundings, so immersed in their gadgetry.
No wonder they are unaware of the march to fascism and corporate enslavement. I sometime think they would put the chains on themselves in exchange for shiny objects beaming a constructed reality to them 24/7.
tonight I saw a truly repulsive ad for the Droid or one of the other phones I think perhaps for T-Mobile with this glazed looking model with all the humanity and inner life of a shop window manikin staring in ecstatic rapture at the screen of one of these electronic pacifiers that generate an artificial reality of the spectacle. Then there was one with a man in an oiffice down loading the latest insult to intellegence from Blockbuster Video so he could stay all night at his office watching it.
Doesn’t he have a life. Shooting heroin or getting plastered in some dive bar would be less soul killing. Doesn’t he have a home, a place to go with a large sreen TV he purchased on credit so recently that he is still paying it off?
All these questions pass through my mind. Perhaps because so long ago I took the red pill in the form of LSD and stepped outside the spectacle. Perhaps the magic question is: Why? Why do I want that? Why would I do that?
For what purpose? Why must I always be feed a manufactured reality? Am I so stupid as to not know what is going on without constant external stimulus? I think therefore I am dangerous. Perhaps the answer is that without a constant distraction people might start seeing through the bullshit.
What happens if we start to question why we should constantly slave only to consume toys of dubious value?