TV (Abstract Thought #3)

1. Television, transmitted to children is a kind of technicolour robbery of their past, present and future.

1.1 Past – it denies them the traditional stories, shaped over generations to explain reality in a way that has been proven to reliably raise children into functioning adults. In the place of these are commercial algorithms, cynically devised to coerce individuals into economic transactions which benefit their elders at the obvious expense of their own mental health.

1.2 Present – The gift of knowing anything through television is paid for by the cost of not having it in reality – theft by transmission. This superimposition of false and unassuageable needs – draws more of a person’s consciousness away from their perception of the present, which is therefore physically classified by the body as unsatisfactory – and into the permanent pursuit of the unreal. The physical trigger for this chase is a sensation, familiar to addicts – of discomfort in the solar plexus, coupled with a feeling of hollowness. The viewer is therefore forced into seeking cessation by striving for an imitation of what’s on screen – or by consuming a chemical hack that can physically break the synaptic signalling of urgent dissatisfaction (drugs, sex, control).

1.3 Future – Our neurological set-up is thus developed so that it serves the economy rather than genuine human need – we plan accordingly, for a future that won’t actually make us happy. What you want, what you really believe you genuinely want – is actually comprised of the inanimate forces of global capitalism – this is the real face of AI – not that it becomes us, rather – we become it. As you peer through the molten glass of former selves, that have cooled to form the lens of the present, you’ll find that those same commercial pitches from childhood – possessions, celebrity and the styles of the period, seem exactly to fit a core component of your… self… Because your very being has been cultivated by advertisers. Your conscious experience is but a refraction of expanding technology.


Intelligence – but obviously, good luck with that… Intelligence can only operate in relative stillness and silence and the constant bombardment from culture of false and real crises makes people extraordinarily stupid, by which I mean – behaving to their own detriment.

Meditation is essentially strength training for the brain that teaches a person to draw their consciousness out of memory and rehearsal and into the present moment, which I believe, literally augments its physical capacity for understanding and operating in the now. As the actual structure of the brain starts to change over months and years, the body may stop trying to push the mind out of the present moment and into the pursuit of the unattainable. The result will feel like a reduction in the constancy of anxiety and emotional pain experienced by many modern humans (to the point where it’s accepted as a normal condition).

There will be messages that are important to broadcast to as many people as possible – and for that, we’ll be stuck with the media as the message… Should we therefore look into how the artists before us treated codified meaning – or “Art” to limit its destructive capacity? Kubrick essentially relayed the message above in A Space Odyssey: 2001* but unfortunately the world was already too inured to the tech he was critiquing to understand it. Stravinsky’s common practice was to stylise all his messages to such an extent that the audience wouldn’t get drawn into the emotion and meld with the unreal – he’d put sad scenes in a happy key for example – and so on. Ancient Egyptians seemed to favour cartoons above the realistic renderings they were also capable of, with wall carvings of people who had two left feet and inaccurate 2 dimensional looking eyes… Could it be that in history there’s been some understanding that the world of imagination and the world of reality should be kept as aesthetically distinguishable as they are in individual experience?

Well I know these are randomly plucked examples, but this is just an abstract thought, isn’t it? For me right now, verisimilitude should be out, whereas symbolism, writing, music and tableau should be favoured for the transmission of messages – as much of the decoding will take place in the consumer’s imagination. It’s about keeping the psychic and physical worlds as separate as they are in realworld experience. I also believe the direct transmission of personality should perhaps be out – writing is best, a disembodied voice at most – but the cultivation of a holistic false persona, that we see in television personalities is a continuous advert to young people – for an impossibly perfect kind of family member, more reliable and constant than the real people they know, and who’s actual absence makes them the most compelling candidate for pursuit and emulation.