Friday, November 20, 2020

An Odd Practice

     ...puzzling over which fits my odd 5:30 AM mood. It started with these observations by my secret sweetie Adrienne:

     It is with continued amazement that today people spew their guts in emails, post terrible stuff on Facecrap, and make videos where they threaten bodily harm - often to an elected official. Now we have the added fun of watching people incriminate themselves on live streamed goofy Zoom meetings, like the mook in the following clip.

     The clip Adrienne mentions is embedded in this tweet. (I have no idea how to copy a clip from Twitter for embedding in a piece here.) And yes, you really have to wonder just how stupid some people can be, yet still be allowed to leave the house without a minder.

     But it’s everywhere! People take photos and make recordings of themselves doing things beyond my imagination – and I’ve got a rather vivid imagination. Hunter Biden’s now-famous videos of himself smoking crack, having sex, and so forth, are only one example. You may recall that a few years ago we had the “scandal” of Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos getting into circulation. By my lights, the true scandal was how an actress that talented, wealthy, and widely admired could possibly be that stupid.

     (Digression: As many have asked, I will now answer: Yes. Jennifer Lawrence was, in an inverse way, the inspiration for Love in the Time of Cinema. I wanted to portray an actress with Lawrence’s assets of beauty and talent, but with good values and good sense. You may judge for yourselves whether I succeeded. Digression endeth here.)

     I blame it on television.

     These days, television is ubiquitous. People watch TV on their BLEEP!ing phones. They watch it while they’re driving, for the love of God. I know a fellow whose sister destroyed a brand new Corvette, given to her by her fiancĂ© only a week before, doing exactly that. To millions upon millions of people, television is reality.

     Many of those people have only a vague sense of self. They’re not distinguished by any remarkable asset or talent. Many of them aren’t good for much of anything at all. When they look at their respective screens, they see people who’ve got other people watching them. Why, those folks on the screen are undeniably real. And the doofi (plural of doofus; study your Latin) watching them, in some foggy, formless, semiconscious way, are led to think that “If only I were on a screen being watched by someone, I would be real, too!”

     So they video themselves. Doing what? Whatever comes to mind. Preferably something they’ve seen actors do on television. And these days, actors do some scandalous things with the cameras running.

     The consequences, as Adrienne has noted, are conspicuously before us. They extend to politics: the sayings and doings both of politicians and of those of lesser station. Didn’t the odious Joe Biden brag on video about blackmailing the nation of Ukraine with federal money to get a prosecutor off Hunter’s case? Hasn’t everyone in America seen that video?

     (You might think it takes significant smarts to win a seat in the United States Senate. You’d be wrong. Biden is only one counterexample.)

     It’s television, Gentle Reader. Television is reality to uncounted millions of Americans. Unless and until they see themselves on a screen, they cannot sincerely believe in their own existences. You may rest assured that a lot of people go into politics because it’s the quickest way to get themselves on television...and that observation points to a fertile but as yet unharrowed field for future scholars of the madness of politics in this Year of Our Lord 2020. I wonder if it will survive to reach them.


Linda Fox said...

That's why the Left is trying so hard to keep Non-Leftist viewpoints off YouTube and other video-sharing apps. They KNOW that many of the videos of the NLDs (Non-Leftist Dissidents) have gone viral. It's scaring the hell out of the Left.

Think of the reach of:
- Project Veritas
- Louder with Crowder
- Dan Bongino
- Bill Whittle

and many more. Coupled with some of the bloggers (who've held on through the ups and downs of the trade), the potential reach of the NLDs is significant.

Further, even those who aren't full-on NLD, are often skeptical of the Leftists, and not hesitant to say so. They don't have to buy into our viewpoint entirely, to have a major impact on the prospects of the Left.

Jess said...

I too am a amazed at the depth of stupidity available for revue. To make things worse, they have a television show where people strip off their clothes, go into the wild, are devoured by bugs, and people watch as the contestants lose twenty pounds due to a diet of things they find in the jungle. I'm guessing they have some sort of sanitary water, since it would only take about five days of dysentery to do you in.


TV has become such a dopamine rush, such a way to escape the "drudgery" of life, I concur: it BECOMES life. (My older said "Why is every day so boooooring - it's the same day after day after day. "Welcome to my world, kid!")

FYI, I use this site as a way to download twitter videos:


Another thought. It's SIN.

Living life is hard. Getting up, going to work, etc., is HARD - but SLOTH is easy. The fantasy is easy.

Take a look at the immensely popular show Friends. The apartments they lived in, especially the women, in NYC? Seriously? But people see that and think I WANT THAT.

(I remember my wife, who loooooooves NYC, asking how people can live there. I said that they pay an enormous amount of their income just for rent. And then scrimp by on the rest.)

Adrienne said...

The last TV show I ever watched was Dancing With the Stars and only because of my professional ballroom dance background. When the costumes became so skimpy and the dance arrangements so sexulalized, I quit. Other then that, we haven't watched TV in over 25 years and maybe see one movie a year.

Let's not forget the wonderful advent of the "influencer." A bunch of nobodies who became somebodies by way of youtube videos about whatever strikes their fancy. It's weird.

We also have weak lazy parents who shove their progeny in front of a screen while they're still infants. When they turn about 10 -12 they give them their own phone - complete with internet access.

Paul Bonneau said...

"Unless and until they see themselves on a screen, they cannot sincerely believe in their own existences."

This conclusion seems a stretch to me.

Also, the behavior that everybody is bemoaning, just looks like humans being human. I can even see some upsides. Think about it, which would you rather see? Joe Biden as he is, with all the scandals and reprehensible behavior? Or Joe Biden as he should be, with no scandals, no problems with delivery of speeches, etc?

If we're going to have a leader, it's better to have one we hate, than one we love. The scary thing is to have a ruler loved by almost everyone. Just think of all the damage FDR did.

Francis W. Porretto said...

"Humans being human" is roughly 99.9% of what I write about, Paul. To take note of that is hardly an advanced operation of the intellect.