Some months ago I answered survey questions for the company who does the TV ratings here in Australia. At the end of the survey they asked me if I would be willing to let them connect a box to my TV to record my viewing habits and I said yes.
I have, for many years, been disgusted and disgruntled with the calibre of the TV programmes being praised as popular. I have often wished I could have a word in the ear of the viewers responsible for such trash being declared ratings winners.
Now I can dictate what people will be watching in the coming seasons myself! Well, I would be able to if I actually WATCHED television but I don’t, it sucks!
When I told my daughter I had been selected she was disgusted.
“Did you TELL them you never WATCH TV?” she demanded. I said I did. She said no wonder all her favourite shows get canned if they are taking notice of people like me. I did not get into an argument with her but I am of the opposite opinion. They have far too many easily entertained people like her and that is why her shows get screened in the first place hehehe.
It has to be said – television, along with most forms of media, is an open sewer pouring crap into the minds of men, women and children all over the world!
In one of my earlier blog entries I told the story of how God taught me to guard my mind and be selective about what goes into it. I continue to do that and I did it for my children too when they were young.
My children were never permitted to view anything rated unsuitable for their age group right up until they turned 18 and they were not permitted to have a television in their room either. They saw things, I have no doubt, when they visited friends and so on but I stood guard over their minds until they were old enough to do it, or choose not to do it, themselves.
It wasn’t a religious thing. I know children don’t always see what we think they are seeing when they watch TV. I have never forgotten a cartoon I saw when I was very young. In it, aliens came to earth and captured Pluto. They put him in an X-Ray machine and looked at his skeleton. I was too young to understand the concept of an x-ray so I was traumatized by the sight of Pluto being stripped of his flesh by aliens.
My children’s current viewing habits do not meet with my approval but I mind my own business and let them make their own choices. I have no idea if my efforts to guard their minds when they were young was worth all the arguments given the things they watch these days but at least my conscience is clear. I did the best I could for them and that is all anyone could ask of any parent.
I can’t help wondering, however, if the gentle natures and loving hearts they both have now would have been as gentle or as loving if they had been exposed to a steady diet of sex, horror and violence in those formative years.
I have a major handicap when it comes to viewing TV or movies – I am a psychologist!
When a group of people are trapped somewhere with someone, or something, stalking them and killing them one by one it just drives me crazy to see the group split up.
HELLO! Haven’t the writers ever heard of the survival instinct??? Put a group of people, any people, in a dangerous situation and they will stick to each other like they were superglued! The herd instinct will not permit any of them to go off by themselves and the writers are just being bone lazy to have the characters make it so easy for the killer to get them alone.
I see the underlying messages contained in shows too. They infuriate me because I know kids are absorbing those messages like the little information sponges they are up until a certain age.
Take survivor – that show should be renamed “Last Dog Standing”. The show glorifies dog-eat-dog behaviour. It rewards the person who behaves in the most underhanded, untrustworthy, lying, cheating, scheming, disloyal way with a million dollars.
Time after time you see programmes sending the message that it is OK to lie, cheat, steal, be violent, abusive, manipulative or bad mannered because the end justifies the means.
Word to the wise – the human mind is capable of making ANY end a noble one! Peek into the mind of any paedophile and you will find a conviction that sex with kids is OK and is even good for the CHILD.
When society condones, or appears to condone, bad behaviour you can bet your bottom dollar behaviour is going to go from bad to worse real fast.
Another insidious and damaging message spewing out of out television sets is the one that says people are not responsible for the choices they make. No matter what they do it was never the hero’s fault. It was the villain, deprivation, suffering or some substance that made them do it. The follow up to this is that they should not have to pay for what they did.
If all else fails, according to the media, get an expensive lawyer and you will not have to pay.
As a society we sit there and nod. Yes, we tell ourselves, that’s exactly how the world works. If you have enough money you can literally get away with murder.
The problem is, when our hero’s become common white collar criminals ripping off greedy insurance companies or street thugs whose violence and gutter language does not mean they don’t have a good heart (for anyone who is not the enemy), our little sponges absorb incredibly low standards.
They grow up thinking all it takes to be a hero is a weapon and the willingness to use it. They grow up thinking everyone lies, steals, cheats, hurts and uses other people so there is nothing wrong with it.
I don’t deny human nature is pretty dirty and people do lie, steal and so on but we are asking for trouble when we let our young grow up thinking there is nothing wrong with it just because it comes naturally.
The world is getting more depressed, more suicidal, harder and more uncaring by the year because we have nothing to look up to any more.
We idolize the sporting hero and turn a blind eye to the fact that the only balls he has any control over are his cricket balls.
We let our children worship him then wonder why they become experts at spitting and rubbing their crotches!
Then there were those other athletes who regularly gang raped young women. I had gravel rash on my chin for weeks when I read all the public excuses made for their behaviour. “The girls were probably just groupies like the boys said and they were asking for it.” “What they do in their private lives has nothing to do with us – the team needs them.”
The public was saying, in effect, the game is more important than the messages we send other young men who might fancy a gang rape or two!
We may not like finding out Clinton lied but we grimly remind ourselves it is the nature of politicians to lie. Our acceptance of this fact makes it a lot easier for them to tell even bigger lies and adds to the global rise of depression in those of us who are forced to live under their “one rule for us and another rule for you lot” laws.
It’s another case of don’t think celebrity behaviour is OK because as soon as the man or woman in the street tells lies to the government they will find lying is very much NOT OK!
It may seem outrageous that money can buy an innocent verdict in a murder trial but we all know money can buy anything. This leaves us contemptuous of the law and it follows that people cease obeying that which they despise.
Our churches offer no comfort because they have been, and may still be, a haven for paedophiles. We toss out our religious leaders and God along with them.
Humanity has no hero’s any more. There are no Supermen or Wonder Women for us to look up to and admire. Superman has been replaced with Athlete-Man and Wonder Woman is now Wonder-Bra Woman. As adults we can live with the loss of super hero’s but our children have no impossibly high super standard to model themselves on or reach for any more.
All they have is bling-laden thugs, athletes with jock-itch and money, money, MONEY.
Some will reach those far from lofty heights whilst others will reject the idea of sinking to those heights and become depressed because they don’t like a world with such low standards.
As a psychologist I can assure you those messages spewing out of the television sewer are misleading and wrong!
The politicians, athletes and movie stars may keep their wives no matter how often they cheat on them but the man in the street is badly mistaken if he thinks the same thing will happen when he does it!
Such men are utterly confused and shocked when their wives do not forgive and forget even a single hour with someone else. They don’t understand why she is not blaming the slutty other woman. They have bought into the myths that surround them. If Mrs Celebrity is blaming the slutty other woman why doesn’t Mrs Average?
Because Mrs Average does not face the same pressure to forgive that Mrs Celebrity faces is why. Mrs Average has a whole lot less people (complete strangers will take her on to help their beloved Mr Celebrity get her back) telling her to take him back and a whole lot less money, possessions and other advantages to lose if she doesn’t take him back.
Mrs Average is hearing people who love her say she is better off without the dirty, rotten, lying, cheating scum.
The media presents unrealistic portrayals of even real life! Check any hospital and you will find young people who cannot understand why they will never walk again when what they did was not half as dangerous as the things they saw real criminals do in Police camera shows. Such shows would lose ratings if the real incidents that led to deaths, disfigurements and disabilities were included.
People don’t want to see the young car-thief run over a child, kill a family or get cut out of the mangled wreckage of the stolen car and the police don’t want to be accused of killing these victims of their own bad behaviour either.
I still remember media reports of a clash between the law and the friends and family of some youths who died in such an incident. The media made a real meal of showing people putting the blame for those deaths on the police. It’s another one of those times when children can and WILL pay for what they do and, judging from the response of their parents, those kids had no idea such a thing was even possible!
I’m sure those young people are very grateful to their parents for making such a big fuss and trying to convince the world they should not have HAD to pay for their own choices. I suspect they would have been a whole lot more alive if they had been taught that choices DO have consequences! Those parents may take some comfort in blaming the police – if the police had not chased them the thieves would still be alive.
As a parent I would much prefer to teach my kid not to break the law or take the cops on because they could land in jail or a grave if they do. Oh, wait, I did teach them that and, as a result, both my children are still alive and neither one has a criminal record!
There was a racist backlash when a group of young Muslim males decided to gang rape young girls here in Australia not long ago. Nobody agreed with THEM that the girls were asking for it. Seems we don’t object to our sporting hero’s raping Aussie girls and using that excuse but we do object to males from another culture doing the same thing.
Paris Hilton, Britany Spears and Madonna can get away with exposing themselves in soft porn images but see how far the woman in the street will get if she does it!
The girl in my local pub probably thought she was turning every man in the room on when she sucked her boyfriend off in public. Her boyfriend probably thought he was the envy of every man there too. They laughed as security threw them out and never heard what the other customers, all male, said.
“What a skank!”
“Yeah, what sort of easy ride is she hey? You wouldn’t be game to touch it for fear of what you’d catch!”
“Oh man imagine being desperate enough to accept that for a girlfriend?”
“No WAY! If she will do that in public what else would she be capable of?!”
The young couple were clearly infected by the notion all you have to do to become a celebrity is behave badly. Where did they get that idea from? Oh yeah – from the badly behaved celebrities like Madonna, Britany Spears, Paris Hilton, Bill Clinton, Shane Warne, Peter Brock the Australian football team rapists and the list goes on and, depressingly, on.
My local newspaper devoted almost the entire issue today to a beat up of Shane Warne worship. They have even printed a life-size image of his face for children to cut out and turn into a mask to wear.
The man is retiring from cricket. He has, I gather, performed charitable acts and good on him for that. He is NOT a suitable superman substitute for our children!
He has been quoted as saying he has a sex addiction. He lost his wife and children because of it. He got them back. I can’t help wondering if he has quit cricket so he will be of slightly less interest to the media and the public. If there is less interest in him it means the next time (and there WILL be a next time) he gives in to his addiction his wife, Simone, will be less likely to find out!
Television and other forms of media spew violence, sex, rape, murder, crime, cruelty and infidelity into human minds daily and our reward for permitting them to do that is more broken families, more heartless crimes and ever younger criminals.
They say you don’t have to watch TV if you don’t like it. You can always use the “off” button. The ratings company is about to discover some people don’t bother to even use the “on” button these days.
Once in a while I turn the TV on. I surf the channels then turn it off again when there is nothing to watch because it isn’t worth the cost of the electricity most of the time. I can, and do, vote with my off button. I hope I am not the only one in their sample who does that. If enough people do it the message will come through that they need to make a change. As long as my TV is off they have no chance of persuading me to buy the latest gadget, fashion or fad and that is the only form of protest they are likely to listen to hehehe
If you find my perspective on all this quite alien then the chances are your mind has been hijacked by media hype too. Turn the telly off for a few months and see if it makes a difference to how you feel.