You've heard me talk a lot about the negative programming you are subjected to on a daily basis, and the harmful effect it can have on all areas of your life. Of course the three biggest culprits are organized religion, government, and the mass media.
It would be tough to determine who does the most harm. Religion is insidious, because it is so emotionally charged and brainwashed into people at such an early age. Thus by the time people grow up, they are so incapable of rational thought about the subject they often can't be helped. (Case in point, many of the hopeless, hapless, and helpless fundamentalists that write me every time I suggest they do some critical thinking about whether their core beliefs serve them.)
But of course a strong case could be made that government does the most harm. Governments maintain their power base by making promises to people to take care of them, and stealing resources from the most productive members of society to offer goodies to the much larger voting block of less productive people. (Case in point: the current election here in the States. The candidates are practically falling all over each other to promise more goodies to the masses.) This creates an entitlement mentality, which further erodes self-esteem.
But how can we forget the mass media? It may be the worst offender, because we've now reached a stage where the average person in the "herd" is watching five hours of television a day! And spending even more of their waking hours surfing popular culture websites. Almost all of the subliminal programming in these channels is anti-prosperity and negative.
Take the new breakout hit for this season on the FOX network called, "The Moment of Truth."
Now before I go further, I must admit I am conflicted. Because I have to give FOX credit, because they have probably shown more creative talent and originality in program development than anyone for the last 20 years. When it was just the big three networks, the amount of bland, incestuous copycat stuff was mind-boggling. FOX really went out and took chances, and brought some very fresh programming to the air. Whether you liked them or not, shows like 21 Jump Street, The Simpsons, Married with Children, America's Most Wanted, and COPS were like nothing that anyone had done before.
Today I must admit that American Idol is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. "House" (filled with negative programming by the way) provides a daring approach to the hero protagonist and sensational acting and writing. And the new "Terminator" show is simply sublime, if you are a Sci-Fi fan as I am. I could never have imagined a TV show capturing the power of the movies, but this show has certainly done that. It actually motivated me to learn how to use my DVR and I didn't miss an episode all season.
But for every superior show FOX develops, they seem to balance the equation with some of the most crude, vulgar, and vapid shit that has ever been presented on a network. Which brings us back to, "The Moment of Truth"...
I haven't watched it and certainly never will. But just seeing the clips for it is enough to make my skin crawl. The premise is that they hook people up to a lie-detector test and surround them with friends and family, then ask them questions. If they tell the truth, they can win $500,000. Then they ask questions such as if a wife would leave her husband for her ex-boyfriend, if someone would cheat on their spouse if they knew they wouldn't get caught, or if they have any secrets that could end their marriage. Then of course they zoom in on the injured party and let people rubber neck at their distress.
A show like this is so demeaning and de-humanizing, that it can't help but lower your opinion of humankind in general, and your own self-esteem as a result. Of course the show is a huge success. And proved yet again that FOX is crazy like a fox.
It seems there are two markets out there.
One is the thinking person, interested in thought-provoking, fresh new shows. And then there is the larger market: brain-dead morons, who want to salaciously peep into the misfortunes of other people's train wrecks, take things down to the lowest common denominator, and relinquish their need to think.
FOX has figured out they don't have to have one or the other. They're programming to both, and their escalating ratings prove it.
So what about YOU?
Which demographic are you in? Now more than ever, it is critical to be discerning in the programming you allow yourself to be infected with. And to be counter programming yourself with positive stuff every single morning before you go out into the world. You can program your subconscious mind. Or you can let other people do it. But you will get programmed.
Give it some thought and post your comments below.