The Terror of Television

Exclusive to STR

December 13, 2006

I often wonder how it is that I never became a Nazi. Well, timing was one factor, I guess; I was born a little late for all of that. That's still no excuse, however. The rallies, speeches, and loud hurrahs were as raucous as arena-sized rock concerts; the sense of defiance and rebellion inspiring. The flags, banners, and armbands were precisely as Hitler stated: "The most striking harmony in existence." The uniforms -- in particular the jet black elite SS guard ones -- were darkly slick; terrifically sinister as any budget-no-object horror movie. The Luger and Heckler & Koch firearms were among the best to be had.

I think one of the reasons was television. I never much cared for it in adult life. I'm very grateful to myself for having adopted that attitude. Another contention of Hitler's, as he so masterfully demonstrated, was that the power of suggestion was a terrible weapon in the hands of anyone who knew how to utilize it to maximum effect. Television, in the modern world, is every single bit that weapon. One need only peruse the propagandist drek of which 90% of television media is comprised: CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News ("Fair And Balanced!" Right. About as much so as a wrinkly octogenarian hag on her second fifth of Jack Daniels.), CBS. Take a drive through suburbia sometime at night. Anywhere, USA , will suit just fine. Watch the blue glows through all the windows while inundated minds of every stripe and walk of life absorb the garbage filtering outward like a cancer, stifling meaningful controversy, erasing independent thought.

It becomes worse yet. Clinically, after roughly 30 seconds of uninterrupted TV watching, you are considered effectively asleep. You are in a consciousness-reduced semi-hypnotic state. Right, for that matter, where the State wants you. There's more. Albeit supposedly "illegal," television provides a splendid opportunity for the foisting of subliminal messages upon an unsuspecting viewership. This began in 1950s movie theaters with cryptic, one-frame sales pitches (Buy popcorn. Drink Coke!), and the practice was subsequently outlawed . . . for private interests, at any rate. With most or all of the media conglomerates firmly in the pockets of the Establishment, even if there is some dusty "law" somewhere prohibiting them from engaging in similar activity for their own purposes, we already know they only obey their own "laws" when it is convenient or beneficial for them to do so. Thus, I'd be very interested to know just when and where they may be doing this in terms of broadcasting, and what the nature of the messages might be (Obey Your Leaders. Pay Taxes. Surrender Your Guns.) It would not surprise me in the least to learn this kind of thing is going on, if only to use the Amerikan Sheeple as a pack of guinea pigs for further psychological warfare experimentation.

And then there are the non-news programs. Nice little State-aggrandizing sequences of putrescence such as Cops, NYPD Blue, or a zillion other Well-Meaning, Underpaid, Underappreciated, Unfairly Maligned Cops Bend the Absurd, Overly-Paranoid Rules In Order To Catch the Terrorists And Other Drug-Dealing Bad Guys shows. All there to mold public opinion. To demonstrate how dangerous and silly a thing like Liberty is. To elevate the State to the status of a religious faith, a dogma, a noble goal and ideology in and of itself.

Do I own a television, you ask? Sure do. It's a late 1970s Sharp. It's color, and has dials for both VHF and UHF. Of course, where I live, it is impossible to receive broadcast television from anyplace, and during all the 25 years or so of cable TV's technological reign, lines were never strung on the poles out here. No company could make enough money to justify it. But in the last five years or so, DirectTV has become available, and so those small gray satellite dishes have proliferated themselves widely across the countryside. But not on my property. I have a VCR and a DVD player only, and so might watch a good science-fiction thriller, or Alex Jones film, or classic rock concert once in a while. That's all though. Beyond that I write, paint, read books, hang out on the Internet, listen to music or radio talk shows, take long walks in the woods, go swimming (in summer, of course), chase chicks, and try to enjoy life. I have very little room in my lifestyle for what a relative of mine used to so aptly call, "the idiot box."

When TV was in its infancy, before 1933, Hitler saw to it that his campaign speeches were televised in addition to all of the more traditional, less cutting-edge media formats of the day, even though almost no one in Germany at the time -- rich or poor -- owned a television. Master of psychology and propaganda that he was, I guarantee he saw the potential for what it could and would become. I'm not saying that a cathode ray tube or digital plasma screen is evil. No technology is unless used for those purposes. But I very highly doubt that those who more or less dictate the content of modern TV broadcasting in Amerika are in that business with your or my interests as their primary aim. That they'd like to capture our interest enough to keep us watching is another matter. The goal, in my estimation, is nothing but sheer mind control, and the instilling of terror when it comes to rejecting or resisting the State. And that's what we'd best keep in mind.

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Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His MeWe group can be found here.