TV freak show rant
In his book Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Karl Marx called religion the “the opium of the people.” He noted that it wasn’t only used by the powerful to keep the masses oppressed, it also made them more likely to be ok with it.
Now that religion has started to lose it grips on a large number of Americans, it appears that television has stepped in to fill the void. And before you start picturing a wholesome scene from a bygone era where the family is gathered around the black and white TV to watch a nature documentary, let me stop you right there.
I mean television as it stands today; an endless stream of mind-numbing shit. Designed to dumb down the average viewer and convince them that their lives are nowhere near as empty as the parade of losers they offer up on a nightly basis.
Decades ago laws were passed in a number of states to forbid ‘freak shows’ and stop the exploitation and victimization of people with “extraordinary” bodies. For instance, in my home state of Pennsylvania penal codes prohibit the exhibition of any “deformed human being or human monstrosity” except for scientific purposes. And yet on any given evening you can plop down and gorge yourself on 600 lb monstrosities, 2-headed people, midgets and individuals with pustules the size of bowling balls on their face, all from the comfort of your own home.
At least back in the day you’d have to make the trek out to some dusty field outside of town, hand over a few bucks and walk into a tent, hoping to god that you didn’t run into any neighbors. Feeling at least some modicum of shame as you ogled the poor unfortunate creatures put on display for public amusement.
There are some that would argue that this is a way for a viewer to get a glimpse into the life of someone less fortunate than themselves.
Those people are idiots. That’s exactly the same bullshit P.T. Barnum would have said… as he rolled out the armless woman or the pointy-headed man.
And this is what MILLIONS of Americans are watching each night. They could be watching programs about the border crisis, the national debt or the looming conflict over Ukraine, but no. They are absorbed by a man who thinks he’s a woman.
What the fuck happened to us?
We are watching the country circle the drain and people are tuning in to freak shows.
Maybe we deserve it.