Daily Archives: October 6, 2013

Mind Over Media





3 hours/day of tv =
3 hours/day of radio =
3 hours/day of exposure to billboards and product advertising =
3 hours/week of movies =
3 hours/week of magazines/newspapers =
3 hours/week of commercial Internet =
3 hours/week of talking about media subjects =

the stats are no mystery.
add to or subtract from the above. arrive at your own numbers.

thousands of hours each year immersed in media.
living in it. not in the world.
when not attending directly to it, we replay it in our heads.
rehearsing movie roles, tv characters.
thinking about them.
fantasizing. fixated on them.
pop stars. celebrities. rock and roll idols.
supermodels. news anchors. people in ads.

trying to look like them.
trying to act like them.
repeating their words to ourselves.
thinking their thoughts.
we like to believe we can resist their hold on us.

it’s easier when you see it in another group.
kids, for example.

forget the subliminal issues.
just look at the surface.
look at what’s obvious.

looking at what’s obvious.

occasionally, for a moment at a time, pay attention to your thoughts. how would you describe them? ordered? rational? do they seem to be a big jumble of adolescent rambling, low-level bitching, self-criticism, obsessive-compulsive spontaneous repetitions of pieces of previous thoughts, parts of old scripts, generally negative self-image-wise? what could be causing this?

many hundreds of commercial messages a day enter our minds. do we have that many ordered, edited, professionally produced personal thoughts in a day? do ordered, edited, professionally produced, manipulative commercial messages seem more coherent than our normal thoughts?

imagine one’s self-image being molded from an early age by commercial messages. one’s self-image is a pretty deep part of oneself, wouldn’t you say? how about what we think of others? does what we think of others seem affected, colored, influenced by commercial messages of what is the ideal way to be? do the commercial representations of the ideal way to be seem to affect our self-image as they do our judgement of others? how about what we think of the world and our place in it? affected, influenced by commercial messages?


I don’t say much about mass-media subjects because I like to keep things positive in public. However, I maintain a site which indicates the direction of my thinking as regards things that fall under the broad categories of “entertainment” and “popular culture”. The site is used as a resource for my students to get started on critical-thinking projects on these and related subjects. Here’s a page from the site:



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