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Antenna TV is for Seniors, BUT Stupidity is for the Masses!
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Antenna TV is for Seniors, BUT Stupidity is for the Masses!

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flickr.com/Speed Wizard

The dumbing down of America is now a given, thanks to the “no child left behind” mantra and one size fits all education system, whose cookie cutting policies, pursued under the guise of educational reform, make sure no child surpasses. But there is still a need to keep society in check, especially those who are not internet or book savvy, and for them we have Antenna TV.

At least it still gives us access to many of the old programs that had a moral message: Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Perry Mason and the Twilight Zone, to name a few. These were well written and had a plot, and when you finished watching them you saw how good had prevailed over evil and right will always win in the end.

I recently watched the Twilight Zone episode Old Man in the Cave, which was set in a post-apocalyptic 1974, ten years after a nuclear holocaust had hit the United States. The episode is a cautionary tale about humanity's greed and the danger of questioning one's faith, and how a lack of knowledge can prove fatal. If you are clever enough you can learn important lessons from such programs. It is like being locked up with banned books that are still on the shelves of a jailhouse library. The jailkeeper does not know the threat as he cannot read himself.

But TV has never been known for its intellectual fortitude. This is particularly concerning in an age when few read books or any literature of character. Even if the new generation did, they would not be able to put into context much of what they read.

Critical thinking is something from a bygone year. In its place is the sound byte, and people are conditioned to stay in step with the politically accepted statement of proffered reality. It is accepting the re-interpreted version of things, whether that means being part of a political party or a simple member of society. You have accept all what the leadership says, hook, line and sinker, and if not, you are anti-gay, racist, or xenophobic.

It is so easy for the political elites to use this “critical mass” of stupidity to further manipulate the American People. Take for instance, “Fake News”. This is the buzzword of the day, but it has always been around. It is strange that only now, in the era of click bait sites and new means of generating media and social media profits, that a debate has started.

Nowadays we see many articles by self-designated experts who claim they can teach us what is and is not “fake news”, and how something must be done to protect ourselves—and especially from ourselves.  Of those who listen to them question the fact that they want to assign this task to the gatekeepers, the “clickbaiters” of the problem itself: Google, Facebook, and the Government.

Nobody wants to discuss the real issue – which is education, but not formal education in the traditional sense. The problem is that unless one is exposed to reading and critical thinking early in life, by either the family or the education system, there is not much chance of making up for not having such an ability later in life.

As people aren’t reading, perhaps it may be necessary to go back to watching old TV programs to develop these skills, provided you can stand the targeted advertising for AARP life insurance, back braces, wonder drugs and legal assistance in class claims suits.  

What is being provided goes beyond the local news, and it gives a more historic and cultural perspective on what it was like when America was Great. That’s why TV antenna sales and installation are growing, years after people ditched cathode ray tube TVs.

This trend is not only about money, in these times of cutting government services. It is about making a statement. You don’t want to be part of something that provides nothing but opium for the masses: not simply because you object to the principle, but because you can still tell the difference.

Author: Jeffrey Silverman