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20140113

Television as the Root of Consumerism (satire)

"Virtually every forbidden topic imaginable has been covered on television, except for one. The last taboo on television is television itself — and how it is profoundly biased toward high consumption ways of life that the earth cannot sustain." - Duane Elgin, The Last Taboo on Television

Regarding consumerism, the media moguls of television may never admit their influence on turning the average person into the average consumer. Yet, this begins as an uninformed decision for every one of us when we first watch television.

Later, as we grow wise to the advertisement and content, we learn to consciously moderate our television viewing. Figuratively speaking, after years of television consumption, each of us decides to take a diet of selectivity where we choose what to watch.

Given the increasing number of TV channels offered to most customers by cable TV and satellite TV companies, most of the companies offer you the basic package. For Cable TV, that would be from 45 to 64 channels plus from 40 to 60 digital music channels. For satellite TV that is at least 140 digital channels, plus you may or may not be locked in for two years. The two year plan may apply to cable TV, too.

Because of its limitations, I currently do not watch any television. If all I can do is just sit back and flip channels, then the excitement soon wears thin.

Instead, I rather sit in front of my computer, checking my email, keeping with my stream on GooglePlus or writing another post on my blog. After a long spell on the computer, it's wiser to rest and delay returning to sit in front of it again.

Indeed, most days I spend about fifteen minutes in meditation and about 3 hours reading.

Very rarely does the television catch my attention.

For the mind is too precious to waste sitting in front of the TV.

Every moment spent in mindful contemplation of the world free of the influence of computer and television will free your mind.

Originally posted: August 19, 2010 05:55 AM PDT

Reference:
The Last Taboo on Television: http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/future/articles/taboo/

2 comments:

Steve said...

Thich Nhat Hanh's Five Mindfulness Training touches deeply on being a mindful consumer. It serves as a welcome antidote to mindless consumerism.

For more information, see: http://www.plumvillage.org/mindfulness-trainings/3-the-five-mindfulness-trainings.html

Steve said...

The Fifth Mindful Training is specific to consumerism:

http://www.esolibris.com/articles/buddhism/buddhism_precept_5.php

"Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society." - Thich Nhat Hahn, on the Buddhist Five Precepts, or Five Mindfulness Trainings