The News Cycle and Shared Symptoms of Shock

On June 12th, 2009 the networks shifted to DTV.  If you haven’t noticed, either you don’t have a TV or have the ability to conjure programs from watching static snow, much like those cryptic pictures with hidden sailboats and puppies.  As we built up to this shift, there was hype and proclamations about how great our lives will be with digital TV.  Personally, my life did change greatly, and for the better.  I decided not to get a converter box.  I decided not to have television.

As I’m writing this, it seems like a blessing.  Michael Jackson died, and I’m not flooded with images, sounds, and repetition.  Every channel would be playing the same thing.  The same people would be interviewed, and with the beats of Billie Jean in the background they would all be saying the same thing.  What a tragedy the King of Pop is dead.

The news cycle displays all the symptoms of shock.

Skin condition is described as pale, cold, wet. Just think of Bill O’Reilly.

The conscious state of someone in shock is described as altered, confused, aggressive.

Also, people often have a rapid pulse with short rapid breathes.  Now it is true that some Buddhist practitioners have used yelling at each and talking over each other while controlling their heart rate in an effort to slow their metabolism and achieve nirvana, or to ready themselves for a flight to the U.S., but for the rest of us this is quite hard to master and so we must study the one known as Hannity Sensei.

Television and media is a two way street.  They perform and as such, need an audience.  The other symptoms of shock are experiences one may have when viewing the media cycle.  These are nausea and/or vomiting, collapse and unconsciousness, and progressive ‘shutdown’ of body’s vital functions.  Remember OJ?  Iraq War part I (that was the good one, part II dragged on forever)?  Or that other thing that happened last year?

So while most people have been overwhelmed with the news and the repetition of grief, I’ve enjoyed the break and am recovering nicely.  Once the nausea ended, and I got a few more fluids back in my body, I could turn my attention to the more important things in life.  I didn’t get rid of the TV itself, just didn’t get a converter box.

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