I haven’t the discipline to write a book, but paragraphs are within my reach. There may be no movies in my future, yet self-manipulated digital photography can dress my vision of the world (and the world's vision of me) in more suitable attire.
Media Girl on the other hand, defines herself as a tough audience. Of course she is! Raised on a diet of microchips and satellite broadcasting she has had instant access to high quality art and unlimited audio-visual entertainment. She is an educated consumer with hours of TV, film, music and print under her belt. Where a primitive initiate might stare in awe at a two-dimensional screen, Media Girl's cross discipline background allows her to filter, value, retain or dismiss great volumes of programming with a discerning eye. Each day she spends grazing the grasslands of the art-techno fantasy she becomes harder to rope and bind. She bores easily and is intolerant of mediocrity in her media diet.
The Bleed-Over Effect
There is a psychic state or mental borderland where art and reality, celebrity and audience co-exist in a inter-changeable, almost visceral way. Just as the energy in food is transformed into body mass and kinetic power, the input of media weaves itself into the fabric of conscious and sub conscious thought. Like the highly refined sugar of a French pastry, electronic media has the capacity to dash naturally occurring flavors to the floor. The appeal of a simple ripe red apple wanes before the tantalizing presentation of the culinary artist.
When once flamboyant menus were reserved for princely tables and high occasions, the omnipotence of media offers programming in such abundance that one begins to absorb the whole of the art-techno fantasy in the same way that one ingests the panoramic view of a landscape. But they are not the same; no more than a picture of a flame is heat.
The psycho-biology of mind reveals that the parts of the brain that fire together (that are active at the same time) wire together (form networks of neurons that function as processing circuits). This revelation in neuro-science now lends a physiological explanation to afflictions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, where two dissimilar senses or experiences are bound together in memory.
It is an odd paradox that the generation of Jungian psychologists so adept at compartmentalizing and evaluating the subconscious power of the parent and child voices in the human psyche have been so lenient with the voice of media. While it is readily accepted that diminishing comments made by the parent may be absorbed unfiltered by the child and later return as mental malignancies, it seems some special status of media renders its effects immune to similar analysis.
Back to Media Girl
Media Girl complains of unrealistic expectations for her self and others which require saintly doses of forgiveness to offset. She likens her ID to boxing sock puppets, one full of energy and passion, the other intolerant and bored, duking it out in an endless title-bout. Could this psychic dilemma be as much a result of her relationship to TV and film as to her parents or flaws in the developmental environment in which she was raised?
Much like the multitude of defenses spawned by the tobacco industry, the seven major media cooperation's remind us they are free from quilt when real-life pathos mimics television drama. They are quick to point out that their viewer-ship arrives by choice and is well aware that what they peddle is art-techno fantasy. Real life police do not have shootouts on a regular basis, lawyers seldom look like fashion models and there is no evidence that ghosts really whisper to the living. Media companies produce and sell entertainment (and biased news) nothing more.
This position may be socially expedient, but it is hardly realistic. We are what we ingest. Just as fatty foods collect in our arteries so there is a lasting effect from media exposure. Many in the audience of an advertisement or song are not there by choice. The proven harmful effects of second hand smoke have led to laws restricting its use in the work place. It could be argued that programming choices in media should be evaluated for residual toxicity and restricted in public areas. Certainly this has been done in regard to what is considered pornography.
Thoughts and emotions stimulate physiological action. An employee subjected to daily doses of repetitive media may not be aware of the mood alteration excited by this subliminal influence, but the mind is registering, reacting and recording its message along with more top of consciousness duties required by the job.
Technology and technology's effects on a culture are harnessed together but that does not mean they pull in tandem when moving society ahead. The positive ramifications of a tool may be offset by damage inflicted on a culture's populace. One need look no further than the automobile to see the environmental and social transformation wrought by this machine.
Media Is A Tool
Like a car, media may have many styles, colors and accessories available, but it is a device designed to do one thing; communicate a message to a large population. Without regulation, who can say what the residual effect of such programming will be? Does freedom of speech entitle an individual to broadcast a message incessantly to a captive audience? Hasn't this A/V technique been incorporated as "soft torture" in interrogation sessions of suspected terrorists?
Could an individual sue an employer or media company for mental pollution? Could an argument be made that restitution is due for implanting a pop song in the memory of a non-consenting employee? That each time the song came to mind, it evoked mental discomfort, much in the way that PTSD torments its victims. Viewed as a work place injury, could disability insurance be applied for psychological rehabilitation?
How about Media Girl? Could it be argued that her inability to find contentment in her daily life is due to unreasonably high expectations implanted in her subconscious by media? Could the male persona portrayed through the art-techno fantasy of film and video have so idealized (or diminished) the gender that an unscripted, unedited man in the real world can no longer hold her attention for any reasonable length of time? In what way does she view herself against the arch-type of woman in media?
Media Girl might respond: "This is some boring bullshit!”
Well, right, that is to be expected, she is Media Girl!
But how do you tell if a person on Facebook or MySpace or the average e-Mail pen pal is really the zesty experience they portray themselves to be.
Use my ZESTY EXPERIENCE FORMULA:
ZE= THAT(y) / THE (IF)
The Zesty Experience equals the Total Hours of Art-Techno Fantasy multiplied by the constant "y" representing the Diminished Attention of the subject at any given time, divided by Total Hours of Experience multiplied by the Intensity Factor.
Its tough out there! Edit, revise, enhance and by all means, avoid physical contact until you have a large Art-Techno number to work with.