by Simon Maslin
TV tells you what to believe, what to think, what to be. You immerse yourself in that plastic world of witless mannequins who earn their fame through porcelain smiles and fake tans, where people having affairs with Z-list celebrities masturbate farm animals for public entertainment, where morons are shoved into studios to leach the residual intellect from their docile multitudes of viewers.
So come on, get in that living room, freshly aching from a hard day's beating at the office, get down in front of that TV and worship your crass panoply of idiotic celebrity Gods. Watch that reality TV show, watch that soap opera, that game show, that dumbed-down detuned morality lesson from your lords and masters. Sit there, passive and receptive to all the gaudy marketing spiel that is pumped into your brain; listen closely as they tell you what to wear, what to buy, what to listen to. Phony media darlings smiling brightly at the camera, famous for their looks, their sexual partners, their banality. Nobody with any real talent to trouble or challenge your antiseptic worldview; nobody who can actually do anything useful. Just anodyne anti-personalities to suck you into a world where you can be kept passive with the dreams of shallow fame.
You vegetate slowly, soothed by the synthetic warble of talentless pretty boys and girls; the bastard offspring of a major Record Label's last marketing meeting, whilst the people who can actually sing, actually play an instrument or write a song are consigned to the streets, busking their way through poverty. You never hear them, never see them, never understand what they have to say. Your record collection is filled by the morally sanitised, politically safe crooners and boybands who are assembled before your eyes on a TV show and subsequently sold to you during each commercial break. Every ten minutes the same commercial messages paraded before you, sinking softly into your brain, fermenting and rotting in your subconscious mind.
When all of life is reduced to a ringtone, a cosmetic brand, a carefully targeted yogurt lifestyle choice, then you are ready for sleep, ready to dream away your individuality in a landslide of mindless pseudo memories born of the packaged drivel you have choked down all evening. You know what they want you to know; want whatever the focus group revealed you are supposed to want. You are another perfectly contrived statistic in the marketing model. You dream only of being a contestant on a gameshow or the subject of some reality TV production.
Now they have got you, you remember nothing of the life you ever dreamed of before. You live only to rot in front of the mindless vacuum of the TV God every evening. Worship, oh my cretinous fellows, worship. Tomorrow you can talk about it all in the office.
If you want me, I'll be locked in my room upstairs, reading a book.
© 2005 Simon Maslin