Our Entertainment Addiction

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They say that information is the new commodity but I think it is entertainment. Who ever controls the narrative controls those who believe it. That is normal and has been that way since time began. The change and deadly ramifications come when that we worship our narratives. This ultimately means that we plug ourselves into the ‘matrix’ to our cultures demise. What do I mean? It there anything wrong with being entertained? Not usually (unless we are talking about gladiatorial games to the death – that is wrong). In the same way eating a cheesecake is not wrong, but eating cheesecake for every meal and at all times points to a greater problem. Just like this silly video and bubble wrap:

We neglect others and our own development so we can be entertained.

However, I think the problem is deeper than that:

  • When people talk about their favorite TV shows they usually say things like: “The X season is a slog but if you push through it things get better”. That makes watching the show into a work-out. I think we all understand that some stories have their ups and downs but to encourage someone to push through the downs is like telling someone the equivalent to push through the gagging and hacking of smoking because it gets better – it does not tell me it is a good and noble thing.

However, I think the problem is deeper than that:

  • We idolize actors and actresses (and people who are famous just for being famous) and have them advise us on how to live, what to eat, what to wear, and how we should act. When they themselves must have drama – who is going to watch a couple do their taxes, create a budget, clean the house, or play with their kids without some wacky hijinks or fight?

However, I think the problem is deeper than that:

  • We must watch the newest show, buy the newest toy for fear that we are missing out. We dread the conversation where we must say “I did not watch that” or “I don’t have that”. Just like if we were kids comparing what our parents got for us for Christmas, it is not about what we do get it is about the comparison to others.

However, I think the problem is deeper than that:

  • We have bifurcated our society. We admire our wise men: the scientists; but we do not listen to them. Instead we listen to our storytellers.
    • Take for example the early 2000’s fad: the Mozart effect. There was a paper testing college kids and how they responded better testing when they would listen to calming music. A newspaper writer found that skimmed the paper and said that is would also work for any age group including babies. That article was skimmed and it was trumped over and over in a sounding board that Mozart makes babies smarter. There are still products selling to this narrative.
    • Take for example the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. Many movies (usually science fiction) quote this myth that it is believed as fact by the common person when it has been debunked for a decade.

What is the deadly nature of this bifurcation?

  • We are open to the influence of narratives thinking they are fact. We selectively choose what is true by what causes us to feel – this is relativism!
  • We categorize things by what genera they are in rather than if they are good. Even Christians fall into this trap of being in their own little repeating sub-groups (as this parody makes fun of):

What can we do?

  1. Be like Paul and use his favorite tactic – divide the audience across this bifurcation and then show them what is Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
  2. Chase after the Good, the True, and the Beautiful by engaging the mind, passions, and by helping others. If we work on our own Christian culture to be Good, True, and Beautiful then non-Christians will come to us not be repulsed by us (when we act and look just like the world.. but worse).

What else can we do? Leave them in the comments below

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