A mind filled with crap

During the first half of my life I valued experiences far more than things. Get out into the world and engage. Hike the mountains, run the rivers, drive the highways, swim the oceans and eat, drink and dance the cultures of the country.

Fatherhood supplanted that trend, but only in practice not in spirit. Now it was my kids who needed the experiences: beach combing, berry picking, lizard catching, exploring, experimenting, creating.

And then that phase, too, passed.

Sure, I watched my share of TV, enjoyed a movie now and then and read a ton of novels. But time spent passively consuming life paled in comparison to actual participation.

This is no longer the case.

Even without a pandemic constricting real-life involvement, the trend has been to fill one’s time with other’s experiences. Binging episodic entertainment has replaced empirical existence, hands-on living. I find myself turned into a submissive slug, my mind filled with inane garbage pumped from the likes of my media masters.

Years ago I predicted that humanity would never reach the stars, never travel to other worlds. Why? Because a virtual life was so much easier to endure. Let the “influencers” (organic or AI) risk life and limb. I’ll just jack in and let my mind be fooled into thinking I’m actually living a life well lived.

This morning I woke up, not thinking of my own existence, but that of the characters I’d been mainlining—an insidious entertainment epidural—my mind filled with crap, no room for my own thoughts.

Courtesy: Pixabay.com


26 thoughts on “A mind filled with crap

  1. In my second novel, the wealthy elite have “propatainment” implants that stream into their minds non-stop. Some days I think we’re pretty close to that already. I don’t worry about you though–you have enough imagination to live in a world of your own making, and not the crap we’re surrounded by.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Were you aware that the Qanon website did crowd funding through Patreon? Not that it matters, but from what I’m recently discovering reading about Qanon, this is unbeatable fiction. But…as in all fiction….how do you prove it’s not true? I can’t believe what’s going on out there and how people think…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I find appalling is how anyone over the age of about 12 lives someone else’s life. Through fave characters, fave bands, fave movies. How they buy into the People magazine version of cultural icons. Maybe it’s my brain but by 16 I was an analyzer. Not to mention die hard romantic and Daydreamer. I listen to music and study it. I read and study it. I can binge a Brit mystery or some modern gangsta twaddle or magic crystal bullshit for the occasional high quality line, lighting, sound design. I don’t hook into it like it’s dope or fog machine. Even really stupid shit reruns I have on while I fold the laundry are full of minor gems of reworkable dialog. What I won’t waste time on is shitty books. Reading requires an investment and if it doesn’t work or provide a new perspective or have some redeeming quality it gets stuck in the sell back to Half Price Books box. Sure, mind numbing crap is everywhere. Allowing it to wormhole your consciousness is a choice. Giant tarantulas or high school football when you’re too tired to function are a reality. But watching football all day Saturday and Sunday? Binging and getting involved or invested? Fuck. That. All that shit is for people lacking the ability to find the pilot light on their imaginations or the keys to their car or the dog walking Reeboks. I have a post coming about why fucking bother with fiction. Butt first-I’ll make my last editing pitch before I take time to polish MY turds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A fun site to toy with is https://trends.google.com
      If you search for “Teen sex” or “Teen pregnancy” you’ll find a correlated trend to this “vicarious life” topic. The more access teens have to media, the less sex they have. Or so we might assume. Impossible to tell if this causal or coincidental. My bet is on the former.
      Why go through the hassle of a girl/boy friend when you can get a fake one through your phone?
      The next 1st world problem? Drastically declining birthrates. Kids living virtual lives with AI porn stars as partners.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to think it was “just me” when I failed to have real world conversations – I was an early adopter of the internet and found it easier to socialise online – but now it seems to be everyone; they’re all on Facebook/time/Insta/ntgratification/gram/tiktok/orwhateveritisnow, while I’m not.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jesus, I’m happy you shared your personal thoughts on this subject. Perhaps your age, and health, bring you to
    “Binging episodic entertainment has replaced empirical existence, hands-on living.” However, for the 20, 30 and younger members of society, this is a pathetic replacement for real life. Me? I’m content knowing I’ve had a lot of experiences…and I now know, that if I go anywhere…there I am anyway.
    I’ve often stated that people know the characters within their favorite sitcom better than their neighbors, “friends” and co-workers.
    Indeed, the dissolution and fragmentation of human relations.
    I do not believe for a moment, however, that you have turned into a “submissive slug,”
    Can’t wait to hear what PH has to say!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reflecting on (bitching about) existence seems to be my niche, much more so than writing fiction. Maybe I should focus on examining life’s absurdities… Or get a character to do exactly this.
      Prichard shoved the celery stick back into his Bloody-Mary. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with young-uns these days…”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The money we spend on creating a virtual nature could save the real nature. How dumb are we? Too bad we are not virtually dumb, but rather bone-deep dumb. But the planet will be just fine after we are gone. It really doesn’t need us, despite what some people believe. Duke

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Save the Planet” – bah! I totally agree.
      “Persist the Holocene” – would be a better mantra.
      I used to lament the fact that I would not get to see what humanity and the planet might become in 1000, or 100,000 years. I’ve since come to my senses — Heat Death of the Universe and all that. However, what humans do in a new PETM or ice age Earth… That would be entertaining as hell.

      Liked by 1 person

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