The United States

Some observations on the United States, including:
  • The meaning of TV News programs.
  • The child-centric nature of American society.
  • The paradox of consensual crimes in a free society.
  • Why most Americans are fat.
  • How America is finally leaving its bland food era.

  • The meaning of TV News programs.
    Looked at from the outside, local (Chicago) TV news shows are truly bizarre! Note how well defined a pattern they follow.

    All portions of the news show follow a well-defined industry wide script, even down to the facial expressions, verbal delivery, and shallow banter between the robotic news presenters. Any thinking man would even find it bizarre that all the news shows present pretty much the same stories! Think about this. Amid the countless events taking place each day in the world, it's as if each news program makes an effort to include precisely those stories that all the other news programs will include. If you don't understand what I mean by this, you came to this web site by accident.

    Note how each story is investigated to the same shallow depth. Usually time is wasted by including footage that simply reiterates a given story, as opposed to adding additional detailed information to it. For example, they'll say: "Today, U.S. Troops are entering Bad-land". Then they'll switch to footage of the President saying: "Today, I've sent troops into Bad-land". They could have spent this extra time giving more detail, answering questions that inquiring minds might think up.

    Some stories include a few words from a man-on-the-street. Note that regardless of the nature of the story or interviewee, only the blandest phrases from interviewee(s) are included in the story. For example, suppose the news story is extremely hot weather. The interviewees presented on the news show always say lowest common denominator things like: "It's really HOT out here!". They'd never put an interview tape on the news where the interviewee exclaimed:

  • "Any mammal that gets enough exercise hates temperatures above 62!"
  • "Only the metabolically disabled could like Chicago summers!"
  • "I employ a yogic technique to prevent suffering from heat!"
  • "What heat? I don't care about the heat; I'm not centered in my body!"
  • The news shows even present the weather and sports at exactly the same times!

    The child-centric nature of American society.
    If you don't think much about other cultures, you may not realize how child-centric many aspects of American culture are. This unspoken obsession with the child's imagined needs and character is reflected in many adult movies, in Disney style entertainment, in insulating American children from real life, in intrusive legal prohibitions on almost any form of self-medication, in obsessive concern that children not learn about sex, and in many parents' attempts to keep children from growing up.

    American film directors like Speilberg and Lucas, though they employ sophisticated technical methodologies, use scripts largely geared towards an uncreative 11-year-old automaton. Note how predictably childlike the kids in "Jurassic Park" behave.

    I'm still thinking about how this Americanism came about. Current European movies show a much more organic attitude towards children. Europeans seem to realize that adult characteristics and attitudes, as well as mature self-responsibility, arise in children, and that in certain ways "the child IS a miniature adult". This conflicts with an often-quoted saying from American Child Psychology texts: "The child is not a miniature adult".

    Many Europeans rightly feel a certain disgust with Disney parks, which for all their technical marvels, subtly tend to corral the child into some 1950's TV mold.

    Another area where American culture is grotesque is its fear that children will find out about sex. More parents in the U.S. attempt to censure sexual content than violent content. Luckily, the few really inspired and intelligent children circumvent all attempts at censure, and thereby develop more organically.

    Possibly this child-obsession derives from Americans' money ambitions. They work so hard and long after entering adulthood, that if they reproduce, then VIRTUALLY NO TIME remains for any self-enhancing life pursuits. How many adults in America have serious, self-engendered hobbies, pursuits, or interests? By self-engendered, I mean the opposite of passive, society-engendered interests like watching sports or shopping. Since most Americans have little free time after leaving College, their development might arrest at this late-adolescent stage. They encounter few meaningful models of life after adolescence.

    In the United States, it seems that just about everything associated with children involves absurd stupidities. Though exceptions exist to most social observations, it is pretty obvious that the least responsible and least wise people reproduce the most, that the most narrow-minded religions can boast of having the greatest reproductive rates, that politicians kowtowing to the hysterical parents of America will institute more and more restrictions to our civil liberties, and that American schools will increasingly adopt policies which hinder the development of the brightest students.

    The paradox of consensual crimes in a free society.
    It is truly bizarre that a free society would outlaw prostitution, smuggling (of anything), gambling, drugs, or suicide. The reason for this apparent paradox is, of course, that this is not a free society. The question then becomes, why are Americans brainwashed into believing this facade of freedom?

    Note how word definitions, especially for emotionally charged words, change over time. Free once meant something closer to it's real meaning. The word Liberal originally meant something closer to Libertarianism than to Democratic Party policies. Someday, words like Communist and will have meanings very different than now. Within 20 years, we'll probably see a business named "THE CAFE", and the word will have no stigma (this change is already occurring, by Blacks throwing the word back into the faces of the White Trash who coined it as an insult). Communist China, when the old dictators die off, may eventually become economically freer than the U.S., yet may still call itself Communist.

    So, freedom is largely just an old word now, used by flag wavers with no comprehension of what PHILOSOPHICALLY JUST freedom would mean. It is sad how many people suffer in prisons because they mistakenly imagined that they owned their own bodies, and because American politicians imagine that private, consensual acts between adults may be a sort of thought-crime. Probably in the not too distant future, as the days of the nation-state wane due to the ever increasing individuation (and therefore freedom seeking) of mankind, these consensual (think about this word consensual) crimes will be seen in the same light as the Salem Witchcraft hysteria.

    Why most Americans are fat:
    1. They eat regular meals.
    Eating regular meals violates the common-sense principle that one should eat only if and when hungry.

    2. They eat food simply because it is placed in front of them.

    3. Everyone around them is fat, so it does not seem abnormal.

    4. Instead of eating the food they sense they need here and now, they eat some food or food-combination that someone else prepared.

    5. They don't even walk a lot most days, let alone have a balanced exercise program!

    6. They don't realize that as you age, you must eat less food. Their appetite tried to tell them this, but they weren't paying attention.

    7. They don't realize that because of our evolution, one should experience a certain amount of emptiness (real hunger) every day.

    8. They don't know that you can shrink your stomach by never filling it too much, and that this decreases pseudo-hunger.

    9. They let their esthetic sensibilities degenerate. Remember that in High School, you were grossed out by even small amounts of fat. Why should this change?

    10. MOST IMPORTANTLY, they don't understand that life itself is a constant, perpetual struggle, requiring unremitting vigilance to achieve certain goals.

    It has occurred to me that lots of money could be made writing a book about why it's OK to be fat.

    How America is finally leaving its bland food era.
    I think that the U.S. must have settled into enjoyment of the blandest food on the planet for the earlier part of the 20th century. The worst coffee beans were sent to America. Manufacturers of packaged Italian foods blanded them down for Americans. The American bread was white bread. The adventurous ethnic food for Americans was Chinese (usually almost as bland as American food, but with different ingredients).

    I am happy to report that this is changing. Though herd behavior still governs most Americans, they now drink overburnt coffee beans (you get more of a sort of monotonic flavor by blackening the beans, though South American mediumly roasted have richer flavors). They eat Tai food, which is basically still Chinese food, but spiced up a little. They eat rye and wheat breads more. They eat less watered down ethnic food.

    So, I guess that what is right and natural always tends to manifest in the universe.

    Back to Philosophy Home