From a purely marketing standpoint, television programmers select titles that are catchy, provocative and attention grabbing. Naturally, like any mega-million dollar industry, corporate media competes for viewers and ratings. And while it’s common knowledge that various networks, and their advertisers, vie for audience dollars – when viewed with a critical eye – one must pose the question – is this free market mass media enterprise really as “free” as it seems?
A few months back, I feel asleep while watching TV and reading (as I often do). I awoke a few hours later and turned to the “guide” channel to peruse what was on. Perhaps it was my sleepy drowsiness that led to my sudden revelation – but as I scrolled through the hundreds of channels available to me – I noticed something striking. Indeed, dare I say – startling.
As anyone who subscribes to cable or satellite TV can attest, the guide channel shows simply program titles – nothing more. Normally, when one casually uses the guide channel, it is to look for a specific program – or – to simply “shop” for something worthwhile to watch. But in my case, I stared at the program titles from a new vantage point. One of a researcher interested in content analyzing and deconstructing the language used in the program titles. I grabbed my legal pad and began writing each channel and program title in turn, until I had accumulated over 300 entries.
Then, I sat back and read each, one by one, and it struck me. There is a definite pattern that not only emerged – but jumped off the page and smacked me in the face! The overwhelming majority of programs had what I would refer to as, “Fear Inducing” language in their titles. Of course, one would expect that with the hundreds of programs airing at any specific time, some would relate to negative experiences that reflect the “darker” side of human nature. But this was not the case. It wasn’t just “some” that fit into this category – but indeed most.
I won’t bore you with the statistics (which I did compile and analyze and which may be better suited to an academic journal piece) – but here’s an example of some of the titles to which I am referring. As you read through the list, I have highlighted nouns, verbs and adjectives that all trigger fear, anxiety, desperation, anger, suffering, danger and survival scenarios.
Doomsday 2012, Suffering Joints, I Survived, Strange Days, Stephen King, The Killing, Abandoned, The Hunt for the I-5 Killer, Wanted – Rescue Me, Cops – Las Vegas Jailhouse, The Mummy Returns, Earthquake Disaster, Halloween Wars, Disaster House, Ghost Adventures, River Monsters, Dark Matters – Twisted but True, World War II in Color.
If you take a moment and simply read the words highlighted in red, you will see that these terms all correlate with profound negativity. When the programs did not include fear inducing language – then the titles targeted hedonism, self-derogation and materialism. For example: Eat and Lose, Afford Jewelry, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Salon Gorgeous, Big Rich Texas, Gays Gone Wild, etc.
Out of all the program titles I analyzed (and mind you this was only one hour, on one night), only a mere handful included language that was either benign or positive (i.e., Friends, Planet Earth, Family Ties).
I’ve had many years of experience studying how the mind processes information – and particularly social information. Without going into technical detail, suffice it to say that the brain is made up of lower and higher-order brain functions. The lower-order brain functions tend to matters that are related to basic “survival” issues (hunger, thirst, sex drive, and the fight or flight mechanism that is triggered by anger or fear in response to perceived and imminent threats). The higher-order brain functions deal with logic, reasoning, creativity, imagination, rationality,intelligence and problem solving.
I have come to the conclusion that television programming is NOT simply comprised of separate interests that are simply competing for ratings – but something much more unscrupulous and, in my opinion, sinister. Out of all the possibilities available – why is it that the vast majority of programs (including advertising) target our lower-order brain functions? Could it be that the “powers that be” don’t want the population engaging in and strengthening higher order degrees of intelligence? The answer is clear and unequivocal. Of course they don’t. If the population actually engaged in critical “thinking” – we wouldn’t be as easily led by the nose into adopting lifestyles, values and decisions that were unsustainable, cancerous, divisive and toxic to the environment. In short – we wouldn’t be a flock of “sheople” – so easily and mindlessly manipulated.
But I strongly suspect that it goes one step further. Because we are now embarking on a New Age of raised consciousness, with energy frequencies that are resonating at higher levels, and many are waking up to the realization that an influx of Love and Light is transforming our minds, bodies and souls – the brokers of power and control are in a quandary. How can the masses be controlled when evolutionary cosmic changes are imminent?
Because the Ascension of the planet and her inhabitants is influenced by the collective consciousness of the masses, one might surmise that saturating the viewing audience with a steady diet of negative, ego-based content just might hinder our advancement into the next stage of destined evolution.
There’s a saying among horse trainers. If you can control the head – you can control the horse. Is it really any different with the population at large? We are powerful beyond measure. And just like the horse who surpasses his would-be “master” in strength, size, agility, speed and intuitive senses – we too can be led to believe that we’ve been “caught” – like a horse in a halter – ready to be led – and ready to follow.
My recommendation? Forget the halter and lead rope. Run free and untamed by those whose only intent is to tether you to the post of negativity, self-absorption and fear. Don’t give your energy to that which is designed to restrict and bind your spirit. Sure, go ahead – watch TV – but in doing so – watch OUT for TV and get with the program.