I think we, many, I have become addicted to watching. I think the tendency must be innate to the human psyche. I think it all started simple enough, our cave man ancestors saw another cave man ancestor being chased by a sabertooth tiger and couldn’t take their eyes of the ensuing mayhem. Back then though there was no form of media to share the event – hieroglyphics just didn’t cut it as a tweet. A few thousand years later some smart people figured this out – you know, what is old is new again. No sabertooth tigers any more, maybe it started more gently in our civilized world. Perhaps someone was driving one day and was stuck in crazy traffic only to eventually find out that there was a minor fender bender ahead and everyone was “rubber necking” as it was called. Then the idea came – people love to watch a wreck. Fast forward a few years and we find ourselves inundated with news that focuses on the tragedy, failure or crisis of the day, or at least that’s how they portray it to us.
Endless hours of reality tv showing us the likes of hoarders, spoiled brides, people running naked on a island, teen moms and the Kardashians. And just like the rubberneckers of yesterday, we pause and turn our gaze to the wreck. Somehow it’s satisfying, like some sort of drug. We see more and more, we crave more and more, and we’ve become hooked – fast forward again, and some, many, I have become addicts. Ok stop reading here – I just suggested you might be an addict, ridiculous right! Offensive! Ok I understand, but I promise if you keep reading there is a really good wreck at the end. Anyway I digress, like addicts the high wears off over time so they (who ever you allow them to be) need to ramp up the severity or perceived severity of the wrecks. We don’t have news, we now have War Rooms, it’s not weather anymore, it’s Severe Storm Centers – snow, rain, wind, hell puppies KILL today, and it goes on and on and on. We have been so immersed in this addiction we can’t even recognize it and like any other addict we are in unbelievable denial.
If we couple our addiction with the behavior the digital era has introduced us to – oh baby have you got an amazingly toxic mix. An ever growing addiction to wrecks and an attention span of 30 seconds or less. Now we must get the elevated dosage of our fix and get it FAST. We need bigger wrecks, more insanely amped storms, Snowmageddon (literally a headline for a news channel last year) and yes we need those puppies, but now they’re zombie puppies. We need to be told there is crisis everywhere, we need to be shown everyday happenings through the lens of the extreme and this must be injected into our system quickly because we need our high and if we don’t get it right this second we might look somewhere else. We don’t care about right and wrong, truth or fiction, just get me my fix man – hook me up! Stay with me, the wreck is just ahead.
So now we find ourselves trained into seeing everything in the extreme and now we get it 140 characters or less. Yet even the most ardent of addicts eventually burn out. When they do they often lose touch with what little grip they have on reality, they become numb, numb to the things happening around them, and worse they just don’t care anymore, especially about other people. They just want to be left alone so they can exist in their own little world. Does any of this sound familiar? It’s just around the bend now.
I think this is the state we, many, I find myself in right now. We are becoming burned out watchers. We don’t recognize right from wrong as clearly as we used to and even when we do, we don’t stand up like we used to. We don’t really care about others like we used to either, we just want to have what we have and be left alone, not bothered. We have become so desensitized with made up crises we don’t get outraged when we are actually in one. We have accepted the lies we were told about everything, buy now don’t wait, supplies are running out, that “amazing new trick others don’t want you to know about”, or the next storm of the century that is coming, and yes those damn cute, evil zombie puppies. We have lost our perspective on so many things, truth, and right and wrong are mauled, blooded casualties. A little gore there huh? That’s just a sample of what’s next man.
Oh. Wow look at that. I guess we are here, the scene of the accident! Where is the wreck you ask? You don’t see it do you? Truthfully I didn’t either for a long time, until for some reason, all of sudden it appeared right before my clearing eyes. How you ask? Well, I have watched my children almost every day for years, but I never saw it. Then just like a that I took a look into my childrens’ eyes and I saw the tragedy. The wreck is the legacy I, we, many, are leaving them. The lessons we have taught or allowed them to learn while silently standing by, the damage we have caused my not acting, and the fog that surrounds them because the reality they live in is so blurred. Now that’s a wreck my friend, an arma-gory-Kardash-zombian wreck! Wait. What was that? Look over there did you see that?! Are those demon puppies with guns!? More to come…..