United States of Anxiety | the Commercial Messiah

Yet another mass shooting in the United States of Anxiety. Why did he do it? Where does the anger come from? or feelings of powerlessness?…Well, after watching the newscast which switched to a commercial break (which I usually mute and ignore), I looked at the commercials as a stranger in a strange land. Advertisements about happy, carefree, beautiful people who are laughing and having fun together … about to purchase more things to embellish their perfectly happy lives. Thou Shalt Buy I thought to myself; these messages are enough to drive a person who is already borderline weak and emotionally unstable, to feel even less worthy and more resistant & envious; magnifying what they lack, and increasing their loneliness and neediness…

I’m looking at this (shooting trend) not from a behavioral standpoint of an individual who’s been diminished and criticized with words by their parents -emotional abuse, physical abuse, or neglected completely – or as someone who perhaps all his/her life was deprived of comforts and security. I’m not looking at it from a psychological or chemical imbalance standpoint or the lack of nurturing families.

I’m just looking at it from the container of the cultural message packaged and sent out – of which TV is the most powerful medium – the lure of the commercials within the belly of this heavily lopsided consumerism bent world. The message; to buy more, purchase this or that and you’ll be happy. The message is laden with competition, to strive to be as cool as your peers.
Buy More
Television and film/video is such a powerful medium: images fused with music to hit the emotional chords. The messages could be: the world is a wonderful place and we are in this together… kind and loving people here to help you and guide you… this world is awesome with all of its creatures and look at how happy and joyful you can be through the simplest activities. Well, yes, these messages are out there, and yes, one can turn off the television and electronic devices. Yet instead, the predominant messages coming from the TV is, if you don’t have this, or own that, you are ‘left out’ and socially bankrupt. If you don’t get in with the action and buy this or have this, you won’t get the attention you want and you won’t be able to pretend to fabricate this gleaming and glittering reality. If you are unattractive or weak or not in the ‘in crowd’, these commercial messages will be even more venomously received with anger and hatred.

That was my response looking at the commercials after listening to Obama’s words to the nation after yet another massacre. For the most part, the perpetrators of mass school killings are not doing it out of racism or inequality – they are typically caucasian males who randomly shoot without much care of the target. The killings seem to be rage from people who feel outcast within their own groups/schools/communities who see reality and their prospects as bleak.

Add the easy accessibility of guns to the equation and it gives the people with the anger, emotional rage, chemical imbalance or a history of being victims of torment and abuse the ability to easily carry out their impulsive or well-thought-out plans of (suicide / homicide ) with ease.

Buy what thou hast no need of

Buy what thou hast no need of

So I’m saying that this stems from the dis ease of the messages of rampant consumerism infiltrating our culture. It’s the slickness of the mirage that advertisers create for the companies who wish to sell their merchandise, at any cost. Okay, i’ve said enough, or not enough. Buy NowWestern culture is so bent on profit and short-term, short-sighted goals – at the risk of genuine human happiness and the welfare of all the different creatures that share our planet – that both the haves and the have-nots, have anxiety; the former, because of the threat of it being taken away, the latter, because of the material things dangling before them, which they can’t have.

 

Just a theory about a culture that keeps getting further and further away from the real, simple joys in life, enjoyment through sharing company with oneself, with others and with the natural world around them.

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Certainly this epidemic can not be reduced to blaming it on capitalistic commercialism. What’s the remedy? Go out into nature, without any electronic gadgets or stuff, and get lost.

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March '14

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March ’14

Nick Vujicic’s Empowerment message vs. Income Realities of Expat & DE’s Harz IV | Chomsky ‘Profit over People’

This is the second time I’ve encountered a video featuring this man’s message, an Australian motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who has no arms or legs, yet manages to make the most of every moment of his life. Nick_Vujicic_inspirational_speaker “We become so preoccupied with what we don’t have, that often we forget what we DO have.”

Kids responding to Nick's positive message

Kids responding to Nick’s positive message

Well, after seeing his message, being engulfed in my own sense of worth and well-being, concerned with how I’m going to make my next dollar, seems petty. Yet, after trying to screen (after putting out online ads) who is sincerely responding with legitimate offers for work and who is trying to scam me, it is rather daunting. The majority have been scams, from asking ‘how old I am’ – after listing my skills and offers for numerous types of honest work – to sending a pdf form asking for my bank account and yes, a signature to send back to them as well.

Per Nick’s video message, what is important in life is not how much money one has, or power, or beauty…but one’s attitude. Yet, I, as everyone else, am inextricably part of a matrix of what we’ve all decided is a currency, exchanging the work that we do. Living in a foreign country, in a WORLD in which ‘nationalism’ prevails, doesn’t make things easier. All the German bureaucracy ( no doubt all Western European countries & US ) put up roadblocks to offering one employment. Yet in the three months that I’ve been here, I’ve encountered a LARGE number of young, healthy capable people from 20’s through 50’s in age, who are willingly committed to the German Hartz IV program. They obtain money from the government while unemployed, ‘arbeitslosgeld/unemployement compensation’ and go through the motions (as if) they are looking for work – just enough – to keep this flow of money coming; just enough to pay rent and buy food. It turns out to be more attractive to some people (a substantial number of people), than to actually push ahead in the work force to develop their crafts. I’ve been informed that this is not at all representative of the rest of Germany, but predominantly happening in Berlin. Reflecting Berlin’s unique history as an island of capitalism existing within the clench of a Soviet dominated fist.

Besides the fact that many inhabitants of the developed world have comparatively a great deal of wealth, at the same time, many of these people have a lot of ‘issues’. Issues which lead to unhappy, unfulfilled lives, resulting in various addictions and distractions. We live in a finance, commercially driven time with a lot of brain-washing, regarding what to strive for. A world which holds up false/photoshopped images and ideals of beauty and promises from material acquisition and power. Messages which are based on false ideals, to stay on top of the game, that actually lead to pitting people against one another. Nick’s point, is to forget about feeling ‘not good enough’. There will always be people who are drop dead gorgeous, or with incredibly brilliant minds, others with fabulous wit, extreme dedication…to compare ourselves to. Yet, each of us has something to offer through our love and genuine joy of doing what we love. Our responsibility is to follow our hearts and find what it is that we love to do, and therefore do well, to offer to others.

To me, seeing all of the kids listening and receiving this man’s message, is wonderful. It reminds me that we do all genuinely feel better when we are kind and compassionate and loving, and can care for what another human being feels. And we all do feel better exchanging positive energy and prompting smiles in others. This has absolutely nothing to do with how one looks or how much money one has in their bank account. Because yes, it is each and every one of us that have the gift of life, and we forget just how precious this is. Nevertheless, I still have to make 150 euros in 2 days, because I am challenging myself to do it. I am also down to no milk, no vegetables or fruits, used up the potatoes, the oatmeal is gone, still ample onions and garlic left. Great that I drink a lot of water primarily anyway, rather than buying anything else. ‘-)) I don’t know if I just love a challenge. Or, if by genuinely following my heart and speaking what I feel, is so against the grain of the consensus of modern society, that not to accept these ideals, appears to be naive and foolish. I say consensus in the context of Noam Chomsky’s messages about ‘Neoliberalism and the Global Order’ excerpted from his book “Profit Over People”. “The “principal architects” of the neoliberal “Washington consensus” are the masters of the private economy, mainly huge corporations that control much of the international economy and have the means to dominate policy formation as well as the structuring of thought and opinion.Chomsky has been a highly influential academic figure throughout his career, and was cited within the field of Arts and Humanities more often than any other living scholar between 1980 and 1992. His work has influenced fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, logic, mathematics, music theory and analysis, political science, programming language theory and psychology.

This stage will pass, but it is now a bit scary

Halloween Geist

Ghost Figure for Hallowee

 

 

 

– good thing that Halloween is coming.

 

Scary halloween pumpkins

Carved Halloween pumpkins