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The Greatest Rebellion: Thinking For Ourselves

By James Donahue

"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." -- Margaret Mead, the late American cultural anthropologist.

It has been said that television has become the greatest tool for the enslavement of the people ever devised. Most American families have become so dependent on their television screens that they devote nearly every minute of their spare time staring at it and allowing the programming pouring out of it fill their brains with minutia.

People have experimented with trying to go for periods of time . . . perhaps a week or even a day . . . without turning on their televisions and something strange has happened. They feel a sense of withdrawal. That’s right – withdrawal. Our televisions are so addictive that it is very hard to live without them.

Some homes have big-screen televisions, complete with wrap-around sound systems installed in their "family rooms," plus smaller television sets operating in their bedrooms and sometimes even in the kitchen.

This is why television programmers are busy filling our minds with the things certain power figures want us to hear. Our "news" outlets feed us controlled, often biased reports of stories designed to titillate our minds, but not necessarily keep us properly informed. The talking heads are everywhere; spewing out ridiculous opinions about world political events. We are being told who to distrust and who we should believe. The constant advertising blitz goads us into buying new cars, investing money in accounts controlled by the big money manipulators, buying pills that we don’t need and perfumes that we are told will make us more appealing. On our weekends the men gather before the big screen to drink beer and watch football, baseball, basketball or whatever sports event that happens to be highlighted that day.

Since the invention of television, and the addition of cable/satellite services that give us a wide variety of programming including a long lineup of movies, concerts and documentaries, a large number of Americans have literally stopped thinking for themselves. Their opinions and knowledge about world affairs are based upon what they have been fed from the television screens. This is why the Citizens United decision by the U. S. Supreme Court has been such a threat to the nation. It has opened the door for big corporations to pour secret volumes of money into the television advertising behind specific political candidates. These ads flood our homes. The information, whether true or not, gets implanted in the minds of voters. The garbage going in is very likely to influence how Americans vote in the November presidential elections.

Our public schools and universities no longer teach our children to appreciate the great works of the writers, thinkers, philosophers, composers and artists of the past. Students today are being groomed to be slaves to corporations. They are taught specific skills in preparation for competition on a dwindling job market so they can only hope for some kind of employment and financial security. The concept of education as perceived by Margaret Mead and great educators of the past has been lost in the new stampede for mere survival in a mixed up, capitalistic and materialistic society.

We are happy to report that not all Americans are caught up in this trap. There is a growing rebellion going on not only in the United States, but in Canada, Mexico, the Latin American countries of South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Far East and Africa. Many of these people are not watching television because they are lucky to have roofs over their heads. They are protesting in the streets. And many have in their hands the new portable electronic communication devices that allow them to quietly "tweet" messages to friends around the world. They want change and they are engaged in open acts of protest to get it.

The revolutionaries are meeting armed resistance. In places like Syria and Libya they have been forced to resort to bloody conflict. In the United States the Occupy Movement people are facing rows of trained armored riot police, arrest, jail and the humiliation of facing charges of "civil disobedience" in a court of law. New laws are being passed making it illegal for the protesters to gather on public streets or camp out in public parks. Even though thousands of protesters gather and march, they are being all but ignored by the media. The power figures are going all that they can to suppress the movement seeking change and a repair of a collapsing political system that once had so much promise.

The last thing the shadow government that really controls the affairs of this planet wants us to do is turn off our television sets, our radios and spend our time reading books, having open conversations with the people in our neighborhoods, attend school board and city council meetings, and start thinking for ourselves. But when you think about it, what better way is there for us all to join in the revolution?

Older citizens locked in nursing facilities and their homes can still find good informative television on Public Broadcasting, the History Channel, and on some of the good documentaries offered on the movie networks. We advise staying away from the network news, CNN and Fox. While there is information about world events found there, if you must go for a while to hear it, turn away from the talking heads that bombard you with worthless opinion. Listen to the facts and then decide for yourself.

Good films and documentaries streamed via the Internet to our televisions are another great option. Be leery of all else. As the X-Files character Fox Mulder always said: "The truth is out there." You just have to work to find it.