Thursday, January 5, 2017
Addicted to Drama!
What happens to a culture that's addicted to drama?
Hardly anyone will read this, not all the way through, and even if they do it's on the internet and can be easily discounted. So I have great latitude in being that inmate in the insane asylum who's been secretly ditching his meds for no other reason than they taste bad. Unfortunately, a side effect of skipping the prescribed soma is sudden clarity on how crazy this place truly is. As Tolstoy chuckled on his way to Astapovo train station, "History would be wonderful if it were true."
Well then, what the flying flossum has been going on? It's hard to make sense of it. Everyone is jacked up on some kind of convulsive drama. It permeates the job, the entertainment, the sports, the family, the news, the playground, even Saturday morning cartoons. What reason could there be for all the running and shouting and smearing shit on the walls? It seems everyone needs their fix of stimulation. Even silence has been redefined as nothing more than the negative aural space of steadily increasing suspense before the .50 caliber gunshot blasts open the cranial bones in a slow-mo spectacular chunky spray. How do we know the nice lady is about to be raped and stabbed 40 times? She's too happy enjoying her hot shower. There's an implication there. Anyone THAT happy and undramatic deserves what she gets.
Worse yet, no one seems to know or care where all this drama came from or what's the friggin' point. No one even calls it drama - they act like this is life the way we should expect it. Drama is entertainment. Drama is what makes life interesting. Just try a day without drama and you'll be fucking bored. So don't try NOT to have drama. The powers that be have psychological terms for that sad syndrome. A person without drama is obviously suffering from delusional denial. The undramatic slob has withdrawn into a substitute womb because they can't cope with reality and falsely believe that losing oneself in a less-than-dramatic safe space will solve their issues. The truth is, their real issue can't be dealt with until they CONFRONT the delusion. Maybe a dramatic encounter group might help. Worse yet, they don't fit in. That in itself is the ultimate drama. If nothing else, they should be worrying about that.
I bumped into a fellow inmate running in the hallway some time back. He was rushing towards me from the other direction clutching wires from one cubicle meant for another cubicle. I wasn't sure if I should run in the direction he was running from so I shouted at him, "Why are you running?" He shot a paranoid glance at a monitoring camera swivel-mounted to the ceiling and growled back, "You're the one running! Who sent you after me?" A code-blue alarm blared to end that conversation. Those clowns in the white coats from the executive suites would be stalking the hallways, looking for someone to subdue, so it was best to be on our way. No sense getting into a spiff about #ClownLivesMatter. But I did pause to notice an update to our Mission Statement and Core Values posted on the wall. Something had changed about the enshrined group think but I couldn't quite decode the jargon. It must have been my lack of meds. Actually the graffiti by the toilet appeared more of an accurate Mission Statement. At least the profane scrawl was more succinct. And it would have fit much better within a 140-character viral life-hack of realistic expressions of core values as demonstrated by ongoing behavior in my social radius. It was that kind of day.
It's hilarious. There's even drama about writing this nasty bit of distraction. Everything I post will be preserved in some vast panopticonic server farm at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA. Granted, it's very important to monitor this stuff, just in case some over-budgeted government agency needs to correlate what I'm saying and doing with other inmates in order to keep the self-described clever collective of inmates safe. And safe in this context means non-threatening to the corporate government's mission statement and core values - that crap on the wall with the updated jargon. I'm beginning to suspect the splashy dogma on the wall is nothing but catchphrases chasing the latest meme to reinforce the drama. It's obvious the Corporatocracy needs their Total Information Awareness and Full Spectrum Dominance in real-time. They must know I do this to humor myself - let's set that straight. I don't expect to start a loony bin riot or rally the drooling reality-challenged individuals around me into a hunger or bathroom strike. I have heard the rumor than I am an acceptable level of threat and if I was not I'd know about it pretty damn quick. It's no mistake the asylum is set up to look like a dramatic amusement park. As long as you stay on the rides or stand in line for a repeat spin, you'll never have to see the vast tunnel system and dark, drama-fed machinery underground or be dragged to a cold hard spot to receive a renditioned re-education and deliver your scripted repentance.
The curiosity still hangs out there. What will eventually happen to a culture, a society that's addicted to drama? The dramatic thing to do would be to spin off all day just defining addiction, culture, and drama and then form a group to argue about it. It's not worth my day but a couple points could be helpful.
Addiction is a powerful force. Just look at that experiment they did with rats. Those MKUltra type of folks (the President uses "folks" a lot to appear all warm and fuzzy, like he's one of us, so I thought I'd try it here) -- those folks inserted wires in the brains of rats, right into their excitement centers. Then they gave the rats a button they could push whenever they wanted. The rats quickly realized that a push of the button gave them a jolt of excitement, and the drama of that was pleasurable. So naturally, the rats got carried away pushing their happy button. Soon it was non-stop drama for rat-ville. It was great excitement except the rats started neglecting everything else - even eating. That's how the pleasured drama-rats starved to death. End of story.
Luckily, there's no chance of that happening to us - not when technocratic societies are going so obviously obese to the tune of heart disease and diabetes type 2. No one in the cul-de-sac has forgotten to eat so that proves we're nothing like the rats. Unless those same MKUltra "folks" discovered a way to trigger consumption of empty calories while we're being dramatized by stimulating entertainments. That could be a nice connection to the pleasure center -- see a violent act and get a chocolate reward! Can the social engineers do something that complex? Probably not. Then again, a bowl of chocolate bits while watching some family hour ultra-violence on TV or in the theater or on YouTube does sound strangely appealing. The behavior and its cascading effects do fit in with what some experts claim are signs of addiction:
LINK: Addicted to Violence - Has the American Dream Become a Nightmare
The person takes the substance and cannot stop.
Withdrawal symptoms - cravings, bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, a feeling of being depressed and empty, frustration, anger, bitterness and resentment.
Increased appetite, insomnia are common symptoms. Withdrawal can trigger violence, trembling, seizures, hallucinations, and sweats. (I think Big Pharma has something for that)
The addiction continues despite health problem awareness.
Social and/or recreational sacrifices - some activities are given up because of an addiction.
Maintaining a good supply - the addict ensures a good supply (DirectTV Premium Package).
Taking risks to make sure he/she can obtain his/her substance.
Taking risks while under the influence such as driving fast or road rage.
Dealing with problems - they need their drug to deal with their problems.
Obsession - spend more and more time and energy focusing on ways of getting their substance.
Secrecy and solitude - in many cases the addict may take their substance alone, and even in secret.
Denial - they are not aware (or refuse to acknowledge) that they have a problem.
Excess consumption - the individual consumes it to excess.
Dropping hobbies and activities - as the addiction progresses the individual may stop doing things he/she used to enjoy a lot.
Having stashes - having small stocks of their substance hidden away.
Taking an initial large dose to feel good (binge watching tv or marathon 1st person shooter games online).
Having problems with the law - when everything's dramatic, every interaction has the potential for explosive drama. Domestic abuse the #1 dangerous response call for police.
Loss of Control.
Family History - family history of addiction can increase one's predisposition.
Tolerance - over time, a person adapts to the point they need more and more to have the same reaction.
Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences
Inability to deal with stress
Loss of interest in activities/people that used to be part of their lives
Rationalizing – alibis, excuses, justifications, or other explanations for their behavior
Minimization – admitting superficially to the problem but not admitting to the seriousness
Blaming – placing the blame for the behavior on someone else or some event
Diversion – changing the subject to avoid discussing the topic (hurrying off this post to another blog about a new kind of snuff porn where high-class fashion models dance and stomp kittens to death)
I get the whole thing about addiction. Everyone knows what addiction means. It's when you CAN'T stop. But none of us are addicted to drama or violence or conflict or stress or anxiety. We can't be because we could stop anytime we want. The important point is - we just don't want to. We like that jolt of stimulation. But isn't that the point of addiction? What's the difference of not wanting to stop - EVER - and not being able to stop? Semantics? Some will say liking ice cream is not the same as being addicted to it. Exhibit #1 Proof -- whole weeks go by without me eating a single scoop of ice cream. So that proves it - I'm not addicted. Besides, who needs ice cream when there's Oreo Double Stuff cookies? And don't go off on me, claiming what I'm really addicted to is sugar, not ice cream. You people and your conspiracy theories. Don't you ever stop? Honestly!
Everyone might know about addiction but getting a grip on a good definition of drama is another story. If you claim a culture is addicted to drama, then you damn well better be clear what all this drama is about.
A state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces.
Any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results.
An event or situation, especially an unexpected one, in which there is worry or excitement and usually a lot of action. The excitement and energy that is created by a lot of action and conflict.
A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events. Typically "drama" is used by people who are chronically bored or those who seek attention.
People who engage in "drama" will usually attempt to drag other people into their dramatic state, as a way of gaining attention or making their own lives more exciting.
Common warning signs / risk factors of drama or a dramatic person are:
1. Having one supposedly serious problem after another.
2. Constantly telling other people about one's problems.
3. Extreme emotionality or frequently shifting, intense emotions.
4. Claiming to have experienced negative events that are highly implausible.
5. A boring job or mundane life.
6. Making claims without sufficient evidence or a lack of detail about supposedly serious events.
7. A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.
Geez, that sounds like the 24-hour news cycle. Can it really all be about boredom and a competition to be attention whores? Yeah, and it's a ratty thing to say, but I suspect the pleasure center is kicking in somewhere too. But why would we get so much pleasure from drama, from stress, from shock and awe, from anxiety, from conflict and complications? Hey, if there isn't a gunfight, explosion, or car wreck before the first commercial break, there's 500 other channels to choose from. Of course, changing the channel might spark an argument over who controls the TV but all the better - a little real family drama plays well in getting the blood pumping before settling it to stare unblinking at your favorite show.
But the question still - dramatically - hangs out there. What the hell happens to a culture that's addicted to endless drama? More stressful than that is trying to decide how you'd even define such a culture? With so much talk about diversity and sensitivity of other cultures, very little brain cycles have concentrated on what exactly comprises a culture of drama. If you met an aboriginal native from deep under and he asked you to summarize your culture, how would or could you do it? What possible description is there for pleasure-center, attention-whore automatons who've been hypnotized by media to believe they are individual, clever, and hip because they chase the latest meme and style themselves appropriately? What exactly is their culture? Can anybody even say they even have one? I dunno. What is culture?
Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group.
Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another.
Culture is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities around them.
A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society.
Culture...consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes.
The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.
The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.
The sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.
Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization.
Culture has been defined in a number of ways, but most simply, as the learned and shared behavior of a community of interacting human beings.
Given the state of the asylum, I'm going with - "Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another." It's generic enough to cover all the insanity running riot while hitting the collective programming angle. Boiled down to its simplest expression, culture is just the learned and shared behaviors of a human group. To that end, we should make a list of learned behaviors that the members of a society addicted to drama have in common. I mean someone should. I'm afraid to compile such a list. Where would I begin? The Super Bowl? Beer Pong? Marvel comic violence on the big screen? Riots on Black Friday over the Door-Buster Sale on the Miss Peaches Happy Doll? Not for me. I don't want to go there. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to come up with an adequate description of the culture that pervades the technocratic drama state. I certainly wouldn't want to try to explain it to an aboriginal. Not because he couldn't understand it. More because I wouldn't want to admit it.
As Sun-Tzu once said, "Don't fight, subvert." And, of course, there are four steps to subversion - demoralization, destabilization, manufactured crisis, then normalization under the new regime.
To escape the asylum, I can see a state of affairs where the inmates inadvertently subvert their own prison - solely by acting the insane way they've been programmed to behave. Ultimately, nothing is more demoralizing than living in a constant state of masturbatory drama. The need to seek higher and higher states of drama has to spiral into disillusionment. The chaos that ensues from being rootless souls lost in their own pleasure centers will certainly destabilize things. The resulting crisis will play right into the populace's love of drama. What better drama than a real crisis everyone can get worked up about.
Of course, elements of the crisis will also be manufactured for effect by the Corporatocracy. The Mission Statement demands it. The state has to profit off the crisis somehow, otherwise they might as well just keep everyone spinning on the regular rides. The crisis will be good news for those in the boardroom who would like to see the amusement park asylum run with leaner margins and more control. How the resulting crisis plays out really is the only suspense left. It's the biggest suspense of all -- and promises to be the ultimate and final drama. When the whole thing collapses, the drama of it will be the money shot everyone's been dramatically on the edge of their seats waiting for. Like a convulsive orgasm of dramatic excess, the final crisis for such a society will take everyone by surprise. This isn't a show after all. This is life. Eventually, reality will have to hit the asylum. When it does, the real drama will begin. The drama of a new normalization.