Thursday, October 11, 2018

Life is NOT like the Movies


There was a behaviorial experiment that involved mice.  An ordinary group of mice that were getting along very well together,  were bombarded with constant irritating stimuli.  Select frequencies of sound, unpleasant to rodents, played loudly in the lab. The bottom of the cage where the mice lived was electrified and the mice would receive a non lethal shock at various times.  There was no change in their feeding schedules, they were well nourished in a common cage.
The constant irritation and unpleasant stimulation took a toll on the mice over time. They became aggressive and fought with each other but not over territory nor food which was plentiful and accessible.  With constant agitation and no let-up  the mice were driven to kill each other.  Think about that for a moment. 

Because most of our culture and mor├ęs come from the mythology of our stories, we are accustomed to having problems solved in a reasonable time. Not real problems... story problems.  A half hour comedy is about the average time we will stay focused to resolve a story.   We want to see Heroes redeemed and villains punished quickly.  It’s a happy feeling when the universe balances itself even though the universe is imaginary. That’s what a happy ending IS.

But life is not like the movies. Or is it.  Unfortunately today that line is being blurred as our modern day life is being covered like it was a movie.  Technology is everywhere. Everyone has a camera with sound and video filming life happening and it is being broadcast to millions instantly. Most of our day is spent being recorded either privately or publicly    Today Sheakspear would probably write, “The world is a MOVIE and all are mere players.”   

So we have a reality show star as a President.  It would appear that his sole purpose is to create drama with himself at the center.  There are villains and heroes in his drama but there is no end.  The 24/7 wall to wall political coverage is unrelenting. It is constant irritation with no hope of slowing down or stopping.  Like the mice in the experiment, this constant state of stress causes chemical and psychological changes in our physiology as well.

The mice had no way to control the stimulation that made them aggressive.  We humans do have the control and we are intelligent enough to understand that the stimulation is adversely affecting us in the same way as the helpless experimental mice.  Science has informed us that we must cut down on the consumption of irritating stimuli. However, the same group that denies humans play a part in climate change will also deny the viability of any science they disagree with including this one. 

Here is what I propose.  A DAY WITHOUT POLITICS...especially any story, punchline or outrage that involves the ringmaster of incompetence, Donald J. Trump.  Admittedly a single day will not do much.  A week, a month or, please God, a year would be enough to show a definite correlation between Trumps manic desire for attention, and violence.  Let’s shun and ignore Trump.  As a classic narcissist Trump, does not care about being President, he only craves the attention he gets as President.  Not giving him any publicity much less the attention he lives for will upset him “biggly”, and while we are accomplishing that good deed we will absolutely be healthier for it.  

It is a pipe dream that the US press would or could ever ignore Trump and members of his Reich for a day much less any longer.  But I can ignore him for as long as I want to.  The television also has an off switch, and I can set my iPhone to ignore “notifications”.  I can forego Facebook for at least a day, and recover a portion of my sanity. 

I choose November 22, as the “DAY WITH OUT TRUMP”.  That happens to be the anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy.  Nothing symbolic about the day, it is just a date that I will never forget.  I can think of no day in my lifetime that changed politics more than that single day in history, so it is relevant. 

I am not starting a #daywithoutTrump and have no real desire to go viral with this idea. Trump has become, to those who hate him and love him, an addictive habit as hard to quit as any drug.  There is no way the country will go cold turkey to quit him.  As for me, I’m going to give it a try.  I might lose some of my manufactured hate and be able to think of good things for a change. 
As you were, 
Jay