26 August 2008

Television, The Drug of the Nation


One nation under god has turned into
one nation under the influence of one drug

    (chorus)
    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., it satellite links
our united states of unconsciousness
apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
the methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there's nothing worth watching
T.V. is the reason why less than ten percent
of our nation reads books daily
why most people think Central America means Kansas
socialism means unamerican
and apartheid is a new headache remedy
absorbed in its world it's so hard to find us
it shapes our mind the most
maybe the mother of our nation
should remind us that we're sitting too close to...

    (chorus)
    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V. is the stomping ground
for political candidates
where bears in the woods
are chased by grecian formula'd bald eagles
T.V. is mechanized politic's
remote control over the masses
co-sponsored by enironmentally safe gases
watch for the PBS special
it's the perpetuation of the two-party system
where image takes precedence over wisdom
where sound bite politics are served
to the fastfood culture
where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it
race baiting is the way to get elected
Willie Horton or will he not get elected on...

    (chorus)
    Televison, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., is it the reflector or the director
does it imitate us or do we imitate it
because a child watches 1500 murders
before he's twelve years old
and we wonder how we've created
a Jason generation that learns to laugh
rather than abhor the horror
T.V. is the place where armchair generals
and quarterbacks can experience first hand
the excitement of video warfare
as the themesong is sung in the background
sugar sweet sitcoms that leave us with
a bad actor taste while pop stars metamorphosize
into soda pop stars you saw the video
you heard the soundtrack
well now go buy the soft drink
well, the only cola that I support
is a union C.O.L.A. (cost of living allowance) on...

    (chorus)
    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

Back again, "new and improved"
we return to our irregularly programmed schedule
hidden cleverly between heavy breasted
beer and car commmercials
CNNESPNABCTNT but mostly B.S.
where oxymoronic language like
"virtually spotless" "fresh frozen"
light yet filling" and
"military intelligence" have become standard
T.V. is the place where phrases are redefined
like "recession" to "necessary downturn"
"crude oil" on a beach to "mousse"
"civilian death" to "collateral damages"
and being killed by your own army
is now called "friendly fire"
T.V. is the place where the pursuit of
happiness has become the pursuit of trivia
where toothpaste and cars
have become sex objects
where imagination is sucked out of children
by a cathode ray nipple
T.V. is the only wet nurse
that would create a cripple
on...

    (chorus)
    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

by Disposable Heroes of Hiphorisy - Michael Franti, 1991

12 comments:

Siddharth K said...

Well..I didn't know that TV was the drug of nation.....Thanks a lot....The next time a cop sees me taking a drug then I will send him to AMerica....:)

Oli said...

It sure is. We need to slowly ween the youth(LOL like Im not one of them) off of it. And also, not use it as a childcarer for babies and toddlers, which many people do. Feeding the subconscious...

neferiti said...

Yes, TV is the drug of choice that parents have also pushed on their children instead of encouraging them to read or go outside. It is commonly known as the babysitter.

This was a very powerful blog! I appreciate your awareness. Keeping blogging and I will keep reading. I have added you to my favorites.

My Autism Insights said...

It's a tossup between television and the internet. I often have to wrench my kids away from either one to make them go out to play. Even though I work from home and need them to be occupied if I'm going to get anything done, I've had to make them go play upstairs and get away from the TV because it gets ridiculous sometimes.

Jacqueline said...

Now, why can't kids memorize THIS instead of the garbage played on the radio?

...I know, I know, it will loosen the stranglehold of capitalism and lead to the awakening of a nation.

If you seduce the minds of the young, you'll have less trouble out of them as adults. What a perfect plan. (Zee, hopefully, I can rid myself of this overdose of cynicism.)

Great post! :-)

Kim said...

This is great....just last night I was listening for the millionth time to Frantis' Stay Human cd and thinking that I ought to post about him......well done, this is my first visit here and I'll be back!

Ralph Dumain said...

This is not exactly great art, but it has its moments and the point is obvious but needs to be made. I prefer Frank Zappa's "I Am the Slime from the Video":

"You say I'm pernicious,
but you can't look away,
'cause you know I'm delicious
in the things that I say . . ."

LadyK said...

Hi!
Boy if that isn't the truth! You know though, in the past year I've spent online in a couple different forums, it was amazing how many people there were that would chime in that they don't have a television. It wasn't because they couldn't afford one, it was because they just didn't care to own one and waste precious time watching meaningless programs.

I was impressed! We have a couple here at home, but the things are turned off more than on. (Ha! Guess you could say my TV has a lousy sex life. lol)

Great blog, I really enjoy reading it. :)

Renee said...

I agree with a lot of this. I watched a good deal of the DNC on cnn and I found that anchors were trying to tell people what to think about the various speeches. This is the dumbing down of society. People are not encouraged to think freely. As far as news goes unless you are willing to take the effort to search out different sources of information you will always be ill informed.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Neal Postman wrote a book abou this phenomenon back in the 80s: It's called: "Amusing Ourselves to Death." If you haven't read it, you should check it out.

LEon said...

Everyone is given 24hrs a day. So how would you like to spend your time? Watching too much TV do keep you busy in someways. TV is a one way communication anyway.

Anonymous said...

This post makes me consider the inconsistency of Sarah Palin as a metaphor for the TV nation where you never quite know where you are with anyone or anything...

When you think about her inconsistency you realise that she's nothing but a TV puppet.

She's against abortion but carries a gun, she's for family values but have you heard her say anything about the soft and hard porn industry? Particularly in the southern states. What does Sarah Palin think about the relationship between sex 'work' and family values? What does she say about organised crime? What does she think the communities who are working every day, every year to mitigate the effects of poverty and exclusion are doing?

Are they just 'playing' in her considered estimation? And is what she does more real because it's on TV?

DUH!

Where do her values lead? Hip ocrasy and double standards of the worst kind I've no doubt.