Two — Deck Reality
I finished my job the other day and jumped on a bus. It was a typical London double-decker. I said hello to a driver and went on the upper deck straight away. Two men were arguing at the front of the deck. One of them didn’t have a mask, so the other one punched him in his teeth, kicking his incisors out of his mouth. Blood was everywhere. A pregnant woman was just having a baby a few rows behind. Her husband fainted out. On the back seat of the deck, a strong, young, healthy woman was dying of COVID. A man tried to perform CPR on her, but as he took his mask off to do mouth-to-mouth, the guy from the beginning of the story ran all across the bus as faster as he could and kicked his teeth out.
It was too much for me, so I went down on the ground deck. It was all chilled there. There was an old lady with her shopping bags, a man with a dog, and a family dressed in Arsenal shirts, probably going to the stadium.
We live in a two-layer reality. One is a media-created reality, and the other one is not.
“Most of the time, life is in balance. You know, most of the time life is regular. For the purpose of understanding, I am about to sin and say most of the time, life is boring. What I mean is — most of the time, extreme events don’t happen,” I thought as I looked at people who were enjoying their ride home on the ground deck. Some were bored, some were jolly, some were going to the football match, some were nervous because their dog was nervous. All in all, nothing extraordinary.
“That is our reality. It is pretty much balanced, that is to say, it is not in extremes. Extreme events happen, but they are very rare.”
I got bored, so I climbed the upper deck again. There was havoc right in front of my eyes. It was full of extreme events.
“And this is a media-created reality,” I thought as I saw people getting killed, people spitting blood, fighting, and screaming.
Why are these two realities so different? Shouldn’t the media be there to reflect our reality and inform us on how our realities look like?
“As I said, most of the time, life is in balance. However, the media can’t survive in such reality,” I thought as I was looking at people getting beaten up on the upper deck. “The media needs extreme events to survive because the audience is not interested in a balanced life. We are interested in extremes. Therefore, the job of media is not to reflect our reality but to present us the life that happens in extremes. So, whenever extreme events take place, the media is there to cover them. That is how the media reality is created.”
As media covers extreme events, those events become our reality. Why? Fear! Fear is what connects those two realities. Fear is a connection between the ground deck and the upper deck.
I went up again, and I looked at that young, strong, healthy woman gasping for air, dying of COVID.
“Although it is very uncommon for a young, healthy person to die of COVID, it happens. Very rarely, but it happens. And media is there to cover that. Straight away! As the media covers such events, that event becomes our reality. Fear becomes a connection between our reality and reality media creates.”
I went down again where nothing extraordinary was happening. However, fear started kicking in. A lady coughed, and my heart started beating quickly. I thought she would soon lose her breath.
Fear is an emotion, and just like all the other emotions, it is created by our thoughts. When we think of something scary, preferably something we have read in the media, we become that thought, and that thought shapes our reality. We lose the perception of our reality. We lose the picture we see on the ground deck, and the ground deck starts looking more and more like the upper deck.
Why do media need extreme reality? Media is the right hand of the state. It is interconnected with all the sources of power. The state doesn’t exist without the media, and the media doesn’t exist without the state. The state needs the media to create extreme reality because such reality is based on fear. And society based on fear is a society full of business opportunities (to say in a most polite way). There is no profit in a healthy and balanced society. When an extreme event of a healthy woman dying of COVID becomes our reality, then there is so much space to, say, impose lockdown and not let people out of houses until everybody has been vaccinated.
As always, everything is directed towards the holy God of Capitalism, the system that is essentially based on fear. At the same time, division in society is being created, and it is also based on extremes.
Now, tell me, what reality did you prefer to read about? The one on the ground deck where everything was in order, people were chilling, stressing out, and heading to the game, or the one on the upper deck where people were fighting, dying, and screaming? Leave the comment!
There was a guy (I think it was Rupert Murdoch, founder of several media organizations, but I am not sure), who was once asked why he was providing his audience only with sex, crime, drugs, etc. His answer was: “Hey, don’t blame me. I just asked the audience what type of content they wanted. They clearly told me what they want.”
We have come to the essence of everything now. It is us. The media only asked us what kind of content we wanted. We said unanimously: “We want fear!” And fear is what connects those two realities. Firstly, it goes from the upper deck down, and it changes the bottom deck, making it a bit more like the upper one. Once when we get hooked to fear, we go on the upper deck to get some more fear to bring it down on the ground deck. We are already in the cycle. Call it a vicious cycle or not, but it is a cycle. It is our cycle of contribution to keep the system of capitalism running. The system can’t run without us. Our personal fears and unsettles get the system running in the first place.