Friday, January 15, 2016

                  "Kill the Brain and You Kill the Ghoul”—this is either the worst motto for any teacher to live by or the key to killing zombies according to Night of theLiving Dead, the movie that led us to the Walking Dead.
                  So, this post could be about George Romero setting the arbitrary rules that zombies, when re-animated, must eat people.  In a zombie-reality, zombies may not crave human flesh but merely crave rutabagas.  Our world would not be lessened if our rutabaga supply was depleted by the Meandering Dead.   
                  But that is not the topic of this post.
                  Watching TV it does seem that the idea “Kill the Brain and..Kill the Ghoul” is the choice of a new generation.  Our attention span is getting shorter and TV is helping this.  Binge watching 30-Rock is so easy because each episode is only 21:30 long.  If you watch the show in syndication, almost 30 percent of the time is spent in commercials.  If you enjoy TheWalking Dead, as all humans should do, be prepared to spend about 33% of each hour watching commercials.  Why does this matter? Well, everything around is conspiring to make our attention span shorter.
                  God forbid we get emotionally engaged in any TV show.  A commercial break of four minutes will often take our attention away.  God forbid we relax and allow ourselves to be lost in mediated literature.  A commercial break will sweep us to a reality in which we learn that apparently every drug that saves our lives can kill us in twelve other ways.  Or that without hair, we can not find love. 
                  A very smart student recently pointed out to me that our shorter attention span affects us in other ways.  We don’t read the whole article anymore.  We read some of an article, get the gist and use that gist as a basis for our facts.  If we read the whole article, we would get all the details and all the context.   We don’t have time to read the whole article.  Not when we are receiving a Facebook message informing us of that a friend has found an actual use for rutabagas. 
                  According to the first 30 seconds of a news story I saw on Fox News and the first four paragraphs of an article I read in some online newspaper, ISIS is trying to destroy us. (I may have read it somewhere else, like a blog, a facebook post or random ramble or something on my computer)   
                  Seems like ISIS does not need to go to this effort.  We are destroying ourselves just fine.  Uncritical acceptance of all media content as being accurate, equating bloggers with actual journalists, the diminishing population of actual journalists combined with our ever-shorter attention span is destroying our minds, our brains.  And when we destroy our brains, we destroy the ISIS version of ghouls--us.


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