A newspaperman happened to be walking beside me on the street. His face was familiar. Before he knew what had happened, he was the subject of a personal interview. He revealed that he was in the military, in Europe, between Allied engagements in Bosnia and Kosovo. Lucky for him, he didn’t see any conflict action but he did have an opportunity to travel Europe extensively. We discussed the change in perspective that occurs when one is out of the US for an extended period. Inhabitants of these United States are anxiety driven neurotics, unlike their foreign counterparts.
He suggested that we are all the targets of an unremitting campaign to foster uncertainty. For instance, the repeated showing of 9/11 footage initiates horror in the collective subconscious (not to be confused with the collective unconscious, whereby we do nothing to oust the ruling class). It is a useful conditioned response for an oligarchy desirous of keeping the minions supplicating.
We agreed that technology is a brilliant marketing tool. Advertising for prescription medication is relentlessly aimed at an aging population, fearful of death, willing to spend any amount of money to avoid the final phase of life. Younger people spend scads of money, they don’t have, on quasi improvements they can’t afford. Here in Hinterland Hamlet, there are several young women who have had breast augmentation, a costly procedure that requires maintenance every decade or so.
Many of us are insured, regulated, and taxed into submission with the thought that compliance will help us avoid a dreadful existence. Independent, critical thought has been surrendered in favor of shiny, new gadgets that influence our choices. My new friend and I concur, we have become Pavlov’s dogs.