3 C's Own Your Brain: Cameras, Computers, And That Other One

At one time, each of these pairs was an opposite: Beautiful & Ugly…Truth & Lie….Real & Imaginary. No longer! Especially that last one. Our cameras and computers have seen to it we can no longer tell if what we’re seeing is really real.

On our screens — and lets face it, virtually everyone everywhere is looking at a screen — cameras and computers can airbrush or distort any real reality into whatever imaginary reality they want. Something almost Orwellian about our world. OK, if that seems like stretching the point, what about Spielbergian…?

While some of us have learned to spot the camera and computer tricks, there is a third C at work on our synapses: Conventions. Not the back-slapping, member audiences in Las Vegas hotels. Rather, those generally accepted standards of society (eg. people wait at stoplights, children attend school, etc).

Nobody writes these social conventions. They just bubble up into our consciousness from generation to generation. The Hollywood and network screens then take it from there. Scene after scene. For instance have you noticed how the driver always seems to find a parking place right where he stops to get out …leaves his lights on…finds the closed doors conveniently unlocked? Or how the police always have helicopters and SWAT teams right at hand? Or how federal agents are always steel-jawed, buttoned-down teams with powerful GPS systems at their command? Or how the FBI and White House are always populated by unnamed planners & plotters whispering in private hallways?

Who wouldn’t become sensitized to the imposing notion of “Big Government!!”

Granted, Americans have been suspicious of big-bad-government since the days of King George III. And the Confederates felt the same way when they seceded from the big-bad-Union. [Rick Perry is still on record suggesting the same for Texas]. Many family and neighbors see big-bad-government whenever their screens flash images of Washington DC, airport pat downs, and CIA headquarters.

At the same time, I also see government whenever I see my mail carrier coming down the block…state highways being upgraded…federal regulations protecting my national parks, drinking water, drugstore prescriptions, and coastlines. I think to myself there really IS a difference between the baby and the dirty bath water….

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