Survival TV and The American Dream

02-02-2021: Radio was a brilliant concept and its resulting technology of providing remote audio communication, it was invented a bunch of years ago by smart people. Television was the brilliant concept of remote communication that added video to the audio that radio was already doing, also invented by other smart people many decades ago. TV was a value-added form of communication that could not only ‘tell you what other people want you to know’, but now it could also ‘show you’ and tell you what other people want you to know. I describe with the words ‘what other people want you to know’ because radio and tv are most commonly used as a one-way method of communicating, they aren’t interactive in a way that allows the listener/viewer to communicate back to the broadcaster, they utilize technology that limits communication in one direction, so ‘one-way’. There are many methods of communication that utilize one directional media to tell people what other people want you to know, like this website/ideas that you are reading, I use a computer of some sort to write words and ideas that I think are important for some other people to know, but I do not have a ‘real time’ interactive platform where we can have live dialog, right now it’s one-way… there are also carvings, paintings, directional indicators, scrolls, books, newspapers, magazines, posters, signs, cereal boxes and other educational and instructional media that are one-way in their intended design.

When one-directional media is utilized for educational and informative purposes (not purely for entertainment value) it is capable of helping other people learn about things that parents, teachers, and leaders haven’t already taught them yet, providing them the ability to expand people’s knowledge and teach important stuff.

When one-directional media is utilized for purely entertainment purposes (not really educational or informative) it has the potential to provide a brake from normal routine and to offer an experience that is intended to be pleasurable to the listener/viewer.

One-way communication is a potentially destructive and deadly tool for negative manipulation when used by ‘smart’ people with dangerous and compromised egos. When smart people understand how to manipulate people with one-way communication we call it ‘commercial tv’ or commercial radio, or magazines and newspapers or youtube or facebook… anything that includes an advertisement for anything has been ‘commercialized’ and is intended to manipulate/inform the viewer about why they think you should want their product, or what they think other people should be thinking about, you know, like maybe a particular brand of cereal, or car, or politician, or other influencers… you know, people that are trying to influence people to think the same way that they think whether it be right, wrong, or complete nonsense… anyone that has a ‘sponsor’ is paid to influence you to want/need the product or service that their sponsor is accumulating wealth from… that’s what ‘free entertainment’ has become to many entertainers, and what their rich sponsoring manipulators require from those entertainers… basically that free entertainment comes with a cost and the cost to any viewer/consumer of that entertainment is subjecting ourselves to legalized mass manipulation. Take notice that drug companies are the only one’s that tell you the potential bad things that can happen to users of their medication… the cereal people won’t tell you that their products used without a complete balance of other more important foods will overload your body with sugar, and that overloading your body with sugar will cause you to be ‘anxious’ causing an increase in blood pressure and racing thoughts, or that eventually people that continue overloading their bodies with sugar and other carbohydrates will also become obese, hyper or hypoglycemic, you know diabetes and stuff. Some people already understand that but soft-drink and other manufacturers of sugary snacks will manipulate you by telling you how good their drinks are, and how their pawns, I mean paid celebrity endorsers/influencers will like you if you buy their product, and that lot’s of other ‘normal’ people already love their product so you should too because social acceptance and social pressure work as effective methods of manipulation even though their products are unsafe, and unhealthy calories, they are shitty products that distract you from eating the kinds of foods that are important for our health. People that are already more rich than anyone ever needs to be are more concerned about acquiring more wealth at our expense by manipulating our thought process with their clever distracting advertising…. Not all products that are advertised are complete crap, but enough are that I think it’s important to clearly articulate that process to my children. I don’t want my children to grow up with self-inflicted and serious medical conditions because rich people that are more concerned about their own wealth have manipulated my kids into eating and drinking crap, or wasting their money on overly high priced clothing because other rich manipulators and their pawns/models want you to look and feel special when you spend too much money for their hardly adequate clothing.

So far you have nothing about survival tv that I love, well sort of, you heard part of it… you may have read within my statements that I have a negative opinion toward manipulative/commercial tv. My negative view of tv is that most of the commercials regard products that try to make your life easier, more comfortable, or toys and things that for entertainment only… nothing worth a crap if you just need to survive. Survival is basically what a human has to do to stay alive long enough to find help, help to keep them alive, I love that sort of thing. Humans do not require a ton of comfortable entertaining things to live, to survive, even to thrive in nature, we just need food, water, and shelter… anything else that you acquire that is not drink, food, or a shelter to keep you warm and dry is a bunch of crap, it’s distraction, if it doesn’t keep you alive it becomes a distraction to what you need to actually live and survive, distracting things keep you from focusing on what is essential for living, they become unimportant distractions from what is really important in life… living, and other people. Humans require other humans to nurture them, teach them, and interact as partners or a part of a community… we don’t need all of that to survive, but we need it to live a healthy life. Survival shows cut out all of the bullcrap and get right to the heart of what is actually important, living life… man I love that stuff.

I’ve watched several tv shows that cut through the distractions in life and get people to focus on what people really need to do... eat, drink, sleep. I like the shows where there are a couple of buck-naked strangers trying to navigate a foreign and wild terrain, I don’t get into the more social shows where they pit ego vs ego and people partner -up with other people to team up on opposition, that’s not surviving nature, it’s surviving social pressures… booooooring. Most lately I like the one where they take a bunch of survivalists to a remote location, drop them off with a handful of useful tools and wish them good luck… the last person remaining wins a ton of money… I like that one, its about as real as it gets for a long-term survivalist that is still required to video document their experience. Those types of t.v. entertainment are about my favorite now… I think if I had a million dollars I would purchase some land with natural resources, maybe even a river running through it, get myself away from urban distractions and focus on important things, not petty social issues and entertainment… but my shelter on that piece of land would still need power and internet and stuff, I’m not a bear, I still want my plumbing and electric and probably some internet too, I would need some compromise/comfort, I grew up in the city for crying out loud. Yeah, I’m a city boy, learned a ton of life essentials while enlisted in the army, somehow ended up in a rural community, and now want to get back to life essentials, with a few comforts… but my desire is also my youngest daughter’s worse nightmare, she wants nothing to do with living anywhere away from where we are, and around lots of people… I get it. Good news for my youngest daughter we did not win a billion dollars in the most recent huge lottery, we’d be so off the grid already if we did… I’d be skinning a fish or a grizzly bear right now if we won.

The other funny thing about survival shows is that I trained myself a bit to actually be a worth wild contestant on a couple of them, I could totally be an ugly naked old white guy paired up with a buck-naked stranger in some strange and foreign land… we’d crush it. I’ve also slept on an uncomfortable bed for several months now, so I think I’m good to go on the solo survivor thing where you end up sleeping on rocks and ground and maybe some comfy evergreen branches, and then probably win my family a million bucks or whatever they award the winning survivalist… I probably wouldn’t crush that one because they are in very cold locations and I’m on the skinny side, skinny people do not do well in cold environments, cold weather is all wrong for a skinny person… but I’d give it my all. Actually, if I truly believed that my intentions were good I could force myself to do almost anything that’s out of my comfort zone, you do what you have to do. I’m one of those ‘rub dirt on it’ types… that means that even when you get a boo-boo you do what you have to do to psyche yourself up and keep going to finish your goal… I’m totally a survivalist… in my mind. I wouldn’t be the first person to ring the bell and quit, but I might be the guy they have to remove because my amputated arm becomes a liability to the important t.v. show people, but I might also ring the bell if it got wicked cold and my skinny ass really feels it… but in my mind I’d still crush it. Honestly, I’d appreciate being on the solos survival show because I think I have the ability to shut off my spoiled ego and appreciate straight-up nature, I think I’d appreciate complete removal from modern distractions to gain a better perspective on what things in life really matter, maybe it would be like a Thorough at walden woods type of experience where I can shut out most of life’s bullcrap and see what nature provides… like bugs and grass and berries and stuff… I’d totally crush it… in my mind.

No one wants to see my dirty buck-naked ass on tv, but to me the entertainment value is overshadowed by the focus on things that are actually important for humans, the entertainment in some of those shows is a city dweller coming to grips that they can’t live without their smartphone and an internet connection, and nature isn’t all that fun for them anymore… there is huge entertainment in that for me. Another thing that I’ve learned from those shows is that you don’t just need food for survival, you need a blend of various types of foods if you want to survive for the long-haul, the winner cannot just live off a steady diet of rabbit, they will get protein poisoning and constipated, people actually require vegetation to survive too, I guess it helps with constipation or something, I couldn’t just whack a moose and expect to live in the wild for a few months, people’s digestive systems just don’t work that way. I’ve got an impressive ‘survival kit’ too, drop me anywhere in the world and watch me thrive (in my mind), it’s got things that will make gross water safe to drink, other things that will get a fire going in most weather, things to signal my location, things to help neutralize critters for food, and rope… every respectable survival kit requires parachute cord, 550 cord, whatever you want to call it you will probably need that too for survival… yup, some paracord, a big metal cup and a knife … knives are considered ‘weapons’ to most city dwellers, they don’t know that knives are actually helpful tools… so you got to have your survival knife and maybe even a ‘multi-tool’ to survive, you want a good tool or two in your survival kit. But really, any ‘survival kit’ should contain the things that you need to drink safe liquids, something to get a fire started and anything else that you need to shelter in a warm/dry environment, and if you think that you require meat/fish to survive you may require other tools/things to help you catch a fish or dispatch a critter… those are the only things that you need in an actual survival kit, anything more than that might include necessary medicine or bandages or vitamins or things to make your eating, drinking, and sleeping a little easier and nicer, everything else is ‘icing on the cake’ as we like to say in America… and that’s because all humans require for continued life is to eat, drink, and sleep in safe conditions. I can run off in the wild with a survival kit that will keep me going for a week or more in a package the size of a small purse… or I can get dropped off in the wild with a large camping looking backpack with extra clothes and tools to live out in nature for months or a year or more… so what the hell am I doing living in an oversized house that is filled with distractions, why have I allowed myself and my family to surround ourselves with distractions that cost too much money, money that I stressed myself out earning by working in jobs that I didn’t really like doing… why/how/when did I lose focus on life’s essentials and decide that accumulating a house full of non-essential distracting items was more important??? I don’t exactly know when i did that but I’ve more or less described the American dream/curse.

I think the term ‘the american dream’ means different things to different people… some people that already live in America ‘dream’ about having safe food to eat, having clean/safe water or other liquids to drink, and having a safe warm dry place to sleep… some people in America simply dream of having life’s essential items to get by one more day, if they could find enough food to get by one more day. Some people that live in America dream of having the types of clothing required to live in their community, and not just adequate clothing, or shoes but also to have an adequate shelter to sleep in their environment, maybe one that’s a bit cooler if they live in the south, or a shelter that is warmer for us in the north, or one that isn’t outside in the public, or under a bridge, or in the woods, or in a car, but a shelter where they could safely lock their doors when they go to sleep, where they have a stove to safely cook what little food they have, or to boil the unsafe water that they have access to, or a stove to help heat their inadequate shelter where they try to protect themselves or their children… that’s the American dream to some people… it’s a similar dream for some people that want to come to America and the same dream for some people that are already in America… some people’s ‘dreams’ are nothing more than to have life’s essentials and not have to worry about how to get those essential items… it’s some dream, maybe it’s the ‘american dream’. And to some other people the American dream is a more complicated blend of social acceptance, comfortable lifestyles, indulgences of food, water, shelter, clothing, transportation, education, entertainment, hobbies/pass-times, careers… for some busy people that live in america and other busy people that would like to live in america the ‘american dream’ is a confusing life that distracts them from what is actually important in life, and that once they know how to earn the necessary things in life its also important to help other people that don’t have the basic things they need to survive, and helping them to learn what they can do to make sure they can find the important things that they need to live their American dream too, some people forget that the health and safety of others are also an important thing in life. And some other people view ‘the american dream’ as a nation that provides freedom through a complicated legal system in which they can acquire wealth and influence beyond most other people’s comprehension, and helping anyone else is a required ‘chore’ … not every American, or person that wants to live in America falls under the three simple examples written above, there are many americans and other people around the world that have a healthy perspective and balance in their lives and motives that suggest that humanity is still alive and well… theirs might be dreams of establishing peace where there is violence and divide, ending hunger, ending dehydration, ending homelessness, ending human trafficking, ending slavery, ending forced prostitution, ending injustice, ending infanticide, ending religious persecution, ending human suffering perhaps… perhaps those are the dreams of some americans and the American dream to others who wish to live here, and maybe the dreams of other people who understand what is important in life, and aren’t too busy chasing after things which aren’t.

What’s your idea of ‘The American Dream’? -- christopher