To encounter the word “satellite” is immediately to summon up the image of a smaller, weaker entity, irresistibly drawn into an unvarying route about a greater and more powerful one. The best known example, of course, is the Moon.
Current events advise us that there are a great many man-made satellites mandatorily and elliptically orbiting our planet in the performance of many vital services, in communication, exploration, GPS, weather forecasting, defense, disaster reporting and others.
The subject of this writing is in fact, completely unrelated to the subject of natural or man-made satellites, or to the additional use of the term to reference the domination of one country over another. We speak, instead, of stationary satellites who do not exist by reason of natural causes or those which are engineered to perform useful functions for mankind. Our satellites perform absolutely no useful functions for mankind, nor for themselves… These are human satellites, irresistibly drawn into the attraction and pull of television.
Human satellites are especially fortunate in that their function is simple and effortless, viz., to witness the world and its affairs as portrayed through a small rectangular window placed by them in their den or living room. By fortunate circumstance, contrary to orthodox satellites, their position is fixed and no orbiting around a greater entity is at all necessary.
They see only young shapely people who, by advertising criteria, are beautiful, and who possess ultimate physical and sexual prowess. Television, as well as other types of media invests viewers, people of normal appearance and demeanor, with the calculated message that they are missing the boat.
This program of misinformation and propaganda, of course, is focused solely on the physical features of the human body and scrupulously avoids all subjects, directly or indirectly, related to independent thought and intelligence.
The goal of such calculated strategy is enhanced marketing and sale of apparel, beauty products and other merchandise. Millions of people are carpet bombed with a continuous stream of advice on how to be “cool” or fashionable. It is strategically calculated to make the viewer’s predictably unsuccessful attempts to mimic such unrealistic portrayals, by the purchase of more and more recommended merchandise, a continuing source of frustration.
Collaterally unfortunate is the disfigurement of our language. The English language has evolved successfully from pre-Shakespearean days to Virginia Woolf. It is most expressive, useful, and when selectively used, aesthetic. The “now” or the “with it” lingo of the “beautiful people” is far less descriptive or communicative and can be accurately termed “dumbed down” (see blog #25). “Later” does not mean, “I will see you soon,” “I’m on it” does not mean “ I will do it,” “OMG” does not equate with “That’s remarkable” or “how surprising” even to a Deist, “dis” does not signify criticize or disparage.
Political debate on television has proven, of late, to be no more than “potty mouth” jabs at competitors for office, as opposed to civil and informed discussion of the prevailing issues (see blog#21).It must be said that the numbers of human satellites functioning (or, not functioning) in this universe in which such atrocities prevail, is so consequential that aspirations for a wiser and better functioning society is conceivably imperiled.
The most egregious example of the effect of “stationary satellite-ism is found in the passive acceptance of spurious, self-proclaimed “experts”. Their unholy combination of ignorance, paired with an unlimited and unfounded self- confidence is deadly. Yet there are many stationary satellites who are drawn to them with the similar irresistible attraction as a moth to a lightbulb or, possibly, the Moon to the Earth.