I have never been into television and over the years have engaged in a myriad of battles with the T.V Licensing Police as they have been unable to comprehend that I neither own nor watch the bloody thing.
There have been various reasons for this; partially control issues as I don’t like being what I perceive to be as lost and out of control in someone else’s generally homogenous imaginative constructions, and partially because I simply enough, don’t have time.
O sure I have had my binge watching experiences over the years of ‘The Wire’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ but these have been rare excursions and far and few between.
Then we come to lockdown where I find I am not reading, creating art or doing much aside from my university work and that is an inordinate effort as my concentration span is very limited (probably due in part, to the fact that I insist on trying to keep up with global media developments, something that is bound to fuddle the brain). However I am streaming and binge watching zombie movies and series.
I can joke about this as being relevant in terms of its topical commentary on consumerism, presentation of positive fitness goals and how it makes me feel that lockdown isn’t that bad; but truth to tell I have become more and more uncomfortable with the situation.
I have found myself obsessively watching various scenarios where people have been put in a situation where they either have to kill (and eventually become almost comedic in their consequent creative, sociopathic mass murdering ) or be killed themselves.
I actually don’t like violence or horror so what the hell has happened to me?
On New Years day I went to bed at 6 in the morning after watching one of these series for 12 hours.
I woke up as I have often done lately, foggy and unfocused and drifting through the day until it was time for my next dose of pustular gore and head shots.
I thought back to my flatmate, mid depression, watching television late at night (although he was focused on shows such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘The Voice’, as he perceived them as holding a message of hope, which perhaps reflects badly on my own frame of mind in regard to my present viewing choices) and I also remembered a technique I have used for many years for harnessing my creative and learning abilities, where as my brain slows in the evening I will seed it before I go to bed with relevant thoughts or imagery, and wake up intermittently to write notes on how said seeding develops.
I also used to do this before I had exams as my brain would continue to examine information as I rested and with my filter switched off I would find blockages would dissolve as my brain would become a free floating entity with limitless viewing and no allegiance to barriers or conditionings.
So what I have been doing more recently is going to bed (eventually) with various zombie related scenarios on my mind which I obsessively develop, explore and examine as I drift (so I am not really sleeping); neglecting my own imaginative explorations and feeding one in which my only real interest is akin to feeding an addiction that negates me. True zombie stuff eh?
O I have no doubt some of my thoughts on this are over analysis and conjecture and of course thoughts on television (and related screen control) being a controlling entity are no revelation, however for me this is has been a disturbing, new, experiential paradigm.
So it’s been a few days since my last Zombie immersion and whilst the books I read before bed are perhaps not of the highest calibre, my dream life is my own again, and the worlds I create as I drift into sleep are places where things are being created rather than violently destroyed.