August 05, 2003
The Wonder of It All
Our society's obsession with the portrayal of death, especially violent death, in the media is a product of the compression of time in our modern, data-driven world. We experience our daily lives mostly at a survival level, barely able to keep up with the inflow of information from TV, phones, road signs, advertisements, etc. But we instinctively know that there is more to the mind and life than the daily drudgery of work-sleep-eat.
To feel alive, we must be constantly reminded that we are mortal, that death is inevitable and, in many cases, painful. Only in this way can our inundated consciousness verify to itself its own existence. The hunger to be alive and appreciate the mere fact of existence paradoxically feeds the need to vicariously experience death on TV and in the movies for a society moving much too quickly to reach this level of consciousness by more peaceful and contemplative means, such as meditation or religious experience.
We therefore choose the easy way--the smelling salt of the mind, if you will--to jar ourselves into a temporary state of appreciation for the simple fact that we exist at all. Only those lucky enough to be more attuned to the magic of the daily business of living--artists, poets, priests, that weird lady who owns the flower store--get to the end of their lives knowing that to be alive is not an intermittent experience, but a minute-by-minute, day-by-day focus on the wonder and beauty of it all.Posted by tat at August 5, 2003 02:13 PM