Tomorrow morning I’ll be reporting for jury duty. It’s been awhile since I’ve been called and I actually enjoy participating in the process. Unlike many, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll bring my laptop and do some overdue writing and use the time constructively. It’s been over 10 years since I was called, and on that occasion I was actually chosen to serve.
It was a drug case as I recall. We gave the defendant his due process. The memorable part was watching the exchanges between the district attorney, the defendant’s lawyer and the judge. To suggest it was underwhelming would be an understatement. Probably because I had been spoiled by how courtroom drama is depicted on television and in the movies. I guess most of us are. In person, it all seemed, well, amateurish.
The made up world of the media does that to you. After my early stints in radio, advertising agencies, recording studios and film production, I know just how much liberty with reality is taken. It always seems to shock people when I explain how very little is left to chance in those so-called “reality” shows. Everything on television is made up. With the exception of portions of the nightly news. And even that is often exaggerated, minimized or reconstituted based on the various biases that are involved.
This, and one other issue, is reason enough not to watch the boob tube. It’s all fantasy. And designed for only one purpose: to attract as many eyeballs as possible so they can be sold to advertisers. How do you do that? Common strategies include appealing to greed, prurient interests and our other less attractive qualities.
Television is a drug, administered through the eyes. Proof? Take an inventory of how you’re feeling when you reach for the remote.
Ever watch someone watch television? Their vacant expressions hardly suggest the look of health. Besides dumbing you down, the other reason not to totally disengage from the media? Fear. This is fear season. Elections? Unsettled. Economy? Not sure. Crime? On the rise. And on it goes.
If your practice is on the slow side right now, disconnect from the media machine. Watch your mood lift. Notice that it’s easier to stay present with patients. How do you expect to be a positive influence when you’re as drugged as they are?
Oh, the drug case 10 years ago? Guilty.