the chicken or the egg


I don’t think most people work jobs that are, in and of themselves, fulfilling. On any less than pleasant journey to work, it’s not uncommon to see people enveloped by any piece of technology that can provide some escapism. But even while people are working they’ll sometimes try to enhance what can feel a bit stifling. There’s everything from the usual water cooler talk about pop culture, and then occasionally you might hear the musings about how some trope from escapist TV would fit into the day. “Hey, what if a pack of mutant bikers just came and started circling the place?”

Between the life that one populates with pretend scenarios to make easier, or the TV that we let act as the window to vicarious lives — what comes from what?  


4 responses to “the chicken or the egg

  1. I’m not quite sure which comes first, although television probably does have a large role in the different fantasies we come up with. I think even if someone is doing something that they find fulfilling, they may be prone to “escapism” simply because they’re stuck in a routine. I guess what’s important is to try and look at each day in a new light, or find something to look forward to. Most people can’t be jumping out of airplanes or helping the less fortunate every day, so we have to find simpler things to preoccupy ourselves with. Perhaps the trick to finding happiness is lowering our standards and being happy with the simple things.

    • There’s always been a hollowness to a lot of TV, which often presents such hollowness in a neat, shiny package — or glamorizes human frailty. A lot of people really are molded by the pop culture they get through TV, though of course that’s very rarely the entirety of anyone. I just wonder what says about society in relation to the chicken and the egg scenario.

      I don’t know that I was trying to speak to boredom exactly, more perhaps what the human condition seems to be now. You’re definitely right about the simple things, but it’s not always easy to find the kind of peace in the world that perhaps helps one to appreciate those things — thus people turning to pop culture. Which, yup, brought this ’round to a chicken and egg thing again..

      • On that note, do you think that someone who lived as a recluse, away from television, pop culture… (Perhaps like the Amish or the grandfather in Heidi) lives a happier or more meaningful life? Or is everyone stuck trying to fill an inner void, and different people have different ways of going about it?

  2. I suppose life would be less complicated in some ways, but as far as it being more meaningful? That depends on the kind of world one wants to live in — like maybe whether or not you want it to be a bubble tailored to just you and the people who reflect you in some idealized way. For some that would simply be meaningful enough on the surface. And yeah, maybe that personalized, convenient surface meaning is the one people universally try to hold on to rather than trying to sort both themselves and the world out.

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