Jul 12, 2023, 06:28AM

Stay Tuned

This is only a test.

Img 0981.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Stand by for an important message from our affiliates on this local news network. This is a test. For the next 60 seconds, we’ll be conducting a test on the emergency broadcast system. This is only a test. In the event of war, a threat of war, or a grave national crisis, you’ll be notified to walk, repeat, walk, do not run, to the nearest emergency fallout shelter in your area. Had this been an actual emergency, you would’ve been advised to immediately follow all instructions. Remain calm. Stay alert. Always be vigilant. Form a single file line. If you see something unusual, please contact the appropriate authorities.

Can an embryo hear sounds? The airwaves are absorbed through the body’s fleshy filter, rippling into barely-formed ears and eyes that hear the noise of broadcast television's ultra-high frequencies emanating from low-budget analog relay stations. Microwaves emit high heat levels, cooking through living flesh from the embedded tissues inside out. A steady dose of radiation causes fried brain cells to die off and become reborn. The cycle of life continues until it’s terminated. Signing off signals. Brief encounters with ghosts from past lives are unrecognizable at the spark of rebirth. Who we were was predetermined by what happened before. Who you are changes with the way things work throughout life, but who you think you will be isn’t what you thought. There are no wrong answers on Jeopardy or Family Feud. The survey says it’s all relative.

This is your life, from game shows to cartoons and sitcom stories. Television is engrained in the psyche. Touching every aspect of life. Televised live or prerecorded in living color. There’s no alternative to this nonsense anymore because it’s always been the main objective for the survival of the species. Neanderthals mating with Homo sapiens created today’s modern human society. The fish grows legs, walks out of the sea, sprouts wings, and flies away. Eating cold pizza of memories and TV dinners along the journey from the kitchen of dreams to the living room of ideas without a bathroom break. From The Flintstones to The Honeymooners. Leave it to Beaver and Mayberry, RFD. Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. Gunsmoke to Bonanza. The condensed history of television's glorious cream to the thin consommé of the nightly soup kitchen bread line newscast.

The not-so-subtle brainwashing of you, me, I and I. Being so lazy that it doesn’t clean up after itself. Cluttered headroom between the ears. Rediscovered hoarders in a houseful of overstimulated imagery. Old commercials stuck on repeat. The Red Rose Tea chimpanzee jazz combo, dressed like 1950s hipsters, jitterbugged out to the tea’s jingle. Spelling it all out alphabetically for consumer brains. R-e-d R-o-s-e borrowed from the popular song of that era, R-a-g M-o-p. Bringing back Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. The primate detective is rubbing elbows with our primordial cousins.

How far have we come? Staring at cave paintings on a flat LED display screen of light? Overindulgence from the lowest quality to the highest resolution. We like it like that. Greasy, sweaty, and hot. The technology has advanced with pixelated dots and intense bright colors to dazzle and distract. Keep the home fires burning and a candle lit for the cold, dead nights long enough to see what’s coming next. To watch what we’re becoming. It’s all there, whether anyone’s looking or not. Every part of the past, including modern existence, is encapsulated in a single microcosmic journey. The computer chip of neurosis with too many commercials.

To be continued next week. A series of episodes lumbering through time. Space-age cave dwellers blink at dormant stars in a cancelled series. There are still plenty of reruns coming out in inner space, though they’re delayed by the warp and wobble of the galaxy. The speed of light crashing through the sound barrier produces sonic booms after burn. Leaving no trace but an imprint in tonight’s schedule guide. There’s no need to prerecord the show. It’ll be a repeat. I watched it again. There’s nothing better for adult entertainment. Old reruns of lost souls on videotape porno.

Divine intervention was cancelled. My homeschool teacher, friend, and constant companion would never deceive me. Amused to death and bored to tears, long after the negative reviews were received and rejected. Presenting an image of ourselves reflected in the vacuum tube of electronic static. An audience of one. Watching, always watching the show. There’s no need for news. Make it up as you go along. A harmless pastime that never ends. The frequency of the cosmos is stuck on a dead channel. The remote control is broken. All eyes are blindly glued to the screen. A naked kilowatt and there’s nothing on but you in all your glory.


Register or Login to leave a comment