Strange how a disparate thoughts suddenly meld into something new.
I was mulling over what was on TV. Not now, or then, but generally. It all seems to be houses and food. And also mulling on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which has popped up around the Bloge now and again.
He identifies a pyramid of needs, which need satisfying in order:
Body (Physiological) Needs.
Air, warmth, food, sleep.
Security (Safety) Needs
Living in safety, away from threats.
Social (Love and Belonging) Needs
Ego (Self esteem) Needs
Self Actualization (Fulfillment) Needs
Purpose, personal growth, realization of potentials.
What suddenly struck me is that so much TV – about homes and food – are targeting our Body and Security needs in the hierarchy. Which is extraordinary really. For the vast majority of us have these needs more than met. Wouldn’t those in the world who are hungry or without shelter find it strange that we spend so much time fantasizing about dream homes and refined recipes? Why not programming aimed at helping us to fulfill our potentials?
Franti – and many others – have talked about TV being the ‘drug of the nation’, a ‘cathode ray nipple’. That’s a metaphor I love. St Paul knew we couldn’t survive on milk forever if we were to ‘self actualize’. But with a TV milk-diet of homes and food, we are never going to. Cynics might say that’s the way ‘the system’ wants it. I’m less convinced by conspiracy theories than by that of mass-market media, pumping to the lowest common denominator. And the infantile, the easily digested, toothless pap that plays on our root psychological needs is certainly aiming that low.