Stupidity in the Media

If I believed everything I read in women’s magazines, I’m likely to have a deadly disease, my butt needs boosting (in five minutes or less!), I need to wage war on cellulite and stress (hopefully simultaneously), my nose should be thinner, I should engage in sneaky ways to achieve my dream weight and Botox is my only hope. Is it any wonder that the only women’s magazine I subscribe to is Town & Country? All I need to be worried about within those pleasant pages is the sizzling art scene in Paris, English gardens and Cartier watches.

“New diseases emerge more frequently than people realize” states a boldfaced, Self magazine article. Why are they telling us this, dear readers? Because they want to kindly keep us informed about calories and health threats while offering the latest fudgy Brownie recipe (all on the cover of Shape magazine)? Or are they hoping we’ll obsess, garner self-pity, give in to fear and maybe even self-destruct, so they can write about us in their unhallowed pages?

These magazines are highly presumptuous. My butt does not need boosting. I don’t have cellulite (none that I can see anyway and isn’t that what matters?), I weigh the same as I did in high school, I like my nose, thank you very much, and I don’t need their generic, life-saving advice. Even if it is allegedly from “real women” (as opposed to what? Mannequins? Lab rats? Are they trying to convince us that they actually conducted research?).

The media tends to prey on our emotions and weaknesses. They seek out our Achilles’ heels. It helps their unworthy cause if readers are stupers (short for unswervingly stupid persons). They hope to instill panic; they want us orphaned by common sense and reason.

Are you wondering right about now, intelligent readers, if persons truly exist who believe these articles? I present to you, Exhibit A: one of my stuper relatives, Scarlett. She is an attractive businesswomen in her late fifties, who reads these magazines. She advocates and uses Botox because Vogue said so. In fact, she told my mother that “all normal women use Botox.” Hence, Mom is not normal. Need I say more?

And don’t think for a moment that the broadcast media is any better. They thrive on criticism and hopelessness.

On my way to Los Angeles last week, I searched through Talk Radio stations, hoping to stumble upon some stimulating, and possibly even charming, discussions. Yes, I was stuck in heavy traffic and becoming increasingly delusional by the second. I learned that Senator McCain is a fading war-monger with senility sitting heavily on his shoulders, and Senator Obama is a socialist, possibly even a card-carrying member of the Communist party, who keeps a half-brother in poverty in Kenya. Then I was told that not for a moment should I doubt that the economy is crumbling. Warren Buffett’s encouraging words were meaningless. To hell with Buffett! The stock market will not revive. Don’t you dare carry any hope!

Listen to me, dear readers! We can rise above, conquer and outsmart the media. To do this, ironically, we must go on a diet. But this type of diet is never discussed in mediocre magazines. I speak of a mental diet. Or perhaps more precisely, a mental adjustment.

We have unlimited potential. Our potential is often like a treasure chest hidden atop a high mountain, covered by shrubbery, dirt, bird dung, dead branches and an assortment of undiscriminating insects. We need to clear away the rubbish that keeps our treasures concealed. This rubbish consists of our own negative thoughts and detrimental, jaundiced external feeds, such as that found in the media and the stupers among us. We must hone our ability to focus on that which falls under our control. (No, I am not standing atop a podium). Our minds fall within our own grasp. We control what goes in.

We need to flood our minds with positive and constructive thoughts. So much so that all dark shadows within the mind take flight. It’s too easy to droop in the face of pessimism or unfavorable news. Our mental faculties will grow only if we deposit good-will. I’ve said it before: Focus on your good, so your good will grow.

Surround yourself with loving, kind and thoughtful folk as well as reading material. Exile the stupers. They won’t notice, but you will.

Thoughts are everything.


8 Responses to “Stupidity in the Media”

  1. dawn says:

    That’s why I loved the Dove commercials… love the skin you’re in! I try not to read too many magazines 🙂

  2. Ferd says:

    Right on, sister!!!
    I learned this very lesson during the dark days of my life, searching for survival techniques. Today I do what you write about. I don’t tolerate negative people for long. I listen to uplifting music. I read stuff that enriches me somehow. It’s hard to listen to the (bad) news because it is all about fear. It’s most of what the TV news and the newspapers have to sell. It’s not at all balanced with the positives. I don’t want to infect my mind with that attitude. I’ve worked too hard on it. I’m pretty picky anymore with what gets access to the inside of my head!
    Loving your writing, Keli!

  3. Suzie says:

    You are absolutely right. I’d rather watch cartoons on television than listen to the news. I gave up on magazines.
    I only like country living magazine. I also love to read blogs, like yours. Thank you.

  4. Elaine says:

    I’m with Dawn on the Dove commercials! We need more companies doing likewise advertising! My daughter recently had her youngest patient ever admitted to her service requiring in-patient hospitalization for an eating disorder. She was 10 years old!! I blame the media for this explosion we see in eating disorders. Think back to when we were kids, did you know anyone who was anorexic or bulimic?

    Great post as always Keli, I know I’ve said it here before but I’ll say it again, you would make an awesome motivational speaker!

  5. Agnes Mildew says:

    Hmmm. Trashy magazines. They are only fit for two things: kindling or when you run out of toilet paper. The middle shelf line-up in our newsagents has such magnetic headlines as, “Posh Denies Dieting”; “Katie the Coke-Head”; “My Days of Hell When I Hallucinated on a Pint of Lead-Based Paint” or words to that effect…

    The only magazine I occasionally treat myself to is BBC Good Food Guide (please ignore the irony, Keli!) so I can bake and gourmet cook to my little heart’s desire…and then the girls refuse to eat it. Damn!

  6. Leanne says:

    You lost me at the line ‘I weigh the same as I did in high school.’ Sigh. You seemed so nice too. It’s so sad that I’m now gonna have to hate you. 🙂

  7. Jenny says:

    What a fantastic post, my friend. I was watching the “news” a few mornings ago and a “pundit” uttered these words (as proof that one candidate should be chosen over another): “The world is collapsing!”

    Aside from being patently false, that is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in, like, two whole days.

    The economy is NOT crumbling. The world is NOT collapsing. The continuation of life as we know it does NOT depend on which presidential candidate we elect. God is God and He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    The media are there for one thing: to get us to keep watching/listening with their sensationalistic Chicken Little teases so we’ll keep watching and they won’t lose their advertisers. It’s bogus, y’all.

    Thanks for yet another great helping of wisdom laced with a healthy dose of pragmatism, Keli.

  8. Keli says:

    Always confirming what I already know: you’re one smart cookie!
    Another one of my brilliant readers! I couldn’t have said it better myself! Sometimes, we have to go to the dark side before we really appreciate the light. Good for you, Ferd!
    Thank you, my dear reader!
    I’m shocked! A ten year old? And you’re right, come to think of it. I didn’t know anyone with an eating disorder ’til I was in college. An odious offshoot of the media.
    Thank you very much again, Elaine!
    Two excellent uses for trashy magazines (besides the usual bird or varmint cage liner; I use them for my chickens).
    Teens are so stubborn. Your girls don’t know what they’re missing. Hang in there, my dear! One day they may surprise you!
    Don’t hate me because I was trying to prove my point about presumptuous and idiotic women’s magazines. Think of my good qualities and all the time I spend ridding the world of idiots, one stuper at a time.
    Very valid and profound, my friend. I do believe there is a higher power always at work, but though we are given, as you rightly say, “the spirit of power, love..” not all of us utilize the “sound mind” part. Hence, I have my work (or my blog in this case) cut out for me! Thanks again, Jenny!

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