all know that television
ads are expensive.
Businesses pay exorbitant amounts of money
because they know that the influence of a 30 second commercial generates
Television ads are purposely designed by
professionals to influence the way we think, the values we believe
in, the money we spend, and for what. If they weren't effective
with what amounts to low impact mind-washing, businesses would spend
their money elsewhere.
National politicians know this well. They
spend much of their time raising millions of dollars for television
ads for reelection (so they can raise millions more for their next
campaign). They do this because they know the power of television
and the dynamics of aggressive marketing.
Their simple, primary objective is to win
electionsnot to tell the truth per se, or educate the populace
about issues so we can all work together. Using proven marketing
strategy, they formulate a certain image, a well-crafted byline,
and a train of thought that stops exactly where they want it.
Likewise, they want their opponents to
look bad. They have no trouble twisting the truth,
incorporating lies and innuendoes, fabricating motives while hiding
their own misdeeds.
They use tried and proven marketing techniques
to do all this, even though the majority of their audience is sophisticated
enough to see right through it. That's because they aim their propaganda
at those who will respond, and care little about the rest of us.
With so few candidates running for each office, and each using the
same advertising methods, they have nothing to lose and everything
Unfortunately, this tactic works to win
It also works to disinterest the general
public in politics; to make people distrustful of our system; to
bring poor quality of candidates into office; to make voters who
are easily swayed by two-dimensional reasoning to carry the day;
and to play into the unreasonable hands of close-minded extremists.
In a democracy where freedom and integrity
are precious, this dynamic rules our governmentand for some
reason we accept it. Our thought processes have been so shaped by
television marketing, that we can't imagine a better way to do things.
It's in our blood. Look how television news has steadily transformed
itself into entertainment. This was a corporate decision based on
what appeals to the marketplaceto us!
We are not well-served by all these dynamicswe
the people, for whom this government exists. Everywhere
we look, advertising bombards us with value-influencing images and
slogans specifically meant to shape our thoughts. Political formulas,
many of them as outdated as they are outlandish, are not meant to
nourish a populace starving for truth, but to lead us around by
the nose. Leaders pander to their like-minded base, and leave the
majority of us out in the cold.
Personally, I am disappointed by the slates
of candidates running for office this election season. Even the
ones I liked, who seem really good, I no longer trust. I can no
longer separate the person from the performance, the words from
the subtext of two-dimensional slogans, the vision shaped not by
what is best for the world we live in, but by marketers who appeal
to our lowest instincts.
Even our news professionals and pundits
openly rate the candidates by their appearance, acting ability,
shrewdness and sound bites, rather than their integrity, leadership
abilities and grasp of the issues. They seem to prefer actors running
for office. In this celebrity-crazed culture we live in, they understand
that sort of ego and motivation better than anything else. So do
we. We've been weaned on them since birth. For many of us, television
has replaced scripture as the primary source of moral dictates.
That means advertisers, illusion-makers, and profit-obsessed CEOs
are dictating our values in ways we scarcely notice because they
are so ingrained.
It reminds me of H.G. Wells' story
The Time Machine. When the horn blasts, people automatically
head for the temple/shelters to become fodder for what hides below
the surface. We are trained by what amounts to classical conditioning
to respond like Pavlov's dogs.
I call this to your attention because chivalry
demands the kind of truth and authenticity that liberates those
who are open to it. It calls us to think for ourselves. We can only
do that by freeing ourselves of the mind-controlling influences
that shape reality as they would have us see it.
I invite you all to purposely and forcibly
step out of this closed box of canned thinking, into the wider circle
of confronting the world directly, with clear vision and a clean
It takes more than saying yes,
or nodding in agreement. It takes awakening everything inside you
that chivalry has to offer: truth, justice, the warrior spirit,
personal development, a discerning mind, and committed resolve.
No one is going to show us the way. No
one is going to appreciate us deviating from the herd and speaking
out. They have too much invested in the "group think"
they are part of.
The world we live in needs new insight.
It's up to us to serve as catalysts for thought. Not as purveyors
of our own fixed ideas of truth, but as well-meaning friends pointing
out the tripwires, appealing to heavily burdens souls to free themselves,
and share their enlightened perspectives with the rest of us.
As we progress on our personal quests,
we discover that they lead to a higher purpose: that of saving the
world we live in, serving the best interests of the people, learning
and living the full meaning of "love thy neighbor." To
do this, we first need to see the illusions around us for what they
are. We have to free ourselves as much as we can, so that our thinking
is no longer dependent on them. We have to challenge them for the
metaphorical dragons that they are, hoarding wealth, shackling women,
decimating the earth while demanding the sacrifices of our young.
Who thought a web site on chivalry would
discuss things like this?
If we did not discuss our present day situation
and the threats that confront us daily, it would not be chivalry