The drug of the nation
The station is dedicated to promoting underground musicians in all genres. That year a lot of our DJs were listening to a new song, “Television the drug of the nation” by a group called Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Because I spent many hours in the studios and music rooms of the basement of Freeborn Hall that year I frequently heard the song echoing through the walls as the song broadcast out on 5,000 watts to the neighborhoods of Davis, Woodland, through most areas of California’s capital Sacramento and into the foothills.
Today I saw the video for the first time. Listening to the lyrics and watching the images, I feel the message is as relevant today as it was twenty-two years ago.
The song’s message to me was “wake up and look at what you’re spending your time doing!” I had grown up in a world where somehow I had gotten so enthralled by TV that I paid extra to have my Mtv and once calculated that it wasn’t an infrequent day that I would spend more than 5 hours “resting” or “learning” or “being with friends” in front of the television screen.
Listening to the song in 1991, watching my life going by, that was the year I stopped watching television. Suddenly I had many extra hours to devote to living life rather than sitting still watching others live life. That choice was likely at least in part responsible for me being able to walk towards my highest dreams at the time of understanding horses and creating a better world for them and for my human family as well.
Give yourself the gift of watching the above video at least 10 times over the next week. The song came out before the Internet for most people was anything more than emails and well before YouTube and social media became popular. I think the message can be expanded beyond television today to include whatever time a person spends staring at a screen, being a consumer.
Here is another version of the message. Watch as if it’s the last “show” you’ll ever be more interested in than living your own life. If you still want to spend more time in front of the screen…watch it again!
Let me know if you take the challenge of watching the video at least 10 times over this next week. It may sound like a waste of time but I suspect you will find something interesting.
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