Truly, television has raped our culture.
They call us the “TV generation,” and for good reason. TV raised us—it brought us up to accept it as a way of life. And where’s it lead us?
Lately, it seems like half the young people I know are taking medication for ADHD. It’s everyone’s fault they developed ADHD, because we decided as a culture to move in a direction that requires people to think faster; and then we mistakenly tried to make those whom we trained to think fast slow their brains down to handle something like schoolwork.
If you don’t understand why TV created this problem, then here’s an experiment you can run. Stare at your TV for twenty minutes and count how many times the image changes, how many times the camera cuts during a commercial, and how often the subject matter changes. Now, stare at a wall and see how often the image changes. Can you understand why a child wouldn’t be able to handle glaring at a chalkboard for hours on end when he’s used to staring at a TV?
It’s up to us as a culture to decide what’s right and wrong. We made ourselves ADHD, and only we can decide if that’s a good or bad thing. With the advent of the internet on our hands, society will only become faster and more complicated. Cell phones have become widespread, so now people can communicate ideas all the time without wait. There’s no coming back from ADHD—what should be modified is culture so that no aspect of it requires us to pay attention for too long.
But personality problems aren’t the only thing TV burdened us with. We’re infected with the convenience of being told everything we think we need to know. The “news,” as it has a nerve to call itself, is, in the great words of Perry Farrell, “just another show.” Reporters and newscasters have the power to select what they want to talk about, and can put their own spins on the story, using their wording to gear things in the direction they want.
There’s more than one truth. Each of us perceives the truth differently. By watching the news and accepting what we see, we accept one person’s truth as our own, not taking into account that such a truth may not be our truth, nor that we could harm ourselves with such a truth.
Nonetheless, humans are fickle creatures. Hypocrisy is an instinctual function that allows our beliefs not to interfere with our survival. No matter if we think that murder is wrong, we invariably do things in our lives that ultimately weaken and eventually kill other humans. Likewise, we can take pleasure in things that we feel strongly against if it happens to be convenient for us at the time, because ultimately, our comfort takes precedent over our beliefs.
Accordingly, at 6 P.M. on a Thursday, the day after my meeting with Purple Steve, the two of us sat on the couch watching the Channel Ten news, myself snacking on pork rinds and Mountain Dew. It’s not as if we’d sat down to watch the news—they’d been playing re-runs of Seinfeld from five to six—but the remote was over there, and I was really comfortable.
<<“Our top story tonight comes from Route 95 outside Las Vegas, where a man’s car suddenly exploded this afternoon after a supposed alien sighting.”>>
“The hell? Aliens?” It sounded like the usual kind of loony story you might get from people hauling ass down Route 95. I wondered if he’d been in “bat country.” Then I remembered a reliable source on space hijinks sitting right beside me.
“Hey Steve, what do you think about this? Do you think it could’ve been aliens?”
“Hold on, pay attention—they’re saying there’s a tape.”
“A tape?” I returned to the TV. A cliché-looking hillbilly appeared.
<<“Ah dun’ seen it mahself! Thar wers a big-ol’ alien! ‘e wers red n’ wers flyin’ about with ‘m’ big-ol’ wings a’his. Ah couldn’ berlieve it, so ah grabbed uhp mah camera n’ started filmin’ it!”>> As he said “camera,” he presented an astonishingly nice-looking camcorder that entirely opposed his appearance.
<<“We will now play the footage that Mr. Farmerstein provided.”>>
What followed was a video poorly shot through a truck’s windshield, capturing a strange-looking flying object in the distant sky.
<<“Whut, ‘n, tha’, hell?“>> Farmerstein narrated as he zoomed in on the object. What came into focus was so unrealistic, yet so grounded in reality itself, that it would warrant uproarious laughter if it showed up in a movie, but was strangely surreal as supposed reality.
The best way to describe the object would be as a big red demon in as classic a sense as you can imagine one. If you’ve ever read the Hellboy comics, then imagine Hellboy with giant wings and you have our “alien.”
As the clip continued, it looked as though the alien realized it was being filmed and turned to the camera. Then something totally irrational happened: red laser beams shot out of its eyes, and an explosion could be heard before the camera cut off.
I stared at the screen, dumfounded, and then turned off the TV.
“Steve… do you know what that was?”
“As a matter of fact, I have an idea. I didn’t imagine that I’d encounter it in such a way, but being as I’m here at this time, the possibility may exist.”
“Please, cut the foreshadowy lead-in bullshit and tell me what the hell I just saw.”
“Right. I’m not certain, but I believe that the supposed ‘alien creature’ from that clip was a Furrow Dub. You could call it an alien or demon or whatever you like—”
“Demon. Definitely demon.”
“…Sure. Anyway, Furrow Dubs are creatures that travel between dimensions with the purpose of destroying and conquering worlds. What dimension and world they originate from remains unknown, but they have spread their influence across many.”
“So what, they’ve come to conquer the Earth? If they’re here already, then why haven’t they started?”
“When it comes to the Furrow Dub culture, conquest is treated as a sport. Their society revolves around a class system wherein class is determined by the accomplishments one has made in taking over worlds. However, because of their power, they could easily take over any world if that was their real goal. Rather, what they do is more like a competition to see who can pull off the most unique and intricate take-over. They judge on things like how much one was able to accomplish without the dominant race of that planet realizing their existence, or how much they can goad that race into helping to bring about its own demise. It’s likely that the Furrow Dubs have existed here for centuries without anyone noticing.”
I sat and stroked my chin for a moment, considering everything Steve had said.
“What’s more, the appearance of Furrow Dubs creates an anomaly in space-time within a dimension. It’s likely that the anomaly I was sent here to investigate is related to what we’ve just seen.”
I rose to my feet with a start, suddenly full of resolve.
“I guess that pretty much decides it, then.”
“Erm… decides what?”
I smiled. “You and I have to go on an adventure.”