Oh My Gosh, We’ve All Been Hypnotized!
There is a common plot line in the "unlikely superhero" genre, where mad scientists (guys even more evil than Bill Gates) orchestrate mass hypnotism of humanity through the means of mass media or imperceptible mind-bending broadcast signals. From some secret lair that is super high-tech (besides the plumbing problem and water dripping from the cave ceiling), a trigger phrase is released or a button is pushed and, poof! The whole world goes to hell in a handbasket. (I don’t even know what a handbasket is, but that seems to be the preferred transportation mode for a trip to hell.)
I think what is really happening is much more scary than the movies. The message isn’t going out from some dank and dark secret hideout, but from every well-lit boardroom in government and industry. From the ministry of education to the grade school classroom, from media conglomerates and social media tycoons, it is everywhere.
The message is this: ditch the ethical systems of scripture and Mount Sinai, because Pleasure Island awaits. Like Pinocchio, we need to ditch Geppetto’s admonitions and the difficult life path he laid out. He was such a cruel father, we are all well rid of him. Now we modern men and women will seize life by filling our plates with cupcakes and crumpets and playing games to our heart's content.
Onward all—to reality and beyond!
Hypnotism works by subliminal suggestion and endless repetition. There is no time for restful or critical thought, just let the mind be immersed in message shower until the hypnotist has achieved psychological dominance.
I feel sorry for kids in school. Today there is this need to bring the bedroom into the classroom and at increasingly younger grade levels. “Hey kids, what are you going to do when your parents are out of town and your friend is asking you to do something your parents told you not to do? Want to learn about condoms and how to use them? We’ve got you covered. Speaking of being covered, we require you to learn about these convoluted consent protocols. You need to learn to navigate in the hook-up culture. What about the classic consent protocol of 'till death do us part?' Don’t worry about that, we know a short cut.”
The problem is that we are setting kids up for failure. Most fairy tales end with the phrase, “And they lived happily ever after”. With the hookup culture, we are teaching children that there is no “happily ever after.” All relationships are temporary. Even long term intimate relationships are further permutations of the hookup culture since they are open-ended. Some end up living out their lives with “me, myself and I” as their deepest companions, because neither they nor those they love are willing or able to make a forever commitment.
Pleasure Island gets lonely. More and more pleasure is required to pursue ever more elusive happiness. Hypnotism may dull the senses but things can start to look bleak.
Funnily enough, the escape of the isolated prison of Pleasure Island is via Mount Sinai. It’s not just the tablets that Moses carried down the mountain, but also through the fire on the summit. People could see it from the base of mountain and it could give them reassurance. And the Mastermind on the mountain was plotting true freedom for humanity, not the typical world domination schemes. Plus, if you can tolerate a spoiler, the Mastermind humanity met on Mount Sinai wins in the end.
Take that, super-villains!