Crack Peddlers of Depression

Hollywood: Crack Peddlers of Depression

Hollywood is one of the biggest culprits of peddling depression to the masses, and it all starts when they hook us as children.

Originally I was going to pin this article on one of the biggest entertainment entities in the world (rhymes with Kidney or an abbreviation of DISlocated moNEY – you get the animated picture) but then I thought better of it, as they could bury me with one milli-second of their annual revenue. Hence the cover of ‘Hollywood’ was selected – although it does hold true for most of the media industry.

We all love a good kids movie, heck many of us use them as makeshift babysitters whilst we get busy doing, well, whatever… But could this be doing more harm than good? I mean, after all, I was raised this way… Millions of hours watching the fluffy ducks and cuddly mouse save the day. And I turned out ok… right? Well no… I tried to take my life at 21 and contemplated it again at age 35. To be fair that cannot be solely pinned on kids movies, but let’s explore how much of an impact this can have on our society.

A vast majority of our beliefs are cemented in childhood. Beliefs formed from experiencing our environment around us – from our parents, family, friends, events and, you guessed it, the big rectangle with moving pictures. As kids we are young and super impressionable -we are learning sponges, taking on board everything that is happening around us. It’s how we form beliefs of what is safe, what is right, what is wrong, and what is dangerous.

In the article ‘Basix 3: Thoughts & Beliefs’ we covered the 4 shitty beliefs that cause us stress, namely: Shit is not going to plan, Missing out on shit, Should have done shit differently, and I am a piece of shit. All of these are underpinned by a WISH that something in our lives was different. Chances are that if you keep wishing something was different, that thought is causing you stress.

Happily ever after

Let’s start with the end in mind… the ending of most kids movies, where the main characters live ‘happily ever after’… What a crock of shit! So you’re telling me that the prince and princess get married and never have an argument about the toilet seat, or cooking, cleaning, who does the dishes, parental beliefs, the prince’s mistresses… Bitch, Please! Nobody truly lives that way, yet we are taught young, through these movies, that we should aspire to the perfect ‘happy’ life until the end of our days.

So what happens as adults when shit goes wrong, as it does from time to time? We think ‘My life isn’t perfect like it is in the movies’ or ‘Shit’s not going to script’ and this thought that shit’s not going to plan causes us stress! We struggle hard to get back on track, WISHing our way back to the ‘Perfect life’, sometimes this isn’t possible and it can really get us down!

Life is a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs – tolerate the lows and look forward to the highs!

Wish upon a star

One of the classic kid’s movies sings a song about ‘If you wish upon a star…’,  insinuating that if you wish hard enough that you can be/do/have anything you want. Which is a nice thought. Recently the movie ‘The Secret’ got everyone all hyped up about visualising our way into anything you want… but the cold hard fact of the matter is that wishing for something doesn’t do shit for you except cause you stress. Yes, I do advocate visualisation as a technique (a very powerful one at that, because how does your brain go about getting you something if you don’t know what it is that you want?), but it is a plan with a decision backed by 100% commitment that will get you DOING the things necessary to materialise that vision. More importantly, the secret behind the secret is providing value to others in both scale and magnitude (Thank you MJ Demarco).

It is not the self-centered wish that gets you what you want (unless you want more stress in your life), it is providing value to others (by doing) that will – something that they do not teach you in mainstream movies.

Prince charming will save me – playing the victim

How many kids movies get the kids shitting themselves that all hope is lost and the bad guy is going to win, when all of a sudden, the hero swoops in to save the day? ALL OF THEM. And what does this teach our kids? It is ok to play the victim because somebody else will save you and fix everything. How often does this work in the real world? Rarely, if ever, and then we get down in the dumps, that shit is getting on top of us, that it’s all getting too hard, and yet we are left WISHing that somebody would save us. And we wonder why so many people take their own lives – they realise that they have no hero to swoop in and save the day (HINT: ASK FOR HELP – there ARE hero’s out there that want to help, they just don’t know you need it, they are hero’s not mind readers!)

The truth is that we are the only ones that can truly save ourselves. We may need to ask for help from others, but they can only open the door and show us the way. We are the ones that need to step through that door, and make change happen.

The solutions come from within; they start with a choice, are possible with a decision and happen with absolute commitment.

The good-guys always win

…said every kids movie ever. What is good and bad or right and wrong? It is all subjective… it is all about point of view.  In every war, I am certain that both sides ‘think’ that they are in the right… that they are the good guys and the enemies are the bad guys. But in war who really wins? The truth is nobody (except arms dealers and financiers) because even the victors have lost – lives, money and time that could have been put to better use. Yet the powers that be, through their rectangular moving picture machines manage to convince us that we are in the right, that we are the good guys and the good guys always win and that there is glory in war. Yet in the wake, all that is left is sadness… But what do you mean? We won… Did we? Even the most heroic have suffered, time away from loved ones, lost mates, PTSD, nightmares, survivor guilt etc.

So what does this have to do with mental well-being? We keep expecting to win, but in reality nobody wins in going to war (literal and metaphorical. The only way we truly win is when both parties win – win/win – but that doesn’t make for a very interesting movie, does it? movies teach us that everything works out in the end, but sometimes it just doesn’t, think your kids are prepared for that?

The thieves of real living

When we die can we take our money with us? No… therefore the only commodity we really have is time. Yet we sit our kids (and ourselves) in front of the rectangular moving pictures. But they are educational, they have morals to teach, blah blah blah… To some extent, it is true that some of these movies have really powerful messages and lessons for us to learn. It is one thing to be shown a lesson, but it is an entirely different thing to truly learn by experiencing a thing. We sit in front of a movie and we watch, we do not interact, we do not make mistakes, we do not get feedback, we do not truly learn how to communicate, problem solve, get along, what to make a stand for etc. We were entertained, not truly educated through experience.

Then we wonder why we don’t have the skills to really cope with life’s challenges.

Think about this scary thought for one second if you will… what if there was no such thing as TV? How would our kids learn the truly important lessons in life? From their experiences within their environments, from interactions, from mistakes and feedbacks, from being and doing. What if every hour spent in front of a tv, could have been an engaging experience that we, or our children, could have used to learn some real life skills and form better bonds along the way?

I could go on about instant gratification, consumerism, violence, and many other problems in society that are normalised by the mind-numbing movies we are fed. But you get the point.

So the moral of this story: Be careful of the content we feed our kids (or even partake in as adults) because there is a whole lot of bullshit in movies that can set us up for a world of hurt.

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you object violently? Let me know in the boxes below

Like this article? Check out the book ‘DeFunkMe: The Basix’ available on Amazon May 8, 2017.

 

 

About The Author

Ian Schell

Ian is a machine designer who has fought a long-standing battle with depression and won. Ian's vision is simple: 'Create a better world through growth, progress and innovation'.

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