Having no job currently, (and even working and stuck in traffic) I tend to think about my identity and why I do the things I do and like the things I like etc...
I realized of late (can I say that ? of late ? meaning recently ?) that alot of what makes me me, is basically cues that I took from TV.
Sure, alot of things I can trace to things my dad said ( "Why does the muslim always hide in the mosque ? why does he not go out and wear a suit and a nice watch and speak logically?") or society (subtle racism of subcontinental indians) or from war fed state propaganda (Iranians are usually the bad guy).
It amazes me however how many times I can trace a certain choice or habit or preconceived notions and values etc ...
One thing I remember vividly is westerns or cowboy movies, where the hero is strong, rough, honest and a chain smoker, as opposed to the deceitful red indians but that's another story.
The cowboy wore jeans.
The cowboy spoke with his gun.
The cowboy's romance is basically women he saves and hookers.
So I always wanted to smoke, that's probably why smoking is so prevalent among arabs.
Also why among arabs until today, a pair of jeans + a denim jacket is stylish.
It's not just American or western movies that skewed my views, I remember during the 70s and 80s egyptian movies were horrendously cheap and commercial. Drinking, promiscuity, low moral values were all the rage back then. I can't count the number of times I saw men with broken hearts go to bars to drown out their sorrows.
This is probably why I like to fill my cup with ice to the brim and fill it with coke, I like the image of the fizzing and the froth etc... I'm surprised I'm not an alcoholic.
If you think about it, TV is basically a machine of unfiltered propaganda of values and truths. Millions of children around the world are left to watch TV unattended because "it keeps them quiet" , which of course it would because it's feeding them a continuous torrent of information.
TV shows, movies, cartoons, adds, sermons at 3am etc... they're all tools that project an image for watchers to follow, it doesn't tell them to, it just does. I'm met Arabs who are pro israeli anti Palesintian, Iraqis who are willing to work for the CIA to spy in Iraq ! Muslims whose highest aspiration is be a movie star or whose most important value is true love.
So yeah. I can't deny it, I've been -to an extent- shaped by TV, I won't have it happen to my kids, once I have kids, I'll be looking over everything they watch.