Wednesday 4/11/20 – Viewer Discretion Imperative

In the formative years of a child’s life it is an almost universally accepted fact that at some point in time he or she will find themselves being tutored by their parents and hear the timeless and clichéd words being uttered: it is rude to stare at other people. There is a high probability that this instruction may surprise and unsettle the child if not delivered with gentleness, patience, and a high level of creativity to a young mind who may or may not be quietly sitting in a pram or push-chair, casually gazing at a person or persons they may find interesting, whilst being gently rocked side-to-side by the bus upon which they are travelling. Once being told by this parent of the evils of such behaviour, and possibly having to endure an associated reprimand or scolding, the lesson becomes an unforgettable experience for all the wrong reasons. As human beings, we are naturally drawn to observe (and study) other creatures that resemble ourselves, and we acquire this trait from a very young age. The painful lesson suffered by this child rapidly results in various negative and conflicting feelings within the young girl or boy, and sets this poor child in question along a path of unrelenting human observation (bordering on the voyeuristic) which will last the full duration of the child’s life unless successfully treated by various types of behavioural therapy, spiritual guidance and mentorship, medication; or a combination of all three. The world in which we now inhabit is not conducive to the resolution of this deeply embedded psychological problem, and even escalates this; contributing to a world where we are permanently bombarded with the human image, where the idea of success is to publicly occupy the focal point of people’s visual attention, where we want to derive sexual satisfaction from our secretive virtual vantage point, and where we will continuously stare at our target individual(s) to gather as much information about them (to use against them) as possible, hopefully without them suspecting a thing. In my humble opinion, this is an issue (once again) concerning power and control. We want the script of our story with this target individual to end up in our favour – our strongest desire is to have the last laugh. After all, if you are a heterosexual individual walking down a high street; were you to encounter a beautiful stranger of the opposite sex and look into their eyes; if their eyes move away from yours – then you have altered their behaviour – and arguably in the most intimate and powerful manner possible. I’m sure it is true that technology has caused us to become less communal beings. If we do not find ourselves staring at other people on an electronic surface we feel dissatisfied, and as though we are not making productive use of our time. The internet and social media certainly are wonderful things, but we have not been using them in the best and most enjoyable way. Instead of gazing at the undoubtedly beautiful exteriors of other people, we must turn our gaze upon ourselves, and improve the quality of our surroundings by glimpsing the reality of our inner selves – with all of its originality, failings and potential.

Author: G4shmaster

Twitter: @G4shmaster

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