via D Billy over on And I Am Not Lying.
Rat: The movement is developing a different definition of news, a different description of what is important. If we controlled a television station, our news would be substantially different than Walter Cronkite.
Burroughs: If we controlled television, then we control America.
R: What would it mean if we had one station? We could, like the German SDS, make a demand for TV time. And then escalate our demand to a whole channel. What would happen if we got a channel?
B: We got to get them all. As soon as we get them all, we control this whole stupid middle class. We’ve got America.
(Rat Magazine Interviews Burroughs, 1968.)
This is an almost quaint discussion in retrospect, yes? Imagine if states gave a shit about the television. They do not, because they themselves are at the mercy of the same true boss that has come to wield all the power in this particular method of public communication.
It seems, to me at any rate, that the control of television has gone not to a political group, who are too busy eating one another alive like a coil of very stupid snakes, but to a far more sinister agenda: the networks cede over all to the dollar. They don’t care how you think and vote, or even if you think and vote. They prefer you complacent, uninformed, and unquenchably thirsty for high-fructose corn syrup. They don’t want you to support your local politician nor overthrow your government. They only want you to Buy Things. As long as you’re doing that, as long as you are spellbound by product placement and commercial breaks, the in-between drama of any particular channel is of utter unimportance to the true bosses. Keep up the good work: I’ve got my new diet pomegranate 7-up jampacked with important antioxidants right here beside me, so I know I sure am!
Note on the pictures: According to D Billy on the excellent And I Am Not Lying, both these illustrations come from an old Aquaman Big Little Book called “Scourge of the Sea.”
Tags: 1968, a confession, advice, age of aquarius, And I am Not Lying, apaga la tele, apocalypse yesterday, Aquaman, Burroughs, confession, images, It happens, laughing with a mouth full of blood, Liberating Negative Space, materialism, normal, Patron saints, Pictures, pointless foaming at the mouth, politics, quotes, rat, refuse to be normal, revolution, Self-audit, stills, television, television will rot your brain, the news, thought control, vintage, Walter Conkrite, William S. Burroughs, writing