Do Other People Do your Thinking For you, and you just tag along?

A dumbed down society. Are we really thinking for ourselves any more?

Well. Here I go again. Greetings to my loyal readers. Hopefully more than two nowadays. Or, ‘Gleetings’ - if you are reading this from the far East.

For those of you who do cast aside the Sun crossword and come here for a little light relief, you will no doubt have caught on to the fact that the only time I actually get my written ass into gear is when I feel so passionate about something that I am bursting at the seams to get it out in textual form, rather than suffer the consequences of a constipated mind which, just having read back, in hindsight might be construed as a bout of mental diaorrohea exploding out over the internet. But I’ll take my chances as I really cannot be bothered to hit the back button and start again.

It won’t be the first time something I’ve published has caused the shit to hit the proverbial fan, so why now spoil the habit of a lifetime.

I admit to not being the most intelligent person in the world and do my very best to string a number of paragraphs together which, with any amount of luck will make sense to somebody somewhere, or perhaps even no one anywhere. I am in essence a simple human being who understands simplistic things which broken down make plain and simple common sense. Which, by the way, I’m told I have, and a case for serious defamation of my character is currently going through the proper legal channels and I am therefore unable to comment any further until it has been proven beyond all shadow of a doubt that my ramblings are the result a neurological fusing, and I am not legally responsible for anything I write.

Until then if you do happen to read anything anywhere other than here or my website which suggests that I am in some way intelligent, please regard this as a nasty rumour and slur upon my otherwise good character and move on.

So it’s with total confidence that I am able to share with you my latest insight derived from a bus journey home today combined with a conversation I had with a girl who applied to me for model work this week.

Due to the lack of appropriate brain cells I am not someone who is influenced by commercial advertising, and therefore everything I see in this respect completely washes over me. I never feel any need at all to go off and purchase something through the influence of an advert. Except. Being a simple bloke whose hormones jangle like church bells on a Sunday morning, when my gaze is focused on any billboard or published page where my eyes are on stalks at the sight of a female bursting out of a bra. Yet I still lack the compulsion to run into the nearest available lingerie shop and treat myself to to a 36C with secret airbags. Just in case I make a tit of myself falling ass over tit in the high street while trying out matching heels on my way into Starbucks.

So with cross dressing being way off my radar, or come to think of it, bucket list, I am an exception to the rule and an advertising agents worst nightmare, being impenetrable as I am.

The reality is though, that the vast majority of you are absolutely bombarded with every type of advertisement from the moment you get up in the morning and switch on your television set, to the Metro or other daily newspaper you may read; the billboards and bus advertisements you will see throughout your day; commercials which burst out of your car radio; ads you will see on your phone, tablet, iPad, or computer; and the same again when you return home from work or shopping later in the day until its time for bed.

Given that the human eye is believed to blink at the same rater as an SLR camera shutter speed - 1/125th second, the amount of mental photographs you take throughout the day must run into millions of subliminal messages which in one way or another influence your decision making process subconsciously.

Therefore. If you see enough of the same advert the influence towards buying into it becomes so much stronger: and advertisers are canny in ensuring that you are persuaded sufficiently to develop a need for it. Hence you won’t find any adverts for ice creams when there’s six feet of snow on the ground and an outside chill factor that will cut through you like an Arctic blizzard.

So with that understanding if we then replace the word “advertising” with that of ‘influence’ we begin to understand how on-mass we are carefully herded into following patterns others lead us into without necessarily giving too much thought to the process behind it.

Social media works in exactly the same way because we are largely driven by influence which can be a positive or negative experience that will either fulfill our emotional selves at that time, or serve to create a wholly negative pack animal response, of which trolling is a classic example.

I am by no means against social media. I use it myself to great effect. My concern is to do with the overall effect of influence and how it can and probably is used as a tool against us as a means of control.

This isn’t overtly about conspiracy theories, by the way. I’m not going to get into that contentious debate. But I do feel there’s a strong argument that we are unconsciously being moulded to conform

Our existence is becoming more and more choked by rules, regulations, dictats and laws which tell us what we can and can not do, and how and how not we can run our lives. I saw an advertising van parked in Bristol two weeks ago which promoted the address of a website giving information on where apparently smokers can enjoy a cigarette in these modern times. Yet ironically it was only today when I copied on to my Facebook page part of an article written by a Daily Mirror columnist in which he fully explained that it is now diesel fumes which kill far more people in England than passive smoking.

Yet we don’t see millions of pounds of public money being poured into anti-diesel campaigns by the Department of Health in the same way as the stopping smoking campaigns. At least not while the Chancellor is raking in billions from fuel taxes. Yet it’s the smokers who are expected to conform in public places because the public have been brainwashed. I’m sorry, I mean ‘influenced’.

Referring back to another blog piece of mine I mentioned how people are susceptible to taking as the absolute truth what they read in newspapers and the influence of the media in affecting our decision making process, and how our opinions are formed based on the personal and emotional view of whichever journalist whose words we are reading at that time, and how sensationalist the article may be towards creating something newsworthy which then locks us into a certain belief or way of thinking which strikes an emotional chord, perhaps not considered before.

With the barrage of so much information coming at us from all angles each day and influencing our decision making process my feeling is that as a society we have become dumbed down, to the point where the lazy aspects of our individual personalities can in some ways give in towards others taking over part of the thinking for us, and we accept what we see and what we hear until we see or hear different. By which time the deed has been done and it’s too late to undo whatever damage has been preceded it. Examples of this has been where innocent people have been targeted for something which it later transpires was committed by someone else. Or where Mosques have been targeted through an incident which they have nothing whatsoever to do with.

A dumbed down society creates unnecessary and baseless fears.Which for those with the real power in this world of ours is a positive. Because fear creates instability and conflict which creates wars, and wars are what props up the multi-trillion dollar defense industries which create employment for millions of people involved in it at one level or another. Take defense industry’s out of the world economic equation and the knock-on effects would be devastating for all of human kind.

So here we all are. Bombarded by an endless amount of messages everyday of our lives which instill within us every emotional fear of one form or another. From believing that if we don’t buy into a certain product the consequences of such a loss would negatively impact on our physical or emotional well being and quality of life, to the fear of a terrorist explosive being detonated where we happen to be shopping at that time. Who would have expected the murder of drummer Lee Rigby in such a public and horrific way for example? So nowadays people are far more aware of living in fear, and arguably, sub-consciously driven by it.

Fear falls into two camps. Rational and irrational.

A rational fear would be the consequence of death from jumping off the roof of a skyscraper, because it is a ‘real’ fear. Whereas an irrational fear is based on the uncertainty of a thought or action which in actuality is harmless and where the danger is misjudged or magnified through misperception of the situation or considered outcome.

In my experience of dealing with prospective models in particular the sheer volume of irrational fears I get presented with is evidence of a fear based world. Especially for women.

Fear of how they may or may not look and appear to others is a major irrationality that ownership of has been projected on to women by three other worldwide multi-billion dollar industries - beauty, fashion and their respective media. Which are all co-dependent on one another to continue their propaganda, create sales, profits and preserve jobs, and arguably to a large extent create and instill the irrational fears within the female consumer market which further drives women to not feel confident about themselves in terms of how they look.

This is more often than not further compounded by the fears and insecurities of friends, social media acquaintances and family who themselves sub-consciously project their irrationality, and so it spreads like a virus. The result is that we live in a society where for the most part, people live in fear of being judged and outcast by others because they don’t fit into what are perceived to be the acceptable stereotypical pigeon holes of the pack.

But such are the millions of conflicting messages and other external influences which input to the female mind on a daily basis, it’s hardly any wonder when it comes to the industry I’m involved in the process of female decision making wavers considerably for potential newcomers.

As in the case of the female who came in for a trial session this week, the follow-up feedback to me was one of, “what if my mother sees it?”..

To which my stock reply is inevitably, “Okay. So how many adult sites does your mother visit then?”.

The other one I hear often is the same but replacing the word ‘mother’ with father, brother,grandparent, or friends.

Such are people’s insecurities nowadays that we live in a world of irrational ‘what ifs’. When in fact it should be the more self-empowering ‘so whats!’.

I’m called heartless, selfish, unsympathetic, uncaring, thoughtless, cold, insensitive and other complimentary adjectives due to my outspoken views. Neither am I beyond suggesting to a prospective new model that she ditch the current boyfriend/partner if he presents his own issues and insecurities as a barrier to her coming into this industry. As hard as it may appear the answer to this is one of ‘put up or shut up’. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I have been proven right when several months later that same girl has come back to me telling me that I was right at that time and she should have listened to me.

I find it therefore somewhat ironic that the Marilyn Monroe quote which seems to appear on almost every other female Facebook profile page reads. “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best,” means nothing more than just a copy and paste job which looks impressive but means bugger all, and once again shows how even the most positive and empowering of affirmations can be diminished by the contrasting irrational and projected fears of much closer interpersonal relationships.

People coming into this industry need to understand the basic principles of how it works, and that what it may seem like from the outside looking in is in fact totally the opposite of the way it works in reality.

Any damn fool can have a set of pictures taken and then believe they are a model because some naive amateur or semi-pro photographer tells them so, and the world of the amateur model is flooded with girls who never really work because when it comes to stepping up to the plate and getting on with the reality of the business fail miserably.

You can call yourself a model, performer, producer, director or whatever you like. These are nothing more than labels. The fundamental fact that people just don’t get is that this is a selling business first and foremost, and no matter whether you’re selling a product or service, if you are unable to get your head around the fact that it is actually sales and promotion brings you in money, rather than just standing in front of a camera lens, you might just as well stick at being a vanity model and collect pretty pictures of yourself to look back on in your old age.

You may well have aspirations of becoming a glamour or underwear model in the same way as I have aspirations of playing the Fender Stratocaster with Pink Floyd live at Carnegie Hall. But the reality is that it just ain’t gonna happen. In my case because I don’t know one end of a guitar from the other, and in your case because the market is flooded with wannabe models who all want to do exactly the same, and this being an island there just ain’t the capacity or work for every girl.

So first lesson is forget your ideals or disappoint yourself because this is a market driven business. You’re not in it to do what you want to do. You’re in it to make money and provide solutions to market demands. So putting it bluntly, if the market requires you to do a handstand with your legs open and fire ping pong balls from your ass and you’re being offered a lot of money- get on with it.

Okay. I accept that scenario is highly unlikely to happen. But the point I am trying to make and underline is that regardless of what friends and/or family think you are in business for yourself as a small business owner and it is, or should be, your sole focus to exploit every available safe and legal market opportunity which is being offered in order to dominate it. Because if you don’t then someone else will because they have the hunger and ambition which you have yet to fully understand and implement. Or are just plain lazy to.

People bitch about the dominance of the the Tesco supermarket chain here in the UK. But they’ve grown to the size they are by providing solutions to market needs and quite rightly exploiting every viable retail opportunity they have been able to offer the customer up until recently, when they began to lose out to the growing trend for budget products offered by smaller operators.

The comparison with this industry is that within what we do there is a market for everything and it is ready and waiting to exploit.

If you have cellulite there is a market for you. If you are obesely overweight there is a market for you. If you are a dwarf there is a market out there for you. If you have one leg or no legs at all there is a market out there for you. If you’re a wrinkled and ageing grandmother there will be an audience out there who will love you for it.

Yes. Of course the larger share of the market is geared towards and driven by gorgeous girl next door types. But as well as this there’s the much smaller niche markets which also produce very healthy incomes and profits. But if you find yourself being entirely influenced by the volume of bullshit incoming messages and irrational fears of others it is understandable that you would feel reticent about yourself and fear what others may think of you by staking your place in this industry.

But conversely it’s of equal importance to grasp and understand that in doing so you are reinforcing the existing negative bullshit and embedding yourself further as part of the continuing cycle of the problem and disabling yourself and others, rather than becoming a solution to the problem and empowering yourself and others.

I don’t particularly care about whatever other people think of me. Why should I? If someone else disagrees with what I do or dislikes me for it, should I care, really? No. Because that’s their problem not mine. There is no way in the world that I can take ownership of how someone else ‘chooses’ to feel, or for their lack of acceptance or understanding. It isn’t my place to do that.

The problem is that we are so influenced and sub-consciously controlled by outside influences nowadays that as a society we are driven like sheep and have completely lost touch with the fact that real love and friendship works best when unconditional, and people should be allowed to live as they choose within the framework of legislative law and get on with it.

Basically, and putting it bluntly again, the less you actually give a shit about anything the less stressed your life will be - and the healthier! We live in such a stressed world, and it is any wonder given the amount of conflicting messages which affect out lives in one form or another. No wonder health care costs are so high with stress related illnesses on the up.

It’s a fact that the less we feel in control the more control we want, and generally speaking over the things which we have least control over because decisions are made over our heads by others who either create laws or micro-manage our lives from a distance. European, national and local government being one culprit culprit because they all interlink, and the pressure employers place upon us being the other.

So it’s no wonder that unconditional love has been left behind and for the most part more commonly been replaced by love that is conditional in two ways. Manipulation by fear, and manipulation by guilt. Which apart from sex and money are the other main contributors towards relationship breakdowns.

If you really want to be able to get your head around conflicting messages which cause disharmony and unrest then look no further than current wars in the middle east as a prime example of this. Or take a hard look at how Eastern faith believes that our Western world is poisoned and needs to be cleansed and that Allah is the only answer via extremist terrorism. Where’s the unconditional love between humankind there then?

I’m far from a religious person by any means. But if Christ, Allah or any other major religious icon; who by their very nature are reported as being peace loving, wise and gentle beings were physically in this world right now, I’m sure they would be horrified at just how out of control things really are. But religion is like a bad photocopy. The further you are away from the original the harder it is to read and interpret coherently, and inevitably over time people will invent what can not be clearly read and understood. I find it an irony of the Christian faith that over two thousand years later Christ is till being crucified for his efforts.

Anyway. I didn’t start out to write a dissertation. So I feel inclined to close on this matter now that I’ve emptied my overcrowded head of thoughts.

As I said at the very beginning, I am by no means someone of any great intelligence. I just have to write my thoughts out in what I believe to be a common sense way so that I can get my head around what I am thinking in order to clarify and have a greater understanding of given issues and concerns which affect my life and growth in one way or another, and hopefully for the better. And I really am unable to comment any further on any allegation that I may be an intelligent being until it has been proven beyond all shadow of a doubt that my ramblings really are the result a neurological fusing, and I that I truly am not legally or sanely responsible for anything I write.

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