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Wilfrid Sheed

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Whether or not Big Brother is watching us, we certainly have to watch him, which may be even worse.
--
"The Aesthetics of Politics," p. 156

 
Wilfrid Sheed

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Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn't watching. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother's holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed... and this [act of] being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.

 
George Orwell
 

The questioner wants to know why, after these many years of watching, he hasn't found the deep waters. Why should he find them? Do you understand? You think that by watching your own thoughts you are going to get a reward: if you do this, you will get that. You are really not watching at all, because your mind is concerned with gaining a reward. You think that by watching, by being aware, you will be more loving, you will suffer less, be less irritable, get something beyond; so your watching is a process of buying. With this coin you are buying that, which means that your watching is a process of choice; therefore it isn't watching, it isn't attention. To watch is to observe without choice, to see yourself as you are without any movement of desire to change, which is an extremely arduous thing to do; but that doesn't mean that you are going to remain in your present state. You do not know what will happen if you see yourself as you are without wishing to bring about a change in that which you see. Do you understand?

 
Jiddu Krishnamurti
 

And I just want to say one other thing about Mayor Giuliani: As this began, and if you were like me, and in many respects, God, I hope you're not. But in this one small measure, if you're like me, and you're watching and you're confused and depressed and irritated and angry and full of grief, and you don't know how to behave and you're not sure what to do and you don't really... because we've never been through this before... all you had to do at any moment was watch the Mayor. Watch how this guy behaved. Watch how this guy conducted himself. Watch what this guy did. Listen to what this guy said. Rudolph Giuliani is the personification of courage.

 
Rudy Giuliani
 

"I was on an airplane last year when a talk show began playing on the TVs. I decided to start narrating for the people, which is a really great game if you're ever bored enough. I realized a time will probably come when television will watch us if we're watching it, if that hasn't already happened, figuratively or literally. It sounded like some sort of pseudo-Big Brother nightmare, so I wrote it down."

 
Brandon Boyd
 

I grew up as a TV baby, with my TV babysitter, up until I was about 10. Then my mother just ripped the thing out of the wall and put it in a closet, and we didn't watch it. I have that sort of ability to become addicted to it. And I'm just so fascinated by it once I turn it on, I'm not even that aware what's there. I'm just watching it. So I don't ever turn it on. I get my news from the newspaper. I don't want to watch the Hollywood news product on TV... There's no other piece of furniture in my home I'd stare at for three hours at a time, so I try not to do it to the TV.

 
Natalie Merchant
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