Memories of my childhood other than my family and friends were cartoons, games, toys, and more toys! When Christmas would creep ever so closer each year I would literally freak out in my head and not be able to sleep at the prospect of owning whatever fad was in that year. Whether it be Transformers, Monster in my Pocket, or Gameboy. If it were clothes.. well we all know what clothes meant to us back then.
For the first 10 years of my life I'd say I was a pretty privileged kid as far as working class kids go. Honest Christian family who believed in God. I lived in a large house with three bedrooms and a gigantic garden. My Mum and Dad were together during those years which always ensured we had decent income, and most years for Christmas I would get what I asked for. All except for the Nintendo entertainment system. I will always remember that. The reason for not owning the BIG thing at the time is my Dad saw more practicality in owning an Amiga 500 computer. Looking back he was right. But, I would constantly go to my friend Mark's flat to play the abundance of Nintendo games he had, because back then, that was what was cool. I literally remember the first time I gripped my itching fingers around one of those famously square pads and played my first Nintendo game - Super Mario (of course!).
The fight between Nintendo and Sega. It was awesome! Which kid were you? A Nintendo kid, or a Sega kid? I was on team Nintendo, but it didn't matter, as long as you were in the league of either! Little did I know back then the social pressure of such a childish competition.
It has since dawned on me that my friends didn't all own either a Nintendo or Sega. Some of us couldn't. We were too poor, or some parents just didn't allow it. And it was embarrassing for some of us, because it was on TV all the time, and that's what mattered to kids in school. Instead you had scenarios like me with my Amiga, and my friend Greg with his Amstrad for example. I just simply wasn't aware that at that age of (a) the concept of money, and (b) the extreme power of advertising. It didn't matter! I wanted a Nintendo!
Going back to my opening thoughts, my childhood memories consist of so many commercials telling me 'what to do', 'what to own', 'what to say', and more importantly 'what to eat'!
Think back to your childhood. Did your parents cave in like mine did? Off the bat, these are a few of my childhood resources for what I classed as 'food'
- Chip shop chips
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Kinder Surprise
- Push pops
- Ice Cream
- Pop Corn
- Coca Cola
- Pasta with ketchup and cheese
- Milky way
- Milky bar
- Fish fingers
- Potato Waffles
Okay you get the idea. Sweets, processed foods, processed fats, and basically food that shouldn't exist by evolutionary standards. Quite simply it was all shit!
I'm half Portuguese. It's my Dad's side of the family. My Portuguese Nan to this day is still alive, and in fairly good health. I mean she even got knocked over by a car in 2011 and was still fine!!! The reason I'm bringing her up is because when I was a child, crying over wanting to eat the minuscule range of goods my food palette had allowed me, she was the one really strong campaigner who tried to get me to eat real food.
My Nan was huge on fresh fruit, veg, and fish. That's probably why she is still around today. It's her culture and background of really fresh goods. But her efforts were futile. Why? I would say it was my Mum as she was the one making the food, but I'd be totally and completely wrong. My Mum always tried to get me to eat healthier just like my Nan did. She did all she could, but if your child who you care for isn't going to eat what you want them to eat, I suppose the mother instinct kicks in and you feed them what the will eat, just for the fear of them not eating at all.
So what was my deal? Where was I getting this stubborn behavior from? I'm sure you've guessed it by now? It was the exact same place that I'd got my attitude for toys from. Television.
Now this is just the starting point of what I'm going to get in to. The subject matter above will resume in a later chapter in more detail. But what I'm trying to identify is everything about me growing up was controlled through a series of circumstantial events that I had no power over thanks to TV advertising and other forms of media. That goes for my parents too.
The intellectual, and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues about our free will in this very way, and that we don't essentially have any. Our circumstances dictate our next action or actions.
This situation has since highly offended me. I mean why was I bought up Christain without being given an immediate and educated choice? Why was I being told to eat shit like McDonalds processed chicken nuggets (who were advertised as fat little nugget men with friendly faces and not actual dead chickens)? Why were cartoons on Saturday cleverly sat next to commercials of toys that belonged to the very same franchise (eg. Transformers) so I'd bug my parents until they were broke for these little plastic figures?
Well since that time I have become Aethiest, I have cut down my meat eating consumption to an extreme minimum, and I am in the process of letting go of a lot of material items that I simply don't and never needed.
The reason I've done some of this, or am still doing some of this is because of education, learning, questioning, and discovery. All of the opposite to what I had been programmed to be like in the first place thanks to modern society. I'm thinking and finally learning for myself.
"This is God, and this is how he made the Earth 6000 years ago!" ... is it? Because I'm pretty sure Dinosaur fossils alone put a planet sized dent in that little theory!
Now I'm just scratching the surface, but what I'm trying to point out is - the world is broken.
I've come to this conclusion under simple understanding of these areas...
- Religion, and it's lies for control.
- Food, and how convenience has allowed us to kill ourselves with it.
- Greed, so that those in control can stay there.
- Drugs and how some are in no way a threat to us, and much more of a benefit.
- Over Population, the big taboo that you'll NEVER hear in the news.
- Government decision making only based in interest for profit and control. This scary system is going to lead to the downfall of two of the most important things we need to keep true - Education and Healthcare. Which leads me on to my last point...
- Corporations, Banks, and the monetary system.
Once you educate yourself enough, it's hard to look at the mainstream media knowing there are more important things out there that really need to be addressed and discussed.
Read this and call me a hippie if you want, or get annoyed at me for offending your religion. But for those who sit there comfortable in your living rooms watching distractions like Xfactor, remember somewhere in the world atrocities like female genital mutilation still exist in the name of religion.
But why should that bother you right? You need to see who gets voted through the next round!
Sure you can have your comforts. But I say have your comforts and don't be ignorant at the same time. As I said, the world is broken, and my brain plans on outlining some major flaws!