andoarike, we also have to update that oft-parodied phrase, “religion is the opium of the masses.” Hollywood-Washington-Wall Street manufactured entertainment is the new “opium.” Heck, mass-distributed film/TV melodrama is the mescaline of the masses. You view it. You feel good, with a strong emotional sense of accomplishment and achievement–albeit vicariously and unearned-but for the time invested. Why take action, why march, why demonstrate, why vote, why electioneer for authentically populist, third-party candidates?
We can simply turn on the Blu-ray and/or television or enter a cinema and all the real world anxiety and stress gets released as the hero of the imaginary narrative with whom one identifies wipes the streets clean of feared and disturbing strawmen villains, be they from Main Street or Wall Street. A sense of satisfaction floods the viewers’ neurons with the reassuring belief that real world villains have been dealt with. “I have exorcised the demon!” Yeah, right.
The urgency to deal with our real-world oppressors gets put off for…tomorrow, another day… I suspect that’s why the creators of this type of self-deluding, emotional-masturbation entertainment have been known to achieve billionaire status.
That said, our cooperative (and co-opted) evolutionary, narrative-seeking, hierarch-worshipping brain may be our worst enemy.