Choosing never to own or watch television.


For over 30 years I have worked in almost exclusive solitude, believing, that in order to create meaningful work, you have to disassociate yourself from the meaningless world and the background noise that accompanies it. To forge your connections from within. Something that can be so lacking in the digital burst culture of today.

The television is the most powerful of home ground weapons that I have avoided my entire life. It can traumatise, numb the senses, convert, install fear and coerce a political or nationalistic opinion. And yet the masses willingly invite this ‘communication Howitzer’ into their living rooms under the pretence of family entertainment with complete immunity.

Long ago I stated rather comically that I find TV to be very educational, every time I am near one I leave the room and go pick up a book. But humour aside I am actually quite scared of its ability to literally start wars, and have maintained my lifelong aversion to their physical existence.

I recall around 2002 there were political discussions of Britain going to war with Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein. The British prime minister at the time Mr Tony Blair stated regularly how evil the man was. However popular consensus with the British people was 92% (public opinion polls) against engaging in any sort of action with the US president George W Bush who was all for it.

Over the next year the BBC in particular with their news desk systematically engaged in a falsely informed political campaign to inform viewers daily without fail of his ill doing against the people of Iraq and who intent on stockpiling  WMD’s to ensnare the world in his power grab. Stating that he could arm these weapons in just 45 minutes, a claim later to be proved false.

After a year of battering the British peoples concept of this leader changed. The consensus change was unanimous with little old ladies queuing up to load the bullets for Mr Blair, fuelling hum into an action in 2003.

No WMD’s were ever found in Iraq and whilst of course Saddam Hussein was an oppressive dictator this was was about access to oil and to unseat a state leader with the Uk and American press machine using the television as a home ground weapon to ensure their peoples willingness to get in line and follow the plan.

Without the UK support George W Bush would not have jumped in so readily I fear, but joined together they felt bullish enough to invade without true provocation or threat.

Trillions of dollars, untold lives and more than ten years of war ensued, all of which was publicly approved of by use of the television, the aftermath of which was beamed straight into their homes from the sands of the desert.

For me the television only has two purposes; to sell you something or to politicise a subject. That is why I have never owned or been anything more than the occasional passer by of a television set displsyed in a shop window as I walk on by.


Alexander James Hamilton, Al Jazeera, Defense One, DailyMirror.co.uk, National Army Museum

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