[Channel 6]: family portrait

When I was a teenager, I remember stumbling across my first Marilyn Manson music video. Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes featured the rocker screaming out words I had never dreamed possible of hearing, given my upbringing in a conservative christian home.

Kill your god…
Kill your god…
Kill your god…
Kill your…TV

At the time, I didn’t quite understand his words. I simply thought they were shocking and a far deviation from the upbringing I was used to. Naturally, I gravitated towards the music and became a long-time fan of Manson. Call it teenage rebellion…I just thought “hold the S, because I am an Ain’t..

As an adult now, I realize what Manson was singing about in that song. He was talking about the obsession America had with its television set. Killing the ‘god’ had nothing to do with a cruci-fiction as much as it did taking an axe to your television set and freeing your mind as a result.

There’s a reason they call it ‘programming’ after all…

These days, I think the shock of Mansons music pale in comparison to the modern-day god of the family; the cellphone. No longer are people sitting together in one room to watch a single screen – they’re sitting together in the same room while being checked out from the distraction of a screen smaller than their hand.

This evening, I sat down to eat dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and noticed something that’s grown all too common; a parent and their child, both sitting across the table from each other and both staring down at their screen.

It looked like a scene from the Far Side, where two de-volved people sat with hunched necks craned over a table. Unfortunately, this was reality and it wasn’t that far of a side…

They had finished their meal prior to me sitting down at the table, and nearly twenty minutes passed in this scene before they got up to leave.

What are they missing out on? I thought.

Each other.

I thought it was sad that a grown mother was missing the opportunity to sit and have a conversation with her son, choosing instead to flick and scroll her way through her phone while her teenage sun seemed to be watching live-streaming gamers, based on the sound of chatter, explosions and gunfire – heard clearly across the restaurant.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen people like Manson get crucified in the news for shocking lyrics which are little more than true reflections about the state of our society. As a man who is still creating incredible music and art, I think the true monster in our world is the scene of the ‘family’ I witnessed tonight.

This is what you should fear
You are what you should fear…

For a world that seems more connected than ever, I feel as if the proverbial end is near when it comes to true connection, friendship and relationships. As a culture, we’ve lost connection with each other and have instead grown fond of the ‘algorithm’ that seems to know us better than we know ourselves…(and our purchase intent affinity..).

I walk around outside and I see far more people looking down at their phones than up at the beautiful sky. I see people stopped dead in their tracks to send a message, read a tweet, swipe a date or respond ‘real quick’ to the tiny little screen in front of them.

These days, 14% of car fatalities are caused by cell phones..and I feel that number is only beginning to climb. Kill your ‘god’ before it kills you.

Perhaps Manson was onto something…

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