Break the Trance

Advertising is the biggest psychological experiment ever carried out on the human race. Hypes, jolts, infoviruses, infotoxins, fake news and emotional blackmail have worked their way into the very fabric of our lives generating anxiety, mood disorders and mental dislocation on an unprecedented scale. If we hope to stay sane, keep our minds clear and create any kind of a viable future for ourselves, we need to stop seeing ads as a mere irritation . . .

We must take advertising out of everyday life! . . . realize that we’re living a hundred years deep into a monumental system error, one which explains why so much of our culture is mired in dysfunction and paralysis . . . We wake up to this simple fact:

Advertising is brain damage.

The first step out of the labyrinth is so simple that it sounds more like a joke than the beginning of a journey towards mental freedom. But here it is: Look away. Avert your eyes. Treat every advertisement as an infotoxin, a damaging dose of mind pollution, an addictive dopamine brain-rush you don’t want to have.

Two things will happen. First, you will find out how many ads actually penetrate your brain every day. And if you stick with it, you may experience a strange high, as often happens in Zen meditation, yoga or gardening . . . a light-headedness . . . a surge of optimism . . . a mental glow.

Once you’ve had this experience, you’re on your way . . . you’ve looked away from the flickering shadows on the cave wall and seen the light at the end of the tunnel . . . You’ve broken the trance!

After that, you go deeper . . . become a mental gymnast . . . learn how to nip anxieties in the bud, modulate mood swings, shift ambiences, swerve around funks . . . see dark clouds looming on the horizon before they engulf you . . . learn to be fearless at just the right moment.

Once your life is a little clearer, you can turn your attention to the world around you. Demand ad-free schools for your kids, ad-free art galleries, sports and music events . . . join the fight to make your city one of the great ad-free cities of the world.

Finally, the coup de grace, the nail in the coffin of the advertising project — the birth of an Environmental Movement of the Mind . . . a crusade to clean up all the toxic areas of our collective unconscious . . . a movement to clean up mental pollution with the same urgency we used to clean up air, water and food pollution fifty years ago . . . (and of course, we’ll kill off Facebook — the biggest mindfuck of them all!).

Bit by bit, the noise in our heads subsides . . . there will be a calming toneshift across our whole culture . . .
a new structure of feeling will emerge . . . we will be able to concentrate on what really matters.

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