I find it increasingly difficult to go to anything where I am required to Face The Front. The cinema, or a festival, for example. The problem started when I was working as a teaching assistant in a secondary school. Facing The Front, even if it was watching my favourite band, felt like being at school.
Facing the Front is taught in schools. Starting from age 4, we are trained to Face The Front, Pay Attention, and Follow Instructions. The teachers are teaching this because they are following instructions themselves.
Pay Attention. Give your attention elsewhere, not to yourself. Make a payment of your attention. Your energy is being given elsewhere, to someone else’s agenda. You must neglect yourself, and become one of the masses, all behaving the same way. You “attend” school, you “attend” an event, to pay it your attention.
Follow Instructions. Just like a computer. Don’t think for yourself, do as you’re told. Be a robot.
Face the Front, all face the same way. Face the teacher or instructor or the screen or the stage. Watch, listen, copy and be programmed. A variation on the theme is the stadium layout, where everyone faces the centre. Another variation is when millions of people simultaneously face their nearest TV screen.
If you go to school 5 days a week, you might watch TV in the evening, go to the cinema on Saturday, and Church on Sunday. Not much time left inbetween to think for yourself, or work out how to function without external instructions. Maybe you don’t even want to, maybe it’s more comfortable having something at the front telling you what to do.
Rows of seats are really starting to bug me.
Cinema, classroom, TV, screens, theatre, concerts, festivals, talks, church, entertainment, stadiums, sports. All the same. And if you don’t go to Glastonbury or Wimbledon, you can face the front in the comfort of your own home, on the sofa, watching the TV, because everything is televised nowadays, so that more people can simultaneously give their energy away to the same thing.
People watch TV to relax, to switch off. Perfect state for being hypnotised, and having the thing at the front enter and take over your mind. Enter.tain.ment means enter and hold mind.
Where’s all that energy going, the energy that we are giving away to the front? Not to be used for our benefit, I am sure.
Isn’t there something better we could do with our energy? How much time and energy would we have if we weren’t doing all these Facing The Front activities? Life would be very different.
(See also: Ofsted Control, It’s What We Do, Do As You’re Told Days, Kids Art, The Kid That Knows Birthdays, The Royal Olympic Fertility Ritual, Cloud and Screens, Invasion of The Telescreens, Who is TED)
See John Taylor Gatto books for analysis of modern day schooling… http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/