4-5am is a hard time to stay up. Coffee works very well on me with occasional Coke or Chocolate to keep awake, plus I take a nap from 6-9pm before the shift, but there's still a wallop ~ 5am, almost like the ocean tide rolling in (Could it be the sun? An electromagnetic wave? A global pulse?). Humans haven't really figured out WHY we need sleep, and no doubt some scientist somewhere is trying to figure out the cure for sleep, so for now I'll just theorize that we need time to run daily 'systems checks' on our hardware and software.
Maybe at 4-5am the body's supernetwork says "hey, dude, we the cells in your body need to power down & start fixing stuff!! So we're going to start making everyday things more challenging -- like reading, or walking -- and we're going to double the effect of gravity on your bones -- but we'll resume normal function as soon as you drop unconscious for 6-10 hours." Right.
So, a bit about TV content: start rant
Infomercials -- some are crap &rip off's, some are interesting inventions, & there's really no way to tell which is which from the infomercial itself. However, apparently people need the following issues taken care of NOW:
- Body -- destroy fat, rip those abs, get a super butt, hide fat under girdles to 'loose weight instantly', work out at home on strange machines or doing bizarre excercise maneuvers,
- Women -- remove unwanted hair, make ugly wrinkles vanish, cover up female bald-spots, zap horrible acne,
- Men -- preserve wanted hair, get a good shave, a good shower, a robotic massage, pain relief with electrodes or pills, make your thang bigger/better,
- Meals -- make fast & cheap incredible food at home with various blenders,
- Brain -- enhance or subdue certain qualities with various pills,
- Wealth -- receive abundance by asking the universe (but with a special $90 method on DVD's to do it),
- How to Live -- ask God (via Pastors & Reverends) what they should be doing -- & then pay for the info,
Now that I'm forced to watch so many, I see infomercials as both more critical of society than the Simpsons or South Park, and also a continuation of the long cherished art of the scam, the con-artist, the huckster selling snake oil to the ignorant public. Plus all the various payment ruses add insult to injury, like "free trial", or "return after 30 days", "only pay $29.99 today ... and then we'll bill you monthly", or "normally it's $500 but it's your lucky day -- you are in the right place and tonight, just for you, it's $29.99 -- if you call now".
My favorite infomercials are the ones that present themselves like a regular TV show with an audience and a host, and then they attempt to 'delve' into the product as though they are reporters digging out the hidden facts: "Really? Can it REALLY do this?" or "But that's impossible, how can this really work?" or "That's simply incredible! Amazing! Fantastic! And anyone can do this?" WOW!
Even if any of these things are REAL INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS, if you order anything from the informercial phone numbers, it's probably asking to be targetted by all the most predatory businesses from that day onwards.
Religious zealotry - Now that I've watched 10+ episodes of religious-obsessive programming, I think it's interesting -- sort of. (Kind of like a medical student looking at a specimen or something?) From my POV, it seems like these people are too obsessed with what happened to a guy 2000 yrs ago, and not interested enough in what's happening now, like that we could feed the world, that war is outdated & unnecessary, that we have an internet and a chance for global harmony, etc.
These shows are kind of interesting b/c this specific priest/Pastor says some stuff in Hebrew, and seems to think that now he's really got the core ideas b/c he can read them in Hebrew. I wonder if he's considered that Jesus (Jehoshua) was a Jew, and that all the ideas Jesus was offering were framed with Judaism, so maybe it'd be a good move to discover Judaism? Naaaaaaah
Sidebar: I did learn (not from this show, but previous inquiries -- most listed in Wikipedia on Paul) that Apostle Paul was the only one that hadn't met Jesus, who was not a Jew but a Roman. As a Roman, "Paul confesses to having “violently persecuted” the “church of God” prior to his conversion." Apostle Paul departed from tradition after he converted by arguing that Jesus' teachings could be disseminated to non-Jews who didn't have to observe any Jewish rituals or practices, but only had to believe in Jesus. Paul of Tarsus -- this guy really messed stuff up! It's like he got rid of the meat of the religion & replaced it with a fast-food substitute.
I've been surprised that I do occasionally like some of the wisdom these guys discuss from the bible -- but all of this obsession with Satan & 'the Number of the Beast' and so on is just sad. It's interesting for me to hear them discuss why they support the troops & how war is ok in the Bible. One pastor talks about how he'd like to put the peaceniks in front of the troops (was as though he didn't realize Jesus was a peacenik too -- which he probably didn't). It's unfortunate that these supposed religious leader guys have missed the mark so greatly, reading moral fables as though they were factual stories.
The ONE positive of watching this 'fast-food religion' is that it re-enforces my beliefs in expanding world-views, openness to mysticism & spirit, belief in the living Earth/Sun/Universe, my complete lack of belief in any anthropomorphic deity, and lastly these shows remind me that most people don't know WTF is going on & lean on others for truth -- and these leaders also don't know what's going on, but want to make some money and lead the masses.