Cribb Comment Pretext: You can choose to put a shock collar on your pet, on or in your genitals, treat the mentally insane with brain shock therapy as once was done, and/or dose your mind with the “shock” of perpetual computer, smartphone, or video game bombardment. I personally believe they are all essentially the same, and I also believe that they are all very dangerous to our true peace, stability, normal auto-corrective tendencies, and union with others (intra and extra species, no sexual innuendo intended). At a certain level of engagement with the “jolt of technology”, the removal of organic or natural order perception, sensation, and application, potentiates our isolation and detracts from our essence as organic beings. Perhaps, some feel the answers to union and transcendence and peace are not in our organic essence, and thus the above actions are free of recourse and self-delinquency. My observations lead me to believe the opposite. I think the answers lie in our organic essence and natural auto-corrective instinct, in part from the (natural) graces of existence. The “jolts” are addictions, period. I understand that their presence along with all progressive technology in our society cannot be ignored or rejected at this time. I also openly acknowledge that I am certainly not “jolt-free” myself, but the addictions and their ramifications must be balanced and held in check for what they are, for the gifts of technology have consistently run a progressive parallel with our instability, suffering, isolation, and downward transcendence as a species.
The whole world was struggling to make sense of what the popular culture called the “Beautiful You effect.” On television, pundits and analysts bantered about something known as arousal addiction. Prior to now, no one paid it heed, because it had hampered only the lives of boys. In recent decades it had been primarily young men who’d fallen victim to the crippling pleasures of sustained arousal. They’d been seduced by the soaring levels of endorphins generated by playing video games and perusing sexy Web sites. A generation of young men had become entranced by the lure of loveless release and hand fallen through the cracks of society. They were hunkered down in basement rooms heavy with the reek of their dissipation, oblivious to maintaining real relationships with actual love mates.
Penny tried to dismiss the reportage as male hysteria, but the concept was hard to ignore. According to experts, the trouble arose when our primal animal impulses were manipulated by breakthroughs in modern technology. Butter brickle ice cream was an excellent example. Its sugary, fatty goodness was exactly what our animal selves craved to survive. That was why Penny could never stop eating until the pint was empty. Her own evolutionary instincts were being used against her by products marketers. To date arousal addiction had come to men visually, via fast-paced video games and high-speed Internet pornography, but Maxwell’s new product line seemed to be having a similar effect on women.
It made perfect sense! The constantly changing stimulation was gradually rewiring their female brains. The limbic portion of the mind was awash in surges of dopamine. The hypothalamic regulation of rewards was foiled, and the prefrontal cortex was no longer in control. Oh, Penny thought as she pored over the medical studies—it was so complicated, yet so obvious!
Once addicted, ladies would binge on pleasure. The Beautiful You effect. Ordinary leisure activity would bore them. Regular pastimes would fail to hold their interest. And without constant arousal of Maxwell’s personal care products, women would lapse into severe depression.
Social commentators were quick to point out how advertising had long ago exploited men’s natural sexual impulses. To sell a certain brand of beer, the media needed only to display idealized female bodies, and male buyers were hooked. This age-old tactic looked like it was exploiting women and pandering to men, but savvy observers had recognized how the minds of intelligent men were constantly being erased—their ideas, their ability to concentrate, their ability to comprehend—by each glimpse of enticing breasts and taut, smooth thighs.
It was the same way Max’s Beautiful You tests had wiped Penny’s mind clean of dreams and aspirations……of plans for the future and love of her family. The general culture had been blithely using sex to attack the brains of young males for so long that society had long ago accepted the evil practice.
Perhaps that was why the world was so quick to accept the disappearance of women into the same abyss. Artificial overstimulation seemed like the perfect way to stifle a generation of young people who wanted more and more from a world where less and less was available. Whether the victims were men or women, arousal addiction seemed to have become the new normal.
Chuck Palahniuk 2014