Sometimes “input” sneaks up on you. You will see something or hear something or read something that becomes part of your mind and psyche. If it’s something bad, you can’t unsee or unhear or unread it. Though it’s intangible, it conjures up an extremely vivid mental image, and will cause a physical reaction when you think about it. The kind of thing that, if it comes into your head when you’re trying to go to sleep at night, forces you to open your eyes and look around and mentally scramble for something else to think about.

I had one of those moments yesterday. Something linked from a blog I recently started reading. I won’t link to it here. I don’t want to be responsible for putting that into anyone else’s head. It involves child porn, sex slavery, and murder. It is now actually rivalling something I read in a Michael Marshall Smith book (Only Forward, I think) for worst thing I’ve ever read. It made me unhappy to be a member of the human race for the day. Fortunately, I was treated to a personal human interest story later in the day that restored a good part of my equilibrium. (It involved saving the lives of puppies, which, for me, is exactly the right formula to make me happy.)

I don’t like being affected by most media, at least not intentionally. There are some things that, even if plastered with warnings, the human mind simply cannot process or shrug off. I don’t like finding out just how over the top information has to be to penetrate my shell. It makes me feel like a product. A ball of person clay that’s been moulded and sculpted by the last 30 years of North American culture. Like there is no me. Like I am not in control of what becomes part of my mind.

However, it’s not like I can stop reading. And it’s not like I know when the next input ambush will occur. I just know that it will.

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