Create surreal ideas from television and life

Create surreal ideas from television and life

A Lesson by Jordan Jones

How to process television using your brain. Can you watch Hey Arnold and come up with an actual story idea or gain insight from Beyonce? This lesson gives real tactics for consuming media.


Is your mind turned off when you watch television? The answer is generally regarded as being "yes." When you watch television, you're being transmitted images and sounds and ideas at a very fast pace. It can actually be a depressing form of low-level activity. But the fact is, your mind is full of those images, sounds, and ideas--they're just not being processed in a way that allows surrealist action. The goal of this lesson is to teach you how to process this information, and create surreal prose from your very active brain. 

The situation: You're watching a re-run of Hey Arnold on Nickelodeon.

The problem: You can't concentrate or come up with anything other than low-level, schizophrenic blurbs of ideas

The solution: Mute the television

The other solution: Turn the television off

When you mute the television, something amazing happens. Your brain fills in the gap. You're allowed to think about what's happening, and you start applying societal concepts and higher-level processing skills to garner insight into what the show means, what you think about the show, or anything else that your own brain wants to think about -- if you let it.

Turning the television off or pausing with your DVR after every scene is an even better tactic for viewing television. I do it all the time. It's almost exhilarating the ideas and insight you can garner using this technique. The images from the show have to be recalled and when they are recalled they have to be processed. It's these processes you want to funnel onto the page for your surrealist writing.

So next time you listen to a song, pause after each stanza and record your thoughts, be it an analysis of the song or random ideas. By the end of the song, you will have a nice few paragraphs full of surrealist content when can be edited into your prose.

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Added on April 7, 2013
Last Updated on April 7, 2013

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Jordan Jones
Jordan Jones

I've been writing since second grade. Always preferring length to brevity through middle school and high school--which does go against writing rules--I actually managed to develop pretty strong imagin..