One thing I've noticed since I quit drinking is that a person usually has two or three sets of impulses scratching away at some internal door at any given time. If you're sober-if you're alert, and paying attention to those impulses, and not yielding to the instinct to anesthetize them-you can receive a lot of guidance about where to go, what to do next in life.
Living in a culture that prefers to shut out the dark, avoid shadows, and anesthetize pain means that many people are isolated. ... Family, friends, and co-workers, fearful of the dark, are reluctant to participate in our shadow experience and may urge us to be done with the dark before it is done with us.
Susan Wittig Albert
Images anesthetize. An event known through photographs certainly becomes more real than it would have been if one had never seen the photographs ... But after repeated exposure to images it also becomes less real. ... 'concerned' photography has done at least as much to deaden conscience as to arouse it.
To suffer is one thing; another thing is living with the photographed images of suffering, which does not necessarily strengthen conscience and the ability to be compassionate. It can also corrupt them. Once one has seen such images, one has started down the road of seeing more - and more. Images transfix. Images anesthetize.
In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a 'quick return to power, ' forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible 'dialogue' with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls 'realism.' Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution... One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders.