One would think little of our social mechanization, collectivist notions of "tolerance" or submission to the State while watching the Teletubbies frolic in their barren "Teletubbyland." Of course, one would think little of these things in general, unless one was given to that sort of thing, and most are not--including the Teletubbies themselves. That, however, is precisely the nature of the Teletubbies. That is, self-subordination, mechanization, and "tolerance"--along with a healthy bit of hallucinogenia. The Teletubbies--though they might see themselves as an autonomous collective--represent the products of a "sound-byte society," in that the very nature of their lives revolves around the succinct, and often inane commands of the omnipresent Voice, or State.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po are seen caught in the grip of fear when confronted by what appears to be some sort of automated windmill. This grip of fear, however, compels them to "run away," yet they cannot truly escape. As they run away, the Teletubbian antennae (if they can be considered as such) receive the signals that emanate from the windmill and eventually one Teletubby is picked to have his or her internalized television turned on. Oddly enough, though the Teletubbies fear the signals themselves, they rejoice when given the chance to see the resulting program. The element of fear generated in the Teletubbies parallels the reactionary human psyche--especially with regard to technology. Advances in technology historically have been greeted by fears of automation and human degradation. However, once this advancement has been firmly embedded within our social structure, it is characterized by a comforting familiarity. Indeed, no advancement is now received with more comforting familiarity than the television itself. It is deeply ingrained within our perceptions of "normal" life--in essence, internalized. Thus we see an increasingly mechanized society. The Teletubbies themselves literally are one with their televisions. The viewer then sees on that television images of "real" children engaging in some sort of collectivist activity. "Reality," therefore, exists not in Teletubbyland, but in the television itself. "Reality," then, is not real, but constructed, while our constructed realities become "real."
These televised images repeatedly showcase collectivist conceptions of society and existence. In the episode aired June 8, 2000, the Teletubbian television demonstrated a group of multi-racial children pushing a barrel up a hill. One child, however, chose not to participate in barrel rolling and instead rolled a bicycle tire up the hill. The collective fared better in terms of speed and the size of its load, whereas the individual finished later and could roll only a tire. All the children then proceeded to roll down this hill, thus forcing--or coercing--the individual to join the collective in a rather tumultuous fashion. We see that individuality has been relinquished and is expendable when compared to the "greater good" of society. The Teletubbies themselves can be considered both racially and sexually diverse. They are four different colors, there are women as well as men, and Tinky Winky is notoriously homosexual. This, like most programming directed toward children, is meant to teach acceptance of diversity, or tolerance. The Teletubbies do not discriminate, but accept each other as members of a collective, multicultural, sexually open society.
In every episode of the Teletubbies these programs are shown twice, fitting, of course, with the need for a mechanized society to be continually programmed, reprogrammed, conditioned, and reconditioned. Throughout history, collectivism has resulted in the ascension of Statism--in this case Corporate Statism. The most powerful medium in our society is the television. Conglomerates control all forms of media--especially television. The current form of relaying media information is through often times meaningless and always mutable sound-bytes, thus perpetuating the docility of the masses under the Corporate State run by the omnipotent Voice. Indeed, they are told when to come and when to leave by a device resembling a telephone that periodically springs up from the ground. The Teletubbies not only obey every command given by the Voice, but also seek the RIGHT to obey. Because the Teletubbies are tolerant of each other and have no factions among themselves, they are able to accept one vision of "reality" as dictated by the Voice. They have subordinated the "self" to the overarching power of the State.
While all this is going on, however, the viewer is repeatedly shown the sun. This sun, though, is not an ordinary sun, for contained within it is the face of an infant. This is an obvious example of metatheatrics. The face in the sun is the face of the infant watching the program, and the reaction of the child in the sun is always meant to parallel the reaction of the viewer. Typically, the infant laughs. At other times--when the Teletubbies hide while playing "peek-a-boo" for example--the infant's face is puzzled and somewhat disappointed. However, the sun does not merely parallel the viewer, it is in fact also representative of the seemingly paradoxical harmonious conflict between God and the State. The sun itself is a passive observer. It does not interfere in the action of the Teletubbies, nor do the Teletubbies seem conscious of its existence. At the same time, all directions given by the Voice of the State are followed. The ascension of the State necessarily accompanies the demise of religion, or orthodox spirituality. This, of course, is due to the very nature of power itself. Power is never truly equalized, but passed from one group to another. The structure is never destroyed, merely altered, following the Orwellian doctrine of the High, the Middle, and the Low. All supposed attempts at equality as perpetuated by the Middle and accompanied by the Low merely serve to dethrone the High and replace them with the Middle, who then become the High. Meanwhile, the Low remain just that--the Low. In Teletubbyland we see that there is the struggle between Religion and the State, both of which merely use the Teletubbies for their own ends. It is the nature of our social evolution, however, to replace religion with the State--for, as said by Georg Hegel (who incidentally influenced Karl Marx, whose works historically have been tied to Statism such as that demonstrated in the Soviet Union), "the State is the representative of God on earth," thus demonstrating that the doctrines of the State supersede the dogma of organized religion. When metatheatrics are taken into consideration, the viewer then becomes the God of Teletubbyland--passive and unable to control what he sees.
The creators of the Teletubbies, having experimented with hallucinogenic drugs earlier in their lives, also imbue their creations with the insatiable sense of curiosity so characteristic of drug-addled consciousness. Once again, in the July 8th, 2000 episode, a miniature carousel floats down from the sky. The Teletubbies then gather round to behold the grand spectacle. The carousel then opens up to reveal a small bear, which then commences dancing. After this, the carousel opens up and floats away. The Teletubbies find none of this out of the ordinary, nor, the viewer expects, should they (or the viewers for that matter). These seemingly random occurrences are justifiable only to the expanded consciousness. Studies regarding LSD have shown that the drug works by stimulating a relatively "new" part of the brain--in evolutionary terms--and, in essence, turning, it on for the first time, thus causing the user to experience the world anew and to see things he has never seen before.
We see, thus, that Teletubbyland is a complex marriage and analysis of the nature of the State and Society, tolerance, and human consciousness with regard to its mutability and mechanization. In fact, the Teletubbies represent deconstruction in themselves. Their very composition as beings with televisions inside of their bodies is itself a deconstruction of our society. Thus we see that the Teletubbies--and through them society itself--have been subjugated by the State and collectivism, resulting in the rather mindless, though easily amused characters (i.e., masses) presented to us in Teletubbyland.