Thursday, March 26, 2009
Can Anyone Help Ivan?
"im writing an important essay about the effect of society and media on the people and while doing my research i found your site i strongly identify with you and i really like what you talk about so i wanted to ask you: what is the negative effect of society and media on our alredy decadent society? your answer will help me alot!"
Not sure I answered Ivan's question, but I've posted my response. And I'd like to encourage all of you to help this young scholar with his essay and offer up a response of your own. I'll be happy to post it. You can send it to: Boatfolk@aol.com.
Ivan -- To answer your question . . . freedom of the press is an important right afforded to a democratic society. A free flow of information is generally a good thing. As a journalist, I believe in the public’s right to know. However, do we really need to know EVERYTHING?? I don’t really care where Paris Hilton partied last night or that Lindsay Lohan is a lesbian or where OctoMom shops for her octuplets’ clothes.
I think the danger we face in our democratic society is that with so much information (news, pictures, videos, blogs, etc.) being floated through the various media channels every day, a lot of junk gets through and that tends to normalize values and behaviors that are otherwise questionable. For instance, my daughter might come across a video on YouTube of two lesbians making out and the men standing around watching it are cheering them on. That sends the message to her that it’s “cool” and “normal” to be kissing girls.
Rap music is another great example of the destructive influence that pop culture has on our children. Kids hear Rap blaring from cars at stoplights, they hear it at the mall being played in their favorite stores -- usually with a cool video on a screen overhead – and it’s the music du jour that they are downloading on their iPods. Since Rap music is EVERYWHERE, kids are getting the message that it’s OK to act like a degenerate, to walk around with pants belted around your kneecaps, to act tough and swagger like a “gangsta,” and to degrade women and call them all “Shorty.”
When you mainstream the destructive behaviors of a few, it becomes the norm, and before you know it, you have an entire culture of degenerates.
I can’t stop the free flow of information. More to the point, I don’t want to. I believe in democracy and our freedom to choose what we want to read and watch and listen to. As a parent, I just wish there was more of a balance of choices, some louder and stronger voices crying out against the sometimes “value-less” mainstream.
I wish I could do more. I’m just one mom with a blog and a hectic life I can barely manage sometimes. I think the change I am seeking, the rally cry against some of this pop culture crap, begins at home. If parents became more vigilant and worked harder at instilling good values in their children, maybe that would help buffer the blow of the rapid degeneration of our society.
Does anyone else want to answer Ivan's question? Send your response to Boatfolk@aol.com.