Monday, July 24, 2006

The State of it all...

I think a lot about the world we live in now, especially with a small child to worry about now. There is a lot of debate about how we ended up where we are and where we are headed. Many people claim that because we are taking God out of our schools, government, etc, that is the reason for the decay of our society. I have been thinking a lot about this problem lately, for what reason I do not know.

Another argument is that the violence we are seeing these days is caused by television and video games. This is an interesting argument that poses the circular question, does TV show reality or does reality mimic TV? (And I'm not talking about so called Reality TV here) We wonder why divorce is so prevalent when our favorite shows glorify bad relationships, glamorous cheating on your spouse and other things. Shows that are top rated such as Desperate Housewives (which I admittedly have never watched, so cannot really judge) or Grey's Anatomy where cheating is an underlying current of the entire show. We wonder why the violence doesn't bother us so much anymore, while we watch shows like CSI and Without a Trace, Crossing Jordan and more, that get more gruesome all the time. We wonder how all this happens while watching CNN show us pictures of dead children on the side of the road.

Recently a teenage girl, 16, was shot here in the Houston area. Two teenage boys are accused of the killing. When asked why they did it, one of the boys responded, "morbid curiosity". Is this type of behavior more prevalent now than it used to be or is the media that much, more, so to speak, more easily accessible, more out there, that we just hear about these things more often? What happened to consequences? We watch shows such as those about and although they may show justice being dealt out, it is still glamorized, so perhaps kids think it won't be that bad to go to jail. Or perhaps we have failed them in not teaching them respect, respect for self and respect for others. Perhaps we have not taught them the true meaning of consequences. We have taught them immediate gratification and that maybe you don't really have to work for what you want, just steal it. You deserve it, just for being you. Not.

How as a society can we sit back and say we have nothing to do with the state of things, when we don't stand up and say "no" to shows that curse on prime time. When did the words, a** and Bi$%@ become acceptable to say on regular prime time TV. What's next? Why is it acceptable to say GD, but not A-hole? Why does Janet Jackson get reamed for a boobie show, but our children can't watch TV after 5 PM because they might hear a bad word on "family" programming. Why does a channel that calls itself ABC Family show a TV show that shows two teenagers going skinny dipping. By accepting these shows and not doing anything about them, we are saying, "Go ahead, promote violence and promiscuity to our children." There is currently a commercial running that is part of the "Truth" Campaign against tobacco companies that flashes "WHUDAFXUP" across the screen. What is up with that?

And the sexual innuendo that exists in almost every show on these days tells me that we as society have lost our sense of values. Many people say, oh chill out, it's just TV. Well, I would argue, we are what we watch, read, etc. Can we say that we hold "good" values, but we choose to fill our lives with "bad" things. We are teaching our children it's okay to be promiscuous. It's evident in the clothing ads in magazines and on billboards and it's evident in the dropping age that children become sexually active. I would venture to guess that most of what we say is okay for ourselves, we would say no to our children for doing the same things.

I am not saying that I do not watch these shows, CSI and shows like that are some of my favorites, but I do find myself changing the channel when a particularly gross part is shown. Shows now have to push the envelope, be as gruesome as possible to catch our attention. I don't need to see the inside of a knife wound filled with maggots to get the idea that someone was stabbed. Just tell me, don't show me. Don't push it.

I am really just posing questions here and getting thoughts out. Like I said, I am not standing up and saying no either.

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