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Culture is a Dying Art

Posted: May 20, 2011

No doubt, technological advancements have benefits. People live longer today because science has shown cancer causing effects of tobacco when they were highly touted decades ago. We now know that too much cholesterol clogs arteries when in yesteryear days began with healthy doses of eggs, bacon, biscuits, and gravy. Even the World Wide Web reveals to citizens what leaders are perpetrating along with those instant photos of newborn grandchildren.

What seems unfortunate, though, says something destructive about where life has brought us in this 500-channel television and Internet age where too much space has truly become the feared wasteland. Some very unhappy, lonely, and neglected people easily get attention through some sleazy television reality shows and some social network sites that let us vent our most negative feelings and fears. Negative traits and attitudes easily garner attention without having to filter hateful thoughts that become reinforced through anonymity and easy access.

Not to understate the bravery it takes to lose hundreds of pounds in front of millions, sometimes however, it gets done for attention rather than for the health benefits to oneself. Therefore, regaining weight is a risk. Also, singing in front of millions when having a tin ear because it gets negative attention, is a sad commentary on our culture when building self-esteem would better be done through positive actions. When feeling bad about ourselves, exhibitionism does not seem a good outlet for repair. Showing kindness to others at these times seems more beneficial because we are behaving well even when feeling worthless and unloved. We are rising above our negativity rather than succumbing to it.

Making crude and rude remarks on Internet sites as well in movies allows people to vent their frustrations. It is too bad, however, that the individuals do not accentuate the positive rather than eliminate the negative that the old Johnny Mercer song proposed. Saying anything just to say it rather than filtering one's thoughts mirrors media pundits who have become the worst in commentary. I have always defended dialogue if it is genuinely character driven. Some current movies, however, use trashy language to shock and degrade, slipping it into scripts where totally unnecessary, desensitizing people to hateful speech.

Has society genuinely become so coarse? Or, has technology made it easier to live down to the worst rather than live up to the best because it is so rapid that nastiness easily slips from the lips?

Some may say that we were always like this. Ages existed where people made manners paramount in social discourse. Sometimes it was phoney, but not always. Some parents used to caution children that, 'If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.' This kind of goes along with, 'Look both ways before crossing the street,' or 'Say please and thank you.' Do we even teach our children to push away from the table anymore?

Do we, instead, give children toy after toy until toys mean little? The poor little doll who gets neglected in the corner because newer and prettier toys took her place. Does this become a precursor for discarding friends because they are so easy to come by via social network sites? When young people express negative feelings on web sites rather than discussing their frustrations with friends forebodes a bleak future. They are the ones who will be running the country in a few decades, if not sooner. Because we can air our worst, does it mean we should?

Therefore, if we have nothing positive to say, keeping silent might be good advice. It makes us more contemplative than rushing to say any insipid notion coming out of our heads. When we are feeling poorly, keeping this to ourselves holds our self-esteem intact when we work it out privately, not bearing our weaknesses for all to see and mock when forgetting our good traits. Unfortunately, the technological genie is out of the bottle. Developing genuinely unspoiled and humble natures might help celebrities stay off the unwanted list so that YouTube has no bad behavior to exploit.

That said, it is good that people speak their minds because it honestly let others know where they stand. However, mostly it is for their own satisfaction if they have nothing kind to say when they enjoy telling people off to uplift themselves.

The current wave of saying anything and everything that is lewd and rude might not only be a backlash from more restrictive eras, but laziness and indifference in addressing it. Is the embrace of pornography by women that is also coarsening culture a repercussion from living prior lives in excessively restrictive societies? When reincarnating into modern cultures, these women might have gone overboard to make up for lost time. Why shouldn't all experience the wonders of life? When one group of people suppresses another, a backlash is the likely outcome.

One way to respect the feelings of others is to remember that even those with whom we disagree are sometimes correct. This attitude helps keep us intellectually honest rather than driven by our biases and egos.

It will be a sad day when the last oldster dies off and the remembrance of culture dies too.

... stay tuned ...

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