Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where is our social conscience?

Seems like every day in the news someone is outrageously angry or rude. You've got the Congressman calling the President a liar, a tennis star berating and threatening a line judge, a rap star taking the mike away from an award winner and basically saying someone else should have won, a guy slapping someone's toddler for crying in the store, and on and on. Kathie Lee and Hoda on TODAY have been talking about rudeness and anger on every show, and today, even Dr. Phil had something to say about it.

So, is it the economy? The American Bill of Rights (free speech, right to bear arms, etc.)? A release of pent-up anger from the previous eight years? A feeling of helplessness? Poor upbringing? Lack of empathy? Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Too many ads for prescription drugs on television? Too many reality shows? Too many iPods? Too much of a sense of entitlement? I have no idea, but I will keep an eye on this disturbing trend.

Along those lines, I find the popularity of reality shows that are constantly kicking somebody off also disturbing. Whether it be a singer, a fat person, a chef, a designer, a remodeler, a model, or a Japanese game show contestant, these shows thrive on "Who is going to be ELIMINATED?" They all had to work hard to get there, work hard to stay there, and it seems really cruel to kick them off and then film the horror and sadness on their faces. A person weighing over 300 lbs. should NOT have to "leave the ranch" after only week because he/she did not lose the most weight that week!

On one reality show, there are three men and three women. They have to conduct their entire "getting to know each other" in complete darkness, so they cannot be at all swayed by looks. In the end, all three girls wanted one guy, so he got to meet them "in the light of day." He chose the one he wanted to date, but she did not like him after seeing him, so they both went home empty-handed. Isn't that sweet?

Worst of all is when they make the other contestants "vote someone off." How awful is that? ("Uh, we're all in this together but someone has to go, and it's not going to be me!") On one show, this random group of young people are living in a house together and they make alliances to get rid of someone each week. It's the most cutthroat, horrible show I can imagine.

Wait, there is one worse: "More to Love," a show about twenty overweight women and one large guy whom they all want to date and eventually marry. The very first week, half of them are sent home after a "group date." And these are particularly pathetic women with the "I never had a date in my life" story, even though all are very pretty.

What are we teaching our young people? That it's okay to treat others like this? Where is our social conscience?


  1. I think a lot of our issues have to do with lack of family structure. Very few families spend any time together, eat dinner together, go to church together, etc. If we can bring back family values then the rest will fall into place.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This is a great blog entry. It is better than we get from the local newspaper!!! You should put it in there for all to read.

    Hope all is going well. Robin

  4. n the now famous words of Rodney King, "Why Can't we all get along?" after his caught-on-tape ruthless beating by Los Angeles police officers sparked devastating citywide race riots in the early 1990s rings as true as ever today.

    I even find myself more angry today than in the past. (Jack)

  5. I agree with you totally. It seems that cruelty is the way to go these days. I don't understand it, won't watch it & am saddened by it. How did we get to this point? Or is it a Brave New World-ish trend come to fruition? So scary. Then just think of where our society will be in 50 or 100 years. I'm glad I won't be there. It is too depressing. Then just look at the popular CSI type shows--murder & mayhem. I've had enough of it. I rarely watch shows, but rather look for good movies that I haven't seen. (Sandra)