This Day and Age

This Day and Age


Our society has grown to be so judgmental without hesitation to attack others’ character and downfalls, and all with a click of a button.  Even though technology has given us more tools than ever to communicate with one another it seems we, as a society, aren’t taking the time to really talk with one another about what’s really going on.  The way we communicate with each other and with the rest of the world will never be the same with all the cell phones, internet use, video cameras, Youtubers and Myspace profiles.  Now that I am focusing on my writing career, I am reminded by all my instructors to consider one thing when creating characters within my stories and that is “Humanity is Flawed,” no one is perfect, and that’s what makes interesting characters, but when I think of that concept on a global scale and how the world is functioning at such a low standard, it makes me question how our society is evolving.


Since the summer, there have been so many situations where celebrities have been put on blast like Alec Baldwin’s personal angry phone call to his daughter being posted all over Youtube, High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens nude photos, Miss Teen USA of North Carolina and her nervous flub on national TV, Brittney Spears and her lack luster performance on the VMA’s, and the list goes on and on.


We get so much pleasure making fun of the people we’ve built up to “star status,” but once they fall, and fall on a global scale, people are ready at the helm to cut and paste the video footage and poke fun of the situation.  Yes, humanity is flawed, and at the same time, it is important to remember humanity is also forgiving.  No one is perfect, even the celebrities, and yes, even you.


Everything is so fast-paced in today’s society; most people don’t even think before they respond to any given situation.  They act on impulse before they rationalize the situation and don’t realize they are just adding to the negative energy.


Now I’m not condoning the choices those celebrities have made, and more importantly, this raises a much larger question for me.  What does it say about our society and to our children when we build up people like Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Nicole Richie, and athletes that take steroids in order to excel, or athletes that fight dogs for recreation?  In other words, where are the true heroes of today?  Are there no more true role models out there in the world or has our society chosen to lower the bar?  At times, it feels like there is no bar at all, no standard whatsoever.


I believe we have grown complacent and apathetic.  No one cares anymore or maybe no one has time to care.  It’s truly a sad state of affairs.  It seems it all just boils down to money, power and control.  We have become a “Fast Food Society,” and I’m not just talking food here.  People don’t take time to really master anything and expect things to fall in their laps without any real hard work.  The days of a real artist working on their craft in order to find work are gone.  Anyone can audition for American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Survivor, Kid Nation, and instantly “claim” celebrity status.  Well, I’m sorry, just because someone can vote someone off an island doesn’t mean they have the ability to make a real impact, create art or have any true talent.  Those types of shows are not art.  It’s mindless entertainment and exploits people and creates an environment where it is okay to make fun of someone’s lack of ability ~ be it in singing, dancing, or in social situations. 


Yes, many talented people have been discovered on American Idol and at the same time more have been humiliated.  Why do we need to “see” the bad ones?  They should just be cut in the first round that’s how’s it’s done in the real world.  Directors don’t have time to see the bad ones, but the network wants ratings and our society accepts this type of entertainment.  Families watch these shows with their children and teenagers watch.  We all sit there and watch the train wreck, but most people don’t think about how much this type of behavior makes an impression on young people.  I guess what I’m trying to say is these aren’t classy shows.  Again, we’ve lowered the bar and find it entertaining to watch someone make a fool of themselves and have their dreams shattered on national TV.  Yes, Humanity is flawed and someone is getting rich off of this concept.  In the meantime, our society and our children are becoming more apathetic and without compassion and we wonder what’s wrong with the world.  Why is everyone so angry?  Why are teenagers shooting each other, why is there no more respect?  Why doesn’t anybody care? It seems to me that people can’t wait for an opportunity to lash out at someone.


Take Vanessa Hudgens.  She’s a teenager, a celebrity with the success of High School Musical and is on contract with the Disney Corporation.  That’s pretty huge.  But she’s still a kid and kids make bad choices.  I’m sure she’s not a bad person, but she made a bad choice.   She’s learned a valuable lesson I’m sure, but what’s so sad is other people taking the photo and making videos to rub it in.  It’s just ugly and unnecessary.  These types of negative videos are everywhere on Youtube.  Other celebrities have done far worse and still have careers, so chances are Vanessa will still be around.  I really have mixed feeling about this because I want to believe there are young performers out there in the world that want all the same opportunities that has come to Vanessa, but they have not posed nude for photos.  I want to believe there are still people out there working hard for their dreams, but also have morals and values.


So what to do?  I know I’ve done a lot of generalizing in this blog, but having said all this, I still believe there are people out there in the world that do care and have good intentions.  People are working hard everyday to make this a better world.  All I am saying is I wish the entertainment industry would take a bigger stance and presence with the state of the world today and to be more responsible when it comes to influencing young people.  I’m also saying, I wish the “everyday person” out there wouldn’t accept such mindless entertainment anymore.  Don’t watch it, don’t support it.  Turn the channel and refuse to pay your hard earned money for such cinematic diarrhea and as far as attacking people’s character… just think about all the mistakes you’ve made in your life and how would you feel if those were plastered all over the internet for the world to make fun of and judge.  We’ve all made mistakes.  That’s what makes us human.  Instead of attacking other people’s mistakes, wouldn’t it be nice to focus that energy on something more positive.


Let’s get back to being a classy society.  What happened to the days of Happy Days, Full House, The Cobsy Show, Doogie Howser, Thirty Something, The Muppet Show, Star Search?  What happened to shows like My So Called Life,  Home Improvement,  Laverne and Shirley,  Seinfeld, Friends, Mash, The X-Files (well, at least the first three seasons anyway)?  Where are the new Macgyver’s, Magnum P.I’s,  Perry Masons’?  Where are the shows about families, where are the shows we can watch with our children besides the Food Network?


Yes, my appetite is huge and I am craving a better society.  I don’t want more reality TV; I get enough of that in my real life.  I’d like to watch something that takes me away to a different world and makes me think and challenges me.  I want to be inspired and I want to believe in dreams again.  I want to watch something that makes me want to be a better person.


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