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Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

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Posted 12-17-2012 at 03:22 PM by neugey
Updated 12-17-2012 at 03:47 PM by neugey (categorize)

With the tragic school shooting in Connecticut on Friday, the hot-button issue is gun control or the lack thereof, but it's an issue I could care less about. In fact, this is the last time I'm going to use the word "gun" or mention firearms in this blog.

Also, I am not pointing to a lack of moral or compassionate populace in America. There are many, many thoughtful and compassionate people in America of all ages and all demographics. We live with them, work with them, worship with them and come into contact with them on a daily basis. The kindness of the person who bagged your groceries or cashed your check is still evident today and it has not gone away. Strangers may be quiet, but they are very rarely hostile or inconsiderate.

The pre-meditated killings we are seeing are partially a byproduct of the degrading American culture that has widened its profits and marginalized its people. There is a wide disconnect between the actual citizens of society and the culture here in America today. We have lost healthy American culture and are depriving current and future generations of critical thought. Over the last twenty years American culture has been deprecated and replaced by a mock culture that is both arrogant and ignorant.

I first point to the sad state of the popular music industry. Our popular music has no compassion or social thought any longer. The problem is actually not the artists as much as it is the industry and corporate machine. As a result, all my pre-teen daughters are going to hear on the radio and when they go roller skating is this kind of fare ...

- Ke$ha singing "Party like we're going to die young-young-young-young-young"
- the flavor-of-the-month pop-rap duo ditty
- Gangnam Style or the latest dance craze
- another Adele or Taylor Swift breakup song
- the latest LMFAO song (after all, who hears a cry for help, when party rockers are in the house tonight?!)

The new world order of music is that all pop songs propagated by the music industry must deal with party anthems, romantic endeavors or other superficial subject matter to serve up to our children and keep them in the dark about real issues. I'm sure that Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Beyonce would be more than willing to collaborate on a poignant song about the tragedy in Connecticut, but the message today by record execs is loud and clear that there is no tolerance for those types of songs in the Top 40 anymore. The days of Marvin Gaye releasing "What's Going On?" and causing many an American to think and cry? Gone. The days of a run-of-the-mill hair band White Lion stunning everyone with their thoughtful lyrics and musicianship on "When the Children Cry"? Gone. The days of Pearl Jam giving an unflinching and long hard look at the aftermath of bullying and child neglect in the music video Jeremy? Long gone, and in today's America, banned due to political incorrectness.

From a news media perspective, everything took a sharp turn downhill the day after news networks showed live footage of the slow-speed chase of OJ's white Bronco. The news industry discovered a sick pleasure and a new trigger within society. The new marching orders became "Exploit tragedy and glorify serial crime and watch the ratings climb". The TV industry followed suit and learned from the news industry's new discovery and decided to show the dregs in society something miserable, cheap and monotonous that captivates them (kind of like that slow white Bronco) - and profit. Thus reality TV was born - and is now running amok, even on cable channels that once would never be caught dead showing reality programs. And when the news or reality TV just isn't edgy enough, then it's time to author the darker shows like CSI, Law and Order, Cold Case and all the derivative programs to make everyone worry a bit that their next door neighbor is a serial killer or rapist.

Since Friday, CNN has turned into Sandy Hook News Network because "by golly, this thing has legs politically so let's milk this to the bitter end to push a political agenda and widen the already-massive divide between the hardcore Democrats and Republicans." They happened upon (presuming Connecticut isn't a false flag) a haunting crime and a real doozy of a wedge issue to keep Americans arguing amongst each other ... when they aren't watching reality TV or jamming out to the latest mindless auto-tuned hit or playing with their iPhone. Massive public dissent becomes less attainable as the American populace becomes more fractured and "A house divided against itself cannot stand". The elites are loving every minute of it.

Since the 60's and the full implementation of mass media, TV, music and news media are the primary barometer of our social and collective conscious. Whether we like this or not, it's the truth. And it therefore shows us that today we're in quite the death spiral. Having such an unhealthy collective conscious is only going to intensify the problems in society. When you consider someone who is mentally unstable and desperately alone that could be on the verge of doing something horrible, a sick and narcisstic culture like ours (where Snooki and Charlie Sheen are quasi-heroes), along with a corrupt government, can become the tipping point. Then, very sadly, the innocent blood spilled fuels the machine anew. This depraved and mindless cultural machine, which cares a thousand times more about Kate Middleton than all the young Sandy Hook victims combined, is the thing that really needs to be stopped.

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!" - Mario Savio
Total Comments 7


  1. Old Comment
    I dig where you're coming from, but I don't think I can agree on your correlation to today's music. Sure, it sucks, but to people like my Mom who grew up with 50's and 60's stuff, Led Zeppelin, and Kiss, and Van Halen, and Ozzy, and on and on...that was crap.

    Today's stuff, by and large the popular 40, IS crap, no doubt, but that's what sells. Music is a reflection of society, not the other way around. If popular music has no compassion it is because society has none. For heaven's sake, most of the 80's pop (I graduated in 1987) is horrible. I confirmed this by watching 30 minutes of "totally 80's" on VH1 a couple nights ago. It...Is...Turrible...

    There are lots of artists making great music today, and 'my girl' Zooey Deschanel (She & Him) is an example, but the industry makes the lot of its money off the teeny boppers. That hasn't changed and I doubt it ever will. The mindset that fostered bands like the Stones, Zeppelin, and so many other "classic rock" bands isn't there, but that's because society is dumbed down, not because today's music made people stupid.

    As for the media angle I'm with you 100%. It's disgusting.
    Posted 12-17-2012 at 06:09 PM by saintfan saintfan is offline

  2. Old Comment
    I tend to agree about mainstream music at least playing a part in the dumbing down of society, though there are certainly bigger problems. Saintfan, I get what you're saying about music being a reflection of society, and that is partly true, but to Neugey's point, this crap is being force fed to young, impressionable teenagers like never before. You didn't see women walking around half naked, until the madonna's, the britney spears', the beyonce's and all those types made it popular. At least very seldom you did. Now it is just accepted as "freedom of expression". And whereas you might have heard a few people saying words that weren't in the dictionary, you now hear it constantly because of some of the stupid things that are playing on the radio.

    Music is just a small part of it, however, and I think this blog covers a lot of that. People have gotten stupid for a number of reasons, but there is a reason for that. The culture HAS indeed been changing drastically over the past couple of decades, and culture is largely driven by what the media and entertainment worlds decide is acceptable.

    But people have free will, and should be able to formulate their own thoughts without simply following the latest trends. Unfortunately, with each new generation, the ability to critically think becomes more and more watered down, and parents aren't smart enough themselves to pass on any kind of wisdom to their children. And so whatever is popular becomes the gospel to many people. Nobody wants to take a hard look, if any look at all, at the real problems we're facing. As for the media, I think we all agree that it's all about political agenda. There isn't enough real news being reported anymore. People are being lied to, and they don't seem to have a clue.
    Posted 12-18-2012 at 10:05 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Mardigras9's Avatar
    "If popular music has no compassion it is because society has none"

    Truer words have never been spoken. Cheers!!!
    Posted 12-18-2012 at 01:38 PM by Mardigras9 Mardigras9 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar
    I'm in complete agreement about the compassion angle. There are too many of us sitting in the comfort of our homes, delusional in our safety and connection to our communities. We are emboldened by the fictional anonymity of the internet, firing lasers and flaming rather than interact and discuss. We believe that these sociopathic actions have no consequence. The home based attitude bleeds into our real life, out in the world.

    We should be ashamed that we poke fun at a woman's congenital moutsache, or at someone's lack of education, or whatever perceived imperfection we deem to have a morally inferior quality. Without consequence, dignity is an affliction of the weak.
    Posted 12-19-2012 at 01:47 PM by xan xan is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Saint_LB's Avatar
    We did not have video games with guns and bloodshed when I was a kid...and we didn't ever hear of anything like we hear today almost daily.

    Thinking out loud...but if you are playing a video game that involves killing people, isn't it possible that some people may realize that it gives them a charge and possibly wonder what it would be like to really kill someone?

    I'm not sure what the real reason is, but I am sure that things are different today and it is time for change. Do we really need to send our kids to school for education in todays computer world? I believe that the days of public school are numbered, as sticking immature brains together to tease and torment each other doesn't seem like such a great idea to me. If we are against getting rid of public schools, is it possible that you have grown accustom to the built in baby sitter and do not want to relinquish it? Maybe you might want to rethink that. JMO, though.
    Posted 12-20-2012 at 07:54 AM by Saint_LB Saint_LB is offline
  6. Old Comment
    I think it all starts at home. I believe that people are influenced by the things they see and hear, but that is because they aren't raised to know truth from lies, and there are almost no disciplinary actions taken toward kids when they rebel, anymore.

    This is why I only place part of the blame on popular culture. Be it music, television, media, or whatever. These people prey on the young and ill informed to either push an agenda, or make a sale. They know that provocativeness is hard to turn away from, no matter what form of it you're talking about (sex, controversy, the endless number of crime shows, etc). They aren't concerned with what kind of example they are making.

    But if more parents would teach discipline and real moral values to their children, I believe we would see far less of this crap. Unfortunately, though, with all the political correctness, and all of the bleeding hearts who believe that discipline is the same thing as abuse, kids are doing just about whatever they want and their parents say "whatever makes you happy". Myself, and my siblings were always taught discipline, and we never felt mistreated. But we knew if we acted up there would be consequences. Nowadays, it's practically considered a crime if you so much as raise your voice to a child, or even a teenager. That, in my opinion, is how this generation has become so crass, irresponsible, inconsiderate and disrespectful.

    But to commit murder... That takes an inherently evil excuse of a human being. Especially when it involves innocent children. I can't begin to imagine, nor do I want to, how someone could do something like this. People can clamor for all the law changes they want, but evil will do as evil does. God is the only way to stop evil. Many people choose not to believe that. That is their right. I Pray that people make the right choice.
    Posted 12-21-2012 at 05:14 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  7. Old Comment
    UK_WhoDat's Avatar
    Posted 12-21-2012 at 12:14 PM by burningmetal
    I think it all starts at home. ....
    But if more parents would teach discipline and real moral values to their children, I believe we would see far less of this crap. Unfortunately, though, ...., kids are doing just about whatever they want. .... That, in my opinion, is how this generation has become so crass, irresponsible, inconsiderate and disrespectful.
    Yep! 100%

    The key words are moral values.

    A continuing problem and an increasing problem, worldwide, is the "I want, can have without effort" and "I am entitled so gimme" attitudes. Soon we are going to have a generation that doesn't want to work for anything and then get militant when their "entitlement" does not fall in their lap.
    Posted 01-04-2013 at 12:58 PM by UK_WhoDat UK_WhoDat is offline
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