a theological view of how culture helps us see, hear and feel
I suppose this is why the modern craze of Reality TV has taken the world by storm…yes, I say “world” as show such as The Bachelor are now gaining worldwide fascination. Who actually cares how these shows conclude or who “falls in love” with this or that person. I will make a deal with anyone who can recall all of the couples who are “in love” as a result of The Bachelor from memory alone. I will write that person a fifty dollar check in U.S. Dollars. Of course I cannot truly verify if anyone recalled the answers from memory or utilized an outside source of information, so I will never actually follow through with this wager. However, that is not my point. We are throwing off our traditionally accepted sources of “truth” and beginning to think for ourselves. I believe the international community is becoming more and more enthralled with television shows within the genre of Reality TV because of the lacking filter. Persons are no longer presented in simplistic heroism or other traditional roles. People become real with actual faults, character flaws, and humor rather than merely reflecting an ability to memorize a set script. Americans have awoken to the lulling rhetoric of ABC. Indian Dalits are beginning revolt against the inhumane lies of the Gujarat class. Iraqis no longer accept the “truth” shoved down their throats by SH because being boiled alive is a possibility of expressing a contrary thought. My major concern with the current rate of globalization by the removal of filtered truth by government run mass media systems or extremely Leftist organizations like ABC or CNN through such freeing agencies as the Al Gore-Invention known as the Internet is that the world’s beautiful personalities (i.e. culture) will begin to disappear. At our current pace, within the next two centuries we will have nothing more than a resemblance of the poor excuse for art found in Jackson Pollack’s “paintings.” The result will be less glory to our Sovereign Father, if that is at all possible. At least selfishly, I will miss the occasional Kali Dahl and Butter Nan, a strictly Indian dish, when it is replaced with General Tso’s Hamburger, a soon-to-be-offered delicacy at Outback Steakhouse. I say we go on “mirroring ourselves” and do away with Survivor, The Bachelor, Meet the Barkers, and other such globally disastrous influences. Shall we revert back to a simpler time when candlelight was a source of heat as well as light? Who will take this epic step with me on the road of culture preservation? You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to commit yourself to this worthy cause. I will be glad to join you as soon as my wife and I are no longer under our Eighteen-Month commitment to DSL and Dish Network. Ryan West.
Point taken. For anyone who has been abroad, it is painfully clear that sometimes we export the worst products of American culture, i.e. Reality TV, gangsta rap, etc. So, I would like to join the cause of culture preservation. But two questions give me pause about it all. First, what exactly do we want to perserve? I mean, which aspects of our culture are worth saving? For instance, America has, to some degree, been identified as a nation of social progress. I am happy, however, for that tradition of social progress to extend through women's rights and civil rights but stop short of abortion and homosexual marriage. Secondly, and more importantly, what is it that we want our culture to do for us? How should culture function within a society? Is culture a mirror- reflecting a perception of how things are, a crystal ball- picturing how things could be, or maybe something else??? Things are the lingering questions that haunt me. For society in general, culture is entertainment or agenda; something quite ignoble and cheap. Can there be common ground? If so, what should be our common ground values?
To TBW:Actually, I was not advocating a preservation of culture. You were correct in your email that my post was more of a rant than anything else. Although using a form of indirect speech, I trying to make the point (this is the direct version of my last post) that mass media has been guilty for too long of preaching the controller’s worldview through very carefully filtered propaganda. This propaganda comes through various TV shows that support the controller’s views about life, such as the ABC TV show The Practice. When it was still produced as a weekly show, it was a platform to slander the Bush Administration or the “Radical Right.” This propaganda also comes through an intentional omission of undesirable facts, according to the controller’s point of view. A good example of this is the recent issue in Vermont concerning the child rapist, Hulett, only being sentenced to sixty days in prison by Judge Cashman. The New York Times has not even mentioned this case because it fundamentally agrees with the decision and disagrees with opposing views that support Jessica’s Law and other such measures. Who is the “controller” in my analysis? Who is the one propounding his/her worldview? It is the one who either owns or edits the content put forth by the medium of mass media, whether it is state-owned, Muslim-owned, liberal-owned, or ________-owned. Therefore, material supporting the owner’s views makes it to the publication and objectionable content does not. Means of bypassing such biased filters of “truth” such as the internet are now enlightening the world’s population to other views. It is much like Luther’s work to make the Bible accessible to the public rather than its message being controlled by Latin-speakers. This post will hopefully clarify my thoughts on mass media in a more direct method. However, your response to my last post also raises intriguing questions concerning culture, its preservation, its interaction with a society, and other relevant issues. I will try to post some thoughts and questions in response to your message.
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