Off Topic Messages

Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:00 am

I don't mean to indicate that we're always forward. That is an illusion. I just see a continuum of humankind acting like rats. I happen to think we're a little nicer than we were 50-100 years ago. A little.

I agree with Colin that it is a parenting thing. If you teach your children respect and provide an example you increase your chances of having nice kids.

Where the religious right gets it all wrong is in the idea that Hollywood is foisting this stuff on the public. That's wrong. There's an insatiable hunger for it. There is an audience for stuff like "Seventh Heaven". However, the audience for say Eminem happens to be much bigger. A huge part of that audience is well to do white kids. If those kids suddenly switched to Pat Boone. You would see a new Pat Boone every two minutes. This is where parents come in. I know you can't protect your kids every minute of the day but you also don't have to let them have Eminem if you don't want them to have Eminem.

I also would point about another flaw in the thinking of the religious right on this matter is this idea that all culture should be acceptable for children. I do not think it is an offensive or evil idea to have some stuff that is strictly for adults from "Streetcar Named Desire" to "Last Tango in Paris" to "Pulp Fiction." An adult's mind often demands deeper, more sophisticated entertainment. I think another problem is though is that there are some adults- my ex-brother-in-law being one- that don't exercise any discrimination and watch everything with the kids. You can wait to the kids go to bed to watch "Pulp Fiction" or "Nightmare on Elm Street." I was at the movies last year watching Jason Vs. Freddy and this woman was there with a two or three year old baby who was absolutely traumatized by the violence on screen. The kid was screaming and crying. It's absolutely insane.

Pete- I would argue that those laws could have just as easily come from empathy and self-preservation.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:45 pm

Colin & LTB -
You guys are missing my point. My point wasn't about the origin of these laws/moral precepts, but rather where western civilization got them from. We got them from the Bible. That's a stone cold fact, so there's nothing to debate here. Now you can debate where/how theses laws/moral precepts originated prior to their incorporation in the Bible, but to deny that the laws/moral precepts of western civilization are derived from the Bible is to deny history.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:49 pm

Pete -

My therapist said I was in denial.....................

I said "No I'm not !"

Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:53 pm

ColinB wrote:Pete -

My therapist said I was in denial.....................

I said "No I'm not !"


:lol:

Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:51 pm

Colin's officially my favorite FECC wit. :lol:

On the topic: in practice, I wonder how ordinary people today cope with the fact
that corporations no longer have any real restraints. In our atomized society, one where we often don't know (and don't want to know) our neighbors, the burden is on the parent today. We've lost many of our collective belief systems and as a result, there's little in the way of a filter - except for those who try hard
enough to use it. Elders have always said that youth were going wrong,
but one does get the sense that we are adrift and into new territory.


To put it all on the parents is a problem. I agree that individual parents should not do such stupid things as you describe, LTB, but I see a role for society in fostering morality to some extent (say, at least before 9pm on TV or say, enforcing PG-13/ R -rated movie restrictions.) Indeed, bringing back ushers and having such a mother thrown out should be a requirement - enshrined in law. Even "shame" is out of style. It's "too
judgemental" - no matter that it slides right off of some people.

Just as the economy isn't entirely unfettered, I think the moral realm needs some input. Where we draw that will be tough, but the vulgarism of today's society (and again, I'm no prude) really is unrestrained on today's kids. Shock value rules and things like
talent are hard to come by. So much of Hip Hop rides on the wave of
attitude, anger, and swagger - but little in the way of music proficiency
(save for some sense of rapping "flow" and a "poetry" - of sorts)...

We've been paralyzed by a sense that we don't want to go back to the bad old "censorship" days. This is one victory of the '60s: an ingrained sense of there being no need for guidelines. You don't have to be Jerry Falwell to acknowledge this. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with saying, you know, those "right wing Christians may have a point": it is a sewer.

I'm glad adults have access to such things, and find "the children" argument a bit overused at times (name an issue!) but still it's not a horrible benchmark.

We need the sacred and the profane. Now we are very much all profane.

Is this the good, enlightened society we hoped for? I wonder.

I say we need a yin and yang. Right now it's all yang. Or nearly about. :wink:

Elvis taught us that some of the profane was needed. So did the '60s.

It's that hard to reach balance we have to contend with.

I guess we have had a bachlash of sorts, although the "raunch" factor
lives on, in some ways unabated. Maybe all the cynicism is on-target,
but I also think we end up getting the government(s) we deserve, sadly.

Maybe our forebears (and I mean not the 1930s, but eons ago?) learned
long ago that such a balance is necessary. Religion no doubt came about
in part to administer to society in this way, if not in a more divine sense as one may or may not believe. Oh, well.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:34 pm

Luuk wrote something about Elvis and other rock stars freeing us from religion. As others have mentioned Elvis recorded/performed Gospel music throughout his career. And one of the Beatles, George Harrison, was certainly a spiritual soul. My Sweet Lord remember?

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:54 pm

I don't necessarily dispute anything that's been said here. I just don't agree with the idea that anyone is foisting this stuff on the public. However, if the public did not want these things Hollywood or the media would stop making them with blinding speed. Dr. Dre is a good example. This is a guy that used to be the epitome of the Gansgta lifestyle. It wasn't something he was trying to foist on the public. It was a description of a life that he lived. Around 1996, close to turning 30, he had a moral conversion denounced the gangsta lifestyle and promised to make morally uplifting music. Well he did just that and the album bombed. Chastened, a few years later he re-embraced his gangsta roots and his album sold millions upon millions. This is an example that you see over and over again. The industry will try to give in with "healthy" work and it will be rejected as the overwhelming popular taste is for the other stuff.

I agree that things have swung too far the other way. In particular in movies, it makes the director and screenwriter less of an artist. Anybody can get scares by showing someone's head get chopped off. It's a repellent act and you react instinctively. However, I don't want to get go back to a time when you simply couldn't express yourself to your fullest potential. I was just listening to the DVD commentary for "Spartacus" and Kirk Douglas said: "The censorship back then was just ridiculous." I agree.

I also agree about the sense of shame. But on the other hand I don't want to go back to a time when things were so judgemental that a person who attended a communist party meeting just to listen was described as the worst kind of moral degenerate.

Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:19 am

I agree. It'll take some time for that middle ground to be found.
And much of the 20th Century was, after all, a nightmare for
humanity, as recently as the Khmer Rouge ...and now in
Darfur region of the Sudan today.

Image

See the website in my signature, for those who haven't yet.

Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:43 am

Dr. Dre is a good example. This is a guy that used to be the epitome of the Gansgta lifestyle. It wasn't something he was trying to foist on the public. It was a description of a life that he lived. Around 1996, close to turning 30, he had a moral conversion denounced the gangsta lifestyle and promised to make morally uplifting music. Well he did just that and the album bombed. Chastened, a few years later he re-embraced his gangsta roots and his album sold millions upon millions. This is an example that you see over and over again. The industry will try to give in with "healthy" work and it will be rejected as the overwhelming popular taste is for the other stuff.


No I think the public smelled FAKE. He wasn't being honest with himself and it showed. Furthermore he was denouncing what got him there to begin with Eazy E. When he paid tribute and actually recognized his past, the public again embraced him. He went back to what he did best.

Not really too much different then what Madonna did or Elvis. When you get to far away from where you came from..then you will be shunned. BUT once you show that the magic isn't gone, your fans will be more then there for you.

Though Dr. Dre does like to rewrite history, and it is a damn shame that Eazy died, because Dr. Dre wouldn't be quite the bigmouth that he is now. "Who brought you the oldies..the Eazy E's"....yeah right. Rather it was the other way around. NWA was made Dre, the post career is only for the posers. I like the Next Episode, but it in no way eclipses the work that came before.