Thursday, February 28, 2013

Will the meeting of Hermits Anonymous please come to order?

Maybe I was born in the wrong century, or into the wrong culture, or on the wrong planet.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Luddite particularly. I rather like modern conveniences. I applaud technological advances that can make life less difficult and communication easier. That’s not what I’m talking about at all. Indoor plumbing was a wonderful invention.

I’m talking about what I see and hear all around me. It screams at me from television, radio, movies, the pages of newspapers and magazines, and even (and perhaps most especially) from the Internet. It’s everywhere, and I’m tired of it.

I’m talking about the celebrity-obsessed, hero-worshiping, sports-drenched, movie-star-filled culture we have become.

The news isn’t the news any more; it's one part news and two parts entertainment. Fluff stories about the rich and famous fill the airwaves. Wretched excess is everywhere, even in the midst of the economic downturn. Who is dating whom, breaking up with whom, marrying whom, divorcing whom, that’s what people nowadays want to know. Who can wear least in public, say more four-letter words on television, flout convention in general, shock the most people, that’s what we spend our time and money on.

We have degenerated into a culture that celebrates not talent or accomplishment but notoriety.

Things that used to be said in whispers are now spoken proudly into microphones.

We may give lip service to morality but secretly we enjoy watching trash on television.

Not everyone is like this, however. For every person who can’t get enough of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo someone else is riveted to Downton Abbey. Maybe that was not a good example.

I do like freedom, though, especially freedom of speech, and maybe that’s the price of freedom.

I am not advocating the repression or annihilation of people whose interests or beliefs differ from mine. Diversity is good.

I just wish people would be diverse somewhere else besides in my face.

The rant is now ended.


  1. Despite out differences, you and I are in complete harmony about some things. I would say about them the same thing Rodney Dangerfield's father said to him about life in general, but you will have to go to my latest post to read it due to your restriction on profanity. Perhaps, you think it odd that one such as myself who uses profanity, could agree with you so completely about our society's sorry descent into vulgarity. I believe that our difference is minor. Whereas you judge certain words as being bad in themselves, I don't judge any word to be bad in itself. It's all context with me, and so I feel as offended as you do by that which is crude, crass, common, trivial, prurient, and vulgar, simply for the sake of beingcrude, crass, common, trivial, prurient, and vulgar. Such things make people look stupid, so when a major part of society appears to enjoy them, it makes society as a whole look stupid. Yay, America.

  2. Good rant which I applaud. Why should we care a fig for these damned celebrities? Their prominence gives young people the false notion that those kind of hollow lives are worth aspiring to. I would shoot them all if I could get away with it.

  3. In a strange way it is comforting to know that both Snowbrush and Lord Pudding of Yorkshire, two of my most opinionated correspondents, agree with me. I think all three of us have been afflicted with that inevitable disease, A-G-E.

  4. "both Snowbrush and Lord Pudding of Yorkshire, two of my most opinionated correspondents, agree with me."

    I would have preferred "always right" or even "mostly right" to "opinionated," but I didn't come to quibble.

    "I think all three of us have been afflicted with that inevitable disease, A-G-E."

    This, though, I don't accept because I don't believe that young people of depth and intelligence are any more infatuated with such behavior than we are. My best friend is but 30, and he certainly isn't (he's the one I quoted in my last post about religion).