Posts Tagged ‘America’

I have been written many emails about my last post. Some agreed with me, others thought I sounded rather presumptuous. They told me they felt as though I were some old grandfather yelling at the younger generation about how much better things had been in the past.


In some ways, I can agree with them. I can admit that I may have come across as longing for the past with no concern for the future. But that is not and was not my intent.


You see, for all the wonder of this generation: The Internet, social media, social-networking, cell-phones, computers more powerful than we ever dreamed possible, getting rovers to Mars… There are still awful and gaping wholes in our society.


Shows like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Toddlers and Tiaras, Miss America, Miss Universe, the list goes on… Seem bound and determined to SHOWCASE our vapidity, vanity, stupidity, and uncanny focus on one of the least important aspects of life. Human Beauty. As a man, I find those shows degrading, both to men AND women.  


I have no problem with sex, in any of its many forms. (Keep in mind I am speaking of consenting adults.) But to assume and propagate the idea that all women must be beautiful and remain beautiful their entire lives in order to have meaningful relationships with men; about whom it is assumed and has been made a permanent part of our society that that is all we desire in a woman; is complete bullshit.


Speaking now of Toddlers and Tiaras… Who decided that it was a good idea to take CHILDREN and put them in a show about, again, human beauty? Such an attitude about life! That their lives are not worth living if they cannot achieve a toy crown that cost a fraction of the price they have put into gaining it.  I have seen the looks on the stage mothers’ faces when their child wins… and when they lose.


The show does not even keep to the well-to-do upper middle class, but also shows struggling families doing their best to put their daughters through this pantomime just so they can feel better about themselves. If they wanted to truly give their children a better start in life, or even give them a sense of accomplishment, help them get jobs! Help them get through school! Give them better goals in life than just being the prettiest face in the room.


THAT is what I was asking for when I asked you all to give America back its childhood. To stop pressuring these young, impressionable girls and boys that THIS is the way life is supposed to work. Let them be children! Let them read, and play, and have friends without fearing that they are not pretty enough, or worthy enough to be treasured. Show them that they matter just as they are, without pounds of makeup, and hairspray, and “flippers” to hide the fact they have lost a tooth, a NORMAL part of childhood!


My sisters were not allowed to wear makeup until they were sixteen for fear of what it would do to their skin. They were taught to wait, to enjoy their childhood while they have it. To not struggle for what they perceived as “adulthood” and to just BE and enjoy being. When the time came, our mother helped them learn what and how to apply, and how much. They have learned well, and are now some of the most beautiful young women I know. They know how to use their brushes and paints to ENHANCE and not overpower their natural beauty. What one of those toddlers and young teen girls will be able to say that when they have grown? It hurts my heart to see it.



As to what I said about religions and mythologies, I am aware that there are such things now. I have read Harry Potter, played Pokemon, ect. Yes, those archetypes are still present for us all to see if we look. But what about teaching them and ourselves, the history of those things? What happened to knowing where we came from to better show us where we are going?

I am not calling for a return to classical education, or even to re-enter lessons in Rhetoric and other such into the public schools. But this No Child Left Behind act is simply slowing us all down. It forces teachers to give their students the answers, or risk lower scores and penalties. It teaches teens and young adults that they will be spoon fed all the answers for the rest of their lives, because that is the way the world works.

It is things like this that make me wish for a return to what I personally see as a better time. But we have come too far. In some ways, we are better. We can communicate at the press of a button. We can share our thoughts with hundreds of thousands of people through hundreds of ways. We can see someone on the other side of the world through programs like Skype, we can connect with people of like interest through sites like Facebook and DeviantART.

But all that communication means nothing if we don’t know where it’s coming from. If we don’t know what it is reinforcing.


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