Modern entertainment has
Does anyone else get the sinking suspicion
that American culture is getting more hollow by the minute? I wonder this
I flip on the television (which is almost
never). I watch as attractive people possessing little real substance dance
to a thumping
I can imagine the marketing guru licking
his chops backstage, and all the while there is the American culture that
is ever more
resembling a Faberge egg — ornately beautiful
on the outside and completely hollow on the inside.
It isn't just the glitz on the idiot box,
either. Has anyone realized that classic literature seems to be a rare
thing these days? The
books of today lack that heart and soul
that made the classics so great. They simply "don't make 'em like they
used to." They are
shiny stories that get the readers' attention
enough to sell a million copies, but they are not life-changing, they don't
revolution and they are oftentimes forgotten
when the next shiny story comes out.
Music has also seen a significant decline
in legitimate seriousness in the past few years. The people our culture
figures stretched and shaped until they
hardly look like real people. They set trends for consumers to buy into
the way a fish
bites a shiny lure. Behind it all, there
is someone like Lou Perlman getting fabulously wealthy.
I realize that pop music and the latest
John Grisham book are not the best reflections of American culture. Some
might say that
doesn't have anything to do with it. Music
and literature are the heart and soul of a society. They are a reflection
of what we, as
Americans, are about. So with that being
said, where did we take the turn?
When did classical literature become something
no longer produced, only studied? When did meaningful music get pushed
the background for molded young men with
initials for names (J.C., P.C., M.D.)? Why did the more important, meaningful
The answer is obvious to this columnist:
money. After all, who cares about meaning or heart and soul when that's
not where the
money is? The answer to what causes most
of America's problems is the desire to gain wealth. Theft, some murders,
prostitution and those annoying teenage
stars — they are all chasing the mighty dollar.
So where's the answer? Well, if anyone
can figure out how to get the greed out of it, then the surgically crafted,
stars will cease to be.
We could go to a society where "it's what's
on the inside that counts" isn't just something people say to be nice to
"ugly" by society.
We could go to a society where dollars
and cents aren't important, where a meaningful life is the measure of success.
But realistically, this will never, ever,
ever happen. So keep singing Britney Spears, keep dancing to 'NSync, and
while we're at
it, someone have John Grisham write another
book where a successful lawyer gets disenchanted with American law, because
no one will see that coming.