Friday, February 15, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 94



Modern entertainment has little worth

John Moon

Does anyone else get the sinking suspicion that American culture is getting more hollow by the minute? I wonder this every time
I flip on the television (which is almost never). I watch as attractive people possessing little real substance dance to a thumping
dance beat. 

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 spark social
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 idolizes are
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 to
the background for molded young men with initials for names (J.C., P.C., M.D.)? Why did the more important, meaningful things
go underground?

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, drugs,
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,
bigger-than-your-own-pathetic-life, designer-dressed 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 those deemed
"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.

Moon, a sophomore
communication major, can be reached at

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