Friday, January 30, 2009
First of all, yearning for some kind of sexual freedom is nothing new -- look at the flappers of the 1920's (rowr, check out her ankles!), and the drug-happy hippie generation of the 60's. At least the roaring 20's had a depression (I hear it was great) to knock some sense back into people, and tell them "Hey, stop screwing around and go work in a coal mine for 18 hours a day." We hit a lull in the 70's, as well. I was born in '79, so I don't remember much of it. What we need to remember is, their behavior back then was just as shocking at the time, compared to all the crap these kids are doing now. Back in the 20's, women were going to bars, smoking cigars, prostitution was everywhere and they were starting to bare more skin. In the 60's, people were having unprotected orgy sex in the mud, high as hell off LSD.
A big part of the problem now is that hippie generation went and had itself a whole bunch of kids (we fall close to this category), and as parents, they're afraid of being hypocritical. How does a generation that was defined by free love and experimentation now turn around and have to play the role they were rebelling against? And so, maybe they're a bit more lax in their parenting. This isn't the case EVERY time, but it's pretty common, at least based on what I've seen. And now those children, who had more lenient parents, are becoming parents themselves -- parents who were never truly disciplined, and therefore, won't be nearly as hard on their children.
Take all that, and combine it with the fact that we now live in a society of instant gratification. When I was a young, curious lad, I stumbled upon an old Playboy in one of my dad's old shoeboxes (his storage system of choice), and THAT was my source of sexual material. A few years beyond that, once cable TV was a part of our household, I'd have to sneak out into the living room at 4 in the morning to see boobs. Volume on mute, of course, lest I wake the folks. Today, any 12 year old boy with a computer and an internet connection (which nearly every house now has) knows what "Yahoo" or "Google" is, and can find pictures or videos of hardcore sex acts with a few clicks of the mouse. And most kids today have computers in their room, or know a friend who does; it's TOO easy to obtain porn.
Along with instant gratification, we're also escalating. Paul, you may be a bit too young to remember, but when Madonna came out with a new video in the 80's, it was cause for alarm. Compared with the music videos of today, she's almost tame. Same for TV shows and movies. Shock value keeps increasing while attention spans keep decreasing; I think the internet (again) is to blame.
Humans have always tried to top one another. It's what we do. With the internet, there are now millions (billions?) of people all trying to top one another at once. Remember when you were a kid -- if you were the best at Street Fighter II in the local arcade, you were THE best. Now, everyone's hooked up to the internet, out to top one another. Same with sexuality and shock value. Except before, when only "artists" - singers, actors, painters, and what have you - could join in, today, ANYONE can. Hell, a good 3/4 of YouTube is all one big pissing contest. "Oh yeah? I can top that."
With the exception of "Jukin' Japan," of course. I find that guy delightful.
So...we live in a world where sex is at our fingertips, and almost everyone in America is broadcasting their lives on the internet, trying to be the most popular...and we're SURPRISED morals have hit a steep decline? If anything, I'm surprised things aren't much worse right now. I hear some of the people around me at work talking, and I just don't "get" it. Bragging to one another about their drunken, meaningless sex with "what's-her-name," as if sexual conquests were medals of honor. But then, the braggarts will keep bragging, and those of us with a bit more moral fiber will keep silent. And in our silence, society will keep shining the spotlight on the voices it CAN hear, in the name of entertainment. Nobody's going to pay a $10 movie ticket to watch a bunch of high school seniors NOT try to have sex with the hot cheerleaders.
And for all the young kids growing up today, looking at that spotlight...well, you know the old saying. "Monkey see, monkey do."
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"El Diario La Prensa, the Spanish-language daily, described her as 'a disappointing choice.'
'If Gov. David Paterson wanted to deliver a slap to immigrant New Yorkers, he effectively did so with his appointment yesterday of Representative Kirsten Gillibrand,' El Diario said in an editorial on Saturday."
Really? I've always been of the impression that legal immigrants often disapprove of illegal immigrants, because they don't do the same hard work to obtain citizenship. And besides, illegal immigrants don't vote or pay taxes...so why on Earth should they be represented by our government officials?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Not going to change anyone minds, I'm sure, but this is a very well-done commercial.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
A holy man has passed away. In the tradition of great men like Sir Thomas More, Fr. Neuhaus advocated religion and morality in government and politics. He will be missed.
Edit: An overview of his life.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The strikes came after militants targeted Israeli forces "almost immediately," Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner said."
Note how the construction of these sentences implies that Israel broke the creasefire. Three hours into it, "Isreali forces fired at militants in the Hamas-ruled...territory." THEN the article says that Hamas struck first. Here's how I would have worded the same idea:
"Only minutes after the three-hour truce was set to begin, Israel responded to an attack made by Palestinian militants."
I think the qualification of self-defense is a crucial point that many media (and government) sources are failing to make. If we agree not to fight and you hit me, YOU broke the agreement, not I when I hit you back.