Wednesday, January 16, 2013


There is coming soon to TV a “reality” show about an Atlanta rapper who has eleven children by ten different women, none of whom is his wife. He also now has  a live-in nineteen year old girlfriend. Probably his next “baby momma.” Some people are objecting to this show but there will be a large number who will tune into this train wreck because that is what seems to sell. Let’s face it, this crap is what many people are watching. How else would you explain Honey Boo Boo or Jersey Shores or Tots and Tiaras or so many of the other so called reality shows?

Can someone please tell me how and why the exploitation of dysfunctional families and groups is entertaining? First, to call these shows “reality” is disingenuous. Maybe just watching ignorant rednecks involved in ridiculous situations somehow  makes us feel superior. Answer this for me. How could anyone be entertained by a music producer berating and brutalizing a young singer on national television?

Let us look at the movie industry and the video gaming business. Have you seen what passes as entertainment today? The movies are blood curdling, vampire butchery and chainsaw massacres of the worst order. The video games all seem to be blood and guts. You score by killing and beheading. How is this entertainment?

Today both of these industries are under scrutiny by groups trying to figure out if this is one of the reasons nutcases are arming themselves and killing large numbers of people. The question is do these violent movies and games contribute to their craziness?

I offer this possibility. I believe there is a creeping coarseness occurring in this country and maybe all over the civilized world. Manners are disappearing. Rudeness prevails. Respect for authority has all but vanished. What we used to call sass and talking back is now the norm. Disrespect for parents seems to be a part of every TV show. Profanity can often be heard in public. Apparently the phrase “mixed company” no longer is allowable.

Here is my question. How and when did all this happen? Is it possible that political correctness might be the genesis of this phenomenon? The PC police don’t allow you to judge. They deny you the right to decide right from wrong. There no longer is black and white, only gray. Nuance is the new norm. Normal child punishment is now child abuse. First graders playing cowboys and Indians are now expelled. Identification of people somehow now has become a bias or a prejudice. And the worst of it is that we have buried our collective heads in the sand refusing to acknowledge all of this.

Well, as I tell my grandchildren almost daily, we are the product of our choices. If we choose to watch these violent movies and TV shows, buy and play these video games, allow the PC police the almost unlimited authority to determine right from wrong, then we deserve the outcome. We have stopped punishing lawbreakers. Most arrestees are multiple offenders with numerous convictions but are out on the street. What used to be shameful is no longer even noticed let alone publicly ridiculed. There are no heroes anymore. What passes as movie stars are some of the most dysfunctional people on earth and their dysfunction is celebrated instead of scorned.

Can this all be turned around? Can we return to the more genteel America of the past? If we are to, it must start in the home. Sir and Ma'am must return to our lexicon. Parental respect must be insisted upon. Respect for law and law officers must be brought back. We have to cull the lawbreakers and scum from our midst. We have to hold our politicians, our movie stars, and our sports stars to a higher standard. When they mess up, they must be publicly ridiculed.

It is our choice. When we watch these “reality” shows and support their sponsors, we contribute to the mess we are in. Remember, we are indeed the product of our choices.

Ron Scarbro January 16, 2013

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