Culture Is Vacuous-And By Culture, I Mean…
Maybe it is just my age…but I am genuinely tierd of listening to people go on about how vacuous our culture is and how it ties to societal ills. Not because our culture has no facets that are vacuous. It certainly does. But usually when people are making that criticism, they really are decrying that people might take the time to discuss stuff they find unimportant.
It is also a criticism I see friends and aquaintences making based on stuff they see on VH1 and E! And that is kind of the problem. If your criticisms are based on shows dedicated to light and fluffy material, it is going to heavily skew how you are perceiving the culture at large.
While it can be amusing to shine a light on a dumb tweet, Facebook post or news story, that makes for a terrible jumping off point for cultural commentary. I mean, do people post dumb things on Facebook and Twitter?
But you know what?
People also post witty, thoughtful and good things on Twitter and Facebook. I see thoughts and ideas that challenge the status quo, that make me think about how and why I believe what I believe.
And unsurprisingly, those people complaining about the vacuous nature of society never see themselves as part of the problem. Instead, they are the ones “shining a light” on it. They are not expressing an epiphany borne of introspection. Rather it is merely a chance to lash out at “culture”. The commentary is often vague complaints about Kardashians and the so on. Maybe the fact that I read nuanced thoughts and discussions regarding problems within culture leave me simple wanting moer than complaints about how hollow culture is in general.
As frustrating as some of those vacuous regions of our culture can be…the critics can be equally frustrating.
but even the news is more vacuous; ABC News is more likely to show a YouTube video, or tell us what’s “trending’, in lieu of REAL news.
What?! You are saying YouTube videos are not real news?! 😉
Certainly, in the pursuit of ratings some of the news organizations focus more heavily on non-news than they should. Like I said, there are aspects that can be vacuous…but often, I see the major criticism leveled at fluff that is MEANT to be light… Like late morning talk shows. Just the other day, I saw a friend make a Facebook post that concluded that we deserve our current government based on GMA. Which I think is a bit overboard.
A lot of this may just stem from the fact that all modern culture is terrible when compared to how great things were when we were younger.
As a Gen Xer, that always used to annoy me when Baby Boomer types would always make the unfair comparison of stacking up the flagship bands of the 60’s/70’s (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Queen, etc.) with the lowest-common-denominator bubble gum bands of whatever era they wanted to denigrate instead of against THAT era’s flagship bands. In the late 80’s they’d use, say, New Kids On The Block as opposed to, say, REM.. In the late 90’s, they’d use Britney Spears or Backstreet Boys as opposed to Radiohead or Beck. Nowadays they’re using Justin Bieber as opposed to, say, LCD Soundsystem or Florence And The Machine. So instead of at least a fair-minded comparison, they’re dishing out an unfair close-minded slam.