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August 18th, 2006 by Mike

Thanks to all of you who responded to What Do These Articles Have In Common?.

Very good, folks. My Dau emphasizes blaming external sources for lack of personal responsibility; Bonnie quotes her Grandma who says, “we’re all going to hell in a handbasket;” Scoop encouraged me to change the posting category to “Obvious” subfolder “Dah!” Vicki (Kiki) asks, “Where’s the parents’ responsibility in all this?” All cogent replies. Proof positive that intelligent people read Major Mike’s Musings

Way back when, when Mrs. Major and I taught 9th grade Sunday school class at Chapel Rock Christian Church, we had a discussion about how the TV program, Beverly Hills 90210, was an undue negative influence on the class. (Maybe Kiki will remember that discussion). The students maintained that (1) the program did not put Christianity down, (2) promoted some moral issues, and (3) didn’t influence anyone who was smart enough to know the difference between TV and real life. It was just entertainment, after all.

Fast forward to the era of the three articles. Now we have three instances where the culture is exerting unhealthy influence on its partakers, in these instances soda, raunchy sex music, and gangsta rap. Couple this influence with the denial of those influenced that they are being influenced and you have a recipe for deleterious behavior change. While teens are extremely susceptible to cultural influences because they are seeking acceptance and independence, adults are not immune.

Also notice that those who profit from these influences–Soda companies, the music business, game makers, movie companies, television networks–all deny that their product has a negative affect on the product’s users. We, my readers and I, all say, “Duh! Everyone knows that if you drink a bunch of sodas all the time you’re going to gain weight. If you listen to music that promotes sex or violence, you’re definitely going to be desensitized to sex and violence.”1 Somebody out there must be buying the hogwash. Why else would it still be there? Maybe they don’t buy it, but don’t care about the consequences. Then again, maybe they’ve figured out how to blame someone else besides themselves.

© 2006 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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  1. Thanks, Dau []

3 Responses  
  • Your Dau writes:
    August 18th, 200617:05at

    Bravo! Bravo! I would only sliiiiiiiiiiiightly change that to, “If you listen to music that promotes sex or violence, you’re definitely going to be desensitized to sex and violence.” I mean, DUR! 🙂

  • Scoop writes:
    August 19th, 200601:12at

    It’s a thoughtful and insightful summation. Yes, we need to guard both young people and ourselves against undue negative influences. However, I also think we need to guard against over-reacting against a perceived modern moral decay. I think it is common for parents/elders to bemoan modern depravity, something their own children will do when they reach that stage of their lives. For instance:

    “Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. He recounts the decency and regularity of former times, and celebrates the discipline and sobriety of the age in which his youth was passed; a happy age which is now no more to be expected, since confusion has broken in upon the world, and thrown down all the boundaries of civility and reverence.”

    Samuel Johnson: Rambler #50 (September 8, 1750)

    I think it all comes down to personal responsibility and helping our children grow to appreciate and practice their own sense of responsibility to themselves and to the world around them.

  • Mike writes:
    August 19th, 200612:31at

    In the US, compared to 30 years ago, there are more overweight people, couples are having sex for the first time earlier, and there are more gangsta murders.

    Yes, personal responsibility is the key. I’m not advocating a ban on Coke or any kind of music. I’m urging people to take responsibility for what they allow to influence them.


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