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.” 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.
The following three articles ran on consecutive days last week. It struck me that there was one huge thing that these articles have in common. Here are the articles:
Report Says Sugary Drinks Pile on Pounds
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
AP Medical Writer
Americans have sipped and slurped their way to fatness by drinking far more soda and other sugary drinks over the last four decades, a new scientific review concludes.
An extra can of soda a day can pile on 15 pounds in a single year, and the “weight of evidence” strongly suggests that this sort of increased consumption is a key reason that more people have gained weight, the researchers say.
Sexual lyrics prompt teens to have sex
By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.
Whether it’s hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.
Songs depicting men as “sex-driven studs,” women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.
Indianapolis on Edge Over Killings
By RICK CALLAHAN
Associated Press Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marilyn Brooks and her two children didn’t hear the gunshot that killed a teenage boy in an alley behind her home, but the slaying so traumatized her 9-year-old son that he spent the night at his grandmother’s house and refused to return home the next morning.
Thirteen people have been killed in Indianapolis in less than a week – a wave of bloodshed that has alarmed residents and civic leaders and led to stepped-up police patrols in the city’s trouble spots.
Olgen Williams, an Indianapolis activist, said young people in the city have fallen under the spell of gangsta rap and the violent lifestyle it portrays.
“They all want to be gangsters because they think that’s the thing to be. The girls want to have a boyfriend who’s a bling bling gangbanger,” he said. “In the media, if you market something enough, someone is going to buy it. And that’s what these kids are buying.”
Do you see the commonality? What commonality do you see among the articles? I’ll give you my 2¢ worth in a couple of days. Please let me hear from you.