Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Degradation Of American Culture
As I sit here in front of my PC running a Windows operating system designed by Microsoft, I wish I could snap my fingers and turn it into a Mac. This is not so much because I want to be a Mac owner; although my younger brother swears by them and insists that I would love to own one, I like my PC and really don't want to make the investment involved in buying a Mac.
The reason I'd like not to own a PC at this particular moment has to do with Microsoft, and their inconspicuous contribution to the degradation of society in a commercial, as shown later in this post.
We certainly should not expect that we are living in the days of Ward, June, Wally, and the Beav' anymore. For the most part we have come to understand that when used in the proper environment and context, obscenity can be found appropriate and relevant to to the situation at hand. For example, it would be difficult to watch a movie about mobsters without an "f-bomb" being dropped every other sentence, because that is an element of reality when dealing with organized crime. There are, of course, other 'adult' situations in which profane language can be considered acceptable as well.
My concern is the amount of adult material and obscenity that is permeating today's culture at the mainstream level. This is something that can often be extremely obvious and therefore easy for parents to monitor; other times not so much. This commercial falls into the category of the not so much. Because of the nature of today's media, children will pick up on it immediately, and because it involves a product they are very in tune with it will appear to be acceptable.
Kids use computers. In fact, in many households the children are more skilled in the use of computers than are the adults. Kids also are extremely alert and media savvy, therefore when things appear in a rapid-fire fashion it is often easy for adults to overlook them, while children are more likely to catch everything. Kids are also like parrots; they have a tendency to repeat much of what they see and hear. Naturally there are instances when this can be good (Yes Sir, Thank you), but of course other times I'm sure parents wish their children were incapable of retention at any level.
This commercial is one of those instances. Notice how, like in so many commercials today, sounds and images move so quickly that unless you are focused directly on the sights and sounds coming from your speakers and screen, you will hardly be able to tell what it is that is being advertised. However, in the midst of this sensory overload comes a word that I have personally witnessed children using, and I find it nauseating that parents allow their children to speak in this fashion.
"Friggin" is the "clean" translation for another word that describes fornication, amongst other things. Some other uses of the word may indicate pain, irritability, displeasure, and other things that can be described without obscenity. Again: environment and context are everything, and in a commercial describing a computer operating system, there is no place for the use of the word "abso-friggin-lutely."
This is a commercial that I viewed during a football game. Kids watch football, as well as other sports. This commercial may not run on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel but it certainly may run during prime-time, perhaps during an episode of "Dancing With The Stars" or "American Idol," and just like that there are thousands if not millions of little ears hearing "abso-friggin-lutely." And because it is used in a commercial for a product they know and use, the word will instantly be embedded into their vocabulary and be deemed appropriate.