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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Social Values, Social decline

Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007, at 6:09 AM

I believe I am far from being a prude (excessively modest or proper person) but our nation's social values have certainly changed since I was a child and I can not say it is for the better. I have often heard the historical parallel to Rome and their slide into social decay.

This all came to mind because of a song that was playing on a radio when I turned it on in the hotel last week. Over and over they kept the mantra of "suicidal, suicidal". I could not understand much of the rest of it, so I could be unfairly criticizing it but, does this sound like a healthy theme for a song sung over and over by our children?

Years ago we took a CD back that our daughter had purchased by Ricky Martin. The chorus kept repeating "she'll take away your pain like a bullet to your brain". Does that sound like suicide is a viable option for pain? Do you remember the emotional swings of your teenage years? Should we allow that to be pumped in to our children under the guise of free speech?

We try to hold on to morals regarding sex and the treatment of people as human beings as not just sex objects, yet our advertisements and TV programs are filled with it, and in PRIME TIME too! Have we become numb to it?

I watched a movie on HBO that was about the struggles in Africa surrounding "conflict diamonds" The violence was immense, but at least I believe they were trying to point out the tragedies and cruelty going on. When it came to intimate scenes, we could guess what transpired but they did not see a need to show it and I lost nothing of the story line. Maybe they edited it out, but I doubt that HBO was concerned with morality.

I hope a majority of our society feels similarly, but if so, why do we allow it to continue? Is it freedom of speech, too much else to worry about, feelings of hopelessness that one person can not change things, Hollywood too independent, powerful, WHY?

Honestly, I welcome dissent on this because I would like to be convinced that this is not hurting our society. Is there little wonder why many nations see us as a decadent nation?

Cable and the internet broadcast our social values all over the world. Is this really indicative of you? It is not of me and I resent being judged by Hollywood's values.


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I have no idea how I got the word in the last comment, but the word is supposed to be don't. Oh well.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 7:41 PM

It was accurately noted that parents have a big part in how their children are brought up. Indeed they do, and we hope the responsibility is taken very seriously, BUT our society plays a part in that too.

I never thought I would find myself agreeing with the person who made the saying 但*申*申it takes a village但*申*申 popular, but the village does indeed help the parents in the raising of the next generation, even those who have never have a child.

This is not meant to relieve the parents of their responsibility, but instead to say that we as a community can help parents by giving moral support, and re-enforcing values, if we have them.

Our parents certainly had their challenges in raising us, but it was not unusual for strangers to remind us when we were out-of-line as well. When was the last time you saw an adult correct a young person who was acting up? Instead of helping to instruct the child on social behavior, we would be cussed out for not minding our own business.

It was difficult to explain to our 16 year old daughter why she had to be in at a certain time, when many of her friends seemed to have no curfew at all. Why could she not go to R rated movies when her friends did?

Why do parents allow their children to run free? Too busy, tired of fighting the social norm, don但*申*申t care?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 7:40 PM

I don't plan on blogging on here much anymore, but jesuslovesevery1, I agree 100%... Wal-Mart would see a sales INCREASE if they allowed both "explicit" and "edited" lyrics... It seems contradictory to sell "R" rated movies in the same section of the store.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 5:41 PM

I find the whole Wal-Mart thing to be a bit hypocritical. They still sell Rated R and Unrated Versions of Horror movies as well and TV mature DVD boxsets, they just simply ask for ID on those. They should do the same on CD's. They should give ME the choice on which kind of music that I want to listen to. They should have the Regular and the edited versions of the CD's, that is just another reason why my money is spent out of county in Rutherford or Coffee County, they offer me options.

If you are going to ban "explicit" lyrics, than PLEASE ban all the gore that goes along with those horrible horror movies that people seem to enjoy as well.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 5:39 PM

That is good to hear about Wal-Mart. They certainly have the clout to make a difference and I am impressed that they did.

Cartoons were actually pretty violent. That was an anomaly of the time.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 4:18 PM

It is not a simple problem, nor is there a simple answer, but what can we do about it? When we took the CD back to Wal-Mart, they expressed concern about the lyrics, but I am sure their policy on music did not change. If they refused to sell this crap, it would make a statement.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 5:19 AM

Actually, Wal-mart has a stricter music policy than most retailers. A lot of artists are forced to change lyrics or make edited versions just so Wal-mart will sell their CD. They receive a lot of criticism for this policy, because adults feel that THEY are being told what they shouldn't see or listen to.

Nathan made some good points. In some aspects, we are held to a higher standard than previous generations.

As far as TV is concerned, I remember watching a lot of cartoons when I was a kid that would be considered very offensive if produced today.

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 2:24 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071017/od_...

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 9:48 AM

Hollywood has responded to the needs of those wanting to limit what is consumed by the American public. When you take your family to the movies you can easily tell if you should enter the show or not by looking at the rating (G, PG, PG-13, R). Television has responded in the same way, posting ratings at the beginning of a show and at other intervals as deemed necessary. Music and video games also have a rating system that is printed on the front. You decide what is good for you. Some parents don't care to limit what their children see and hear. That is their choice.

I feel that we as individuals are no more or no less immoral than any previous generation. In the past many women put up with abusive or cheating husbands because of a "hush hush" mentality that the conservatives created. The hate and brutality in the south towards blacks in the 50's was borne out of this so-called morally upright school of thought. What about issues like sexual discrimination in the workplace? In my opinion we are a better society in so many important ways that the few things that you guys feel have not changed for the better may have not been that good of a standard to begin with.

Now days, people are more or less an open book, held accountable for restricting another person's freedoms. The skeletons in the closet are being exposed and people need this healing action to move on with their lives and be productive in society. In America today anyone can live the American dream with hard work and dedication regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or religion which to me is a very good indication that the system is working.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 9:42 AM

It all fits together with the decay of our society. Lack of a stable family environment, parents who either never learned parenting skills, don't care or expect someone else to do it and a society that says if it feels good do it and all others beware.

It sure does sound like the 60's, and that was my generation. At the time it sounded good, but the lessons of time have shown me that my parents were right.

It is not a simple problem, nor is there a simple answer, but what can we do about it? When we took the CD back to Wal-Mart, they expressed concern about the lyrics, but I am sure their policy on music did not change. If they refused to sell this crap, it would make a statement.

I enjoy the wit of "Two and half men" but it is so riddled with explicit sexual content that I no longer support it with my viewing. How can a young actor be allowed to participate in the creation of this? Why is this being allowed during prime time, and what is it teaching about our youth?

We recoil when we hear children using filthy language in public, but are their roll models any better? I understand their confusion why a 15 year old can not say it, but an adult uses it and thinks it is great fun.

No, it is not one thing alone and if WE showed our concern at the box office or through the Nielsen ratings, Hollywood would respond, but we are not stepping up to the plate. WE are accepting what they think our society wants and apparently THEY are not wrong.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 5:19 AM

It's not Hollywood's goal to educate our children. Their goal is to make money, and they do it by any means neccessary. If sex and violence sells the most tickets and keeps people watching, then that's what they'll promote.

Teaching morals is supposed to be our responsibility as parents. The problem isn't what Hollywood is teaching kids, it's what the parents aren't teaching them.And lets not forget that a lot of kids don't have parents (plural) in the home to begin with.

It may be easier to think that a child shoots his classmates because he listened to Marilyn Manson, or that a teenager commits suicide because he listened to "Livin da vida loca " too many times, but I'm afraid it's just not that simple.

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 12:49 AM

My brother and sister were in high school in the 60s and it had all started before I got there in the 70s.

One of many links to the 60s:

http://users.rowan.edu/~lindman/hippiein...

-- Posted by stardust on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 6:24 PM

Good subject!

Gosh michaelbell, I'm alittle older than you. '65 model here, anyway I agree that the morals in our country have fell to an all-time low. Even the commercials are questionable.

Remember when Jane Russel HAD to wear the turtle-neck UNDER her bra? Now they can make a whole matching set with less fabric! AND, show it all! Thats what my boys need to see more of now ain't it?

Its like I try to teach them, "Just because you can, don't mean you should".

-- Posted by countrymom on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 11:46 AM

That is probably the best time-frame to reference. There was a popular song by Bob Dylan called "the times they are a changin'" Quite prophetic in retrospect.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 8:16 AM

I was not born till 68 ,but my parents always told me that things started going downhiil after Vietnam.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 7:23 AM

Stardust, what did the 60's seem like to you?

Those were my high school years and I was unaware of what pot smelled like, unaware of my friends getting drunk, unaware of porn and certainly never saw any TV like we have now.

I distinctly remember a science show that was probing a question of how a woman could get pregnant without having sex with a man, and my parents flipped out and flipped the TV off.

Now, within the 7:00 o'clock hour we can often hear crude, explicit anatomical descriptions and it is supposed to be family viewing time.

If I sassed back to my parents, I better have a head start on my father. I remeber the last time he used the "cat n nine tail" on me and and it truly seemed to hurt him deeply when he did it, but I still got it.

What was different about your culture?

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 9:12 PM

You must have grown up in a different culture than I did in the 60's.

-- Posted by stardust on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 8:11 PM

I agree with you totally , this morality of this nation has dropped a whole lot since the 60's.

It was said that the two things that caused the fall of Rome were because their military was spread to thin and the moral decline seems like we are next.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 2:25 PM

Steve,

Thank you for you good comments. You know as I continue into the sunset years of my life, I am reminded that things change, sometimes not for the better. Many aspects of politeness and etiquette seem to have been left behind by younger members of our culture.

Someone expressed on another blog recently that the First Amendment to our Constitution meant they could say anything to anyone at any time. I assume this came from a young person. It does not sound like something a person who has had time to accumulate more wisdom would say. As a child, I was taught to respect my elders. That didn't mean I was required to agree with them, but it did mean that if I were to verbally disagree, it had better be tactful and respectful.

Some say that we southerners, particularly more bucolic southerners, are naive and backwards. We have not "progressed" like "city-folk" who have attained a higher level of sophistication. I resent that attitude. Many rural southerners are educated, (either formally or self-taught) articulate, genteel, productive and valued citizens of our nation. Why then are we slandered by people who assume we must all agree with their philosophies.

Is there no longer a remnant of something called taste? Some things are in bad taste, it is those that our society seems to have come to see as humorous and entertaining. I keep waiting for the pendulum to swing back a little more toward center. It would indeed be nice if decency and propriety were once again accepted as polite and preferred. When a society begins to accept the vulgar as mundane, then surely it is indicative of a society in decline.

I do not for one minute promote censorship from government. I do however recommend it from each individual. If we all were to think about the things we say and do a little more deeply, I wonder if we might be more civil to each other? This doesn't mean you are not allowed to express your differences, but like my grandmother always said, "you can catch more files with honey than with vinegar."

-- Posted by dmcg on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 8:02 AM

We are a very decadent and excessive nation . . . we like to push the boundaries and see what we can get away with but we are still consider prudish by some European nations on certain subjects(like nudity, sex, and drugs). What I find sad is the lack of respect and attitude of children and teenagers and this is coming from a 32 year old. I can walk in Wal-Mart and in a matter of minutes hear some child or teenager cussing out their parents and the parents do nothing. If I had done that to my father I could guarantee you that my butt would have been red by the time I got out of that store and I would definitely had an attitude adjustment. I think we do over preach the right to free speech and make too many excuses for children and teenagers today. Plus, its saddens me when certain hyperactive children are drugged up because parents don't have good parenting skills and don't know how to discipline(I am not saying some kids don't need drugs but I do think some people use it as a quick fix to their problems).

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that parents don't spend enough time with their children and don't know what is going on in their life. They are too busy letting their children have their own life while they go about and do their own thing and this is made easier by cell phones and teenagers have more access to cars and driving. My parents had far less conveniences than the parents of today but I feel like they did a far better job at parenting because they had dinner at the table and they were involved in every aspect of my life. Did I always enjoy it as a child and teenager having my parents looking over my shoulder? No, but I respect it now as an adult and I think it has made me a better person plus when I was a teenager they never gave me a curfew because they knew I was raised right and respected my judgment. I sometimes worry about our future by looking at the youth today.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 7:54 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.