Friday, January 4, 2008

The coarsening of the culture...

It's easier to recognize changes when you aren't exposed to the gradual increments. For example, anyone who has visited a city like Chicago or New York after an absence of ten years are shocked by the number of new buildings, whereas the locals, who lived through the changes, aren't struck by any dramatic difference.

Coming from such a perspective also allows one to consider if the changes have been good or bad. What does this have to do with a copy of Details magazine in my mailbox?

Well, two actually, and I don't know why I got them - some offer from Amazon or something? Anyway, I have not read such "mens" magazines in close to ten years - even then I found them nothing more advertiser driven vehicles for hawking junk. This is issue was no different, seriously trying to convince me that a razor Mach IV or something - from Gillette would give me a better shave because of a light on the end of the blade which would help me find stubble I might have missed. Considering I have just recently gone back to safety blades (better for the environment, cheaper), I could only chuckle at this, but the rest of the "magazine" if one can call it that - because it pretty much just resembled a sales flier - is a pretty good barometer of American males - and the indicators are pretty disturbing.

Firstly, there were few 'articles' of any length - and those that were were broken up into lists and blurb boxes. Even then, they seemed to be there just for show because the typeface was often printed over photographs and graphics, making them difficult to read.

They had such charming titles such as "Are You Raising a Douchebag" - apparently advice on how to be a better parent. Do we imagine that parents, or people who want to be better parents read such articles, and if they do, will their kids be any better?

Another article, on office etiquette, advised the reader to not have sex in the company bathroom stalls with your gay lover. Who knew? Yet another informed me that the new way for actresses to break into celebrity was to get caught having sex on tape, and woman in question, Kassandra-somebody, really did have a 'booty' like black girl.

This magazine targets the demographic of young affluent males - presumably middle class to upper, college educated. But they sound vapid and stupid to me.

Pardon my prudishness, but vulgarity, cursing, porn references, and sleeze are not marks of sophistication, intelligence, or even an earmark of tolerance; on the contrary they are indicators of a culture and people descending into the state of a libertine animal . They indicators of a reader who is so illiterate and so addicted to the next stimuli that he can't stand the sight of a page with gulp....just words on it. They are indicators of effeminate, belligerent society on the verge of collapse.

No comments: