Popular–Stupidity

My obviously blunt title was chosen because this subject is pretty blunt.

I’m thinking about what is popular in the culture. Culture is a tricky word because it is different for every family, every community, every state, and every country. Culture means the food you eat, the language you speak, the clothes you wear, the ideas you have, the music you listen to, the art you admire, and so on.

What is popular varies with the culture and so making generalizations leads to stereotypes.  A homeschooler is in a different culture than a public schooler. Any religion has a different culture from another.

But in some people’s’ minds, there is a hierarchy of culture. That is why they might say of one person “They are uncultured.” See, culture  is also the word for the microbes in cheese and yogurt that make it healthy for you. Read the package of any of them, if it doesn’t say it had “active cultures” then you’re basically just eating pudding. No real nutritional value. (The more sour the better usually, but I can’t stand the really sour stuff myself. If it has chunks of fruit in it it’s also not so good, Google it.) To be uncultured usually is referring to anyone who has a small range of tastes, and especially if that person like only modern stuff, and is from the wrong neighborhood. you get the idea. We’ve all encountered it. Whether you’re on the giving or reciving end of Good Culture Pride, you know it exists.

I took the time to set this up so I’d have context for my point. Why is the word Stupidity attatched to Popular in my title? It is not, as one might expect, because I think popularity is stupid. That is a conversation for another post. No, my problem this time around is that Stupidity itslef seems tobe popular now. Again, this is a cultural thing. But whetheror not you think Stupidity should be popular, you canat least acknowledge that in areas like the movies and media and (worst of all) TV shows, Stupidity is certainly in. It’s the new way to connect with the audience. If they are all laguhing at how dumb someone else is, pretty soon everyone starts thinking “Hey this is pretty funny, I should watch it again.” Then they tell their friends “This is a great__” Movie, show, whatever. Or maybe if it’s a news byte you’ll get this “Hey, did you hear about that guy/lady who did so and so?” If this goes on ling enough we get a thing called culture. That word again.

Why, oh why, do we celebrate the stupidty of others? And better yet, why is it contagious? When the mood is high, and peer pressure kicks in, we actaully start imitating what others do just to show we are part of the group. I have an example, once these guys at a youth group got in trouble for climbing on the roof. It was a weak roof anyway, and the guy with the house next door called the church to complain that it wasn’t safe. You’d like to think that put a stop to it, but it happened again. It wasn’t a regular thing, but still. However that’s an example of teenage antics that will probably be grown out of. what about the more serious examples?

Let’s go back to some of the things I mentioned a the beginning. Language, food, music, etc.

Language: Is it just me or is English getting more abbreviated and slurred all the time? We speak in text acronyms, or shorten long words down to one or two syllables. Did you know that movies actually intentionally use two syllable words to keep it simple (i. e. dumb)? And what about rap? Some rap is good, and intelligent I’d even say, but it’s more well known for making slip shod words; using slang; or even cussing. Plenty of people are making fun of our English deterorating, but very few are doing anything about it. I use poor language too, and I’mnot proud of it, but I slip into it brcuase it’s wha tI hear most.unfortuantely I’m sur this is the case with lots of people who could speak better if challenged.

Food: At first, food doens’t seem like it would be popular, or smart or stupid. But think about it, what are we pushed to eat? What do those darn TV shows depict people preferring to eat? Junk. Always junk. And if there’s a health food person, it’s always portrayed as extreme and freaky. Maybe there are some exceptions, and it’s not the most common problem on TV shows, but more on the commercials between. A nice juicy hamburger, a lot of chocolate, or soda; that’s what we should all like eating right? And we all know it’s bad for us, but we’re such idiots we’ll eat it anyway. That’s what TV and posters tell us.

Music and Art: Why are bug-eyed freaks the new cute? Seriously, am I the only one who has screamed at the sight of some of the toys out there? Or gagged at the songs that get popular for two weeks or so. Remember “What does the fox say?” Or “I’mma gummi bear.”? They were so annoying but that was why they got stuck in your head. Enough said. Yet I heard them played at events that were supposed to be fun. And I’ve heard the freay plastic things called adorable. I still don’t know why.

Ideas: Last but not least. Daredevil stunts. Trends to be part of. Challenges to do. Taking foodies. Snap-chat. Who came up with these ideas? Not to say there aren’t reasons to do a challenge, or a stunt, and maybe if you have a medical condition, taking a picture of your food to send to your mom makes sense (If you’re a kid.) But it’s rare that there’s any valid reason at all to do this stuff. It’s just supposed to be funny.

There you are, it’s funny. And funny is popular. This is way too long already, so I’m going to end with this thought: Is this really what we want? Do we want to settle for the popular things, just because that’s what they are? Or are there more important things to consider?

Until next post–Natasha.

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