Proudly Unpopular–Part 3

Still continuing the discussion of unpopularity. I used to find being popular and appealing thing, even if I never thought it was something to revere. Now I think it would be exhausting to be popular. I’d rather have a few friends who really care about me and get me, than a bunch who I only hang out with for fun.

But being widely liked is nice. I’m one of those fortunate people who is liked by most who meet her, but I don’t know if that means much, other than I polite and well brought up by my parents.

To be widely liked you just have to meet certain expectations, and not fulfill other ones. If people expect someone my age to be obsessed with their image, always on some electronic, never interested in learning or real conversation, then when I don’t fulfill those expectations, they are pleasantly surprised, usually. Or they assume I’m just under fed on technology and they need to give me access to it. (? I don’t get that.)

This principle of popularity, or at least approval, doesn’t just apply to my life of course. It applies to everything. People have expectations about ideas, faiths, clothing, food, music, everything they care about. and if you just tap into those expectations, you can sellalmost anything.

If someone expects the worst of a lawyer for instance, all you have to do to convince them lawyers are dishonest is to point out one example, or point out something that looks dishonest to them if/because they don’t know the actual law, and boom! Their expectations are confirmed.

Now stay with me, this is part of unpopularity too.

The ideas that guide our culture our its most popular ideas. They aren’t popular because they are good, per sec, but because people have expectations they want fulfilled, and the trendsetters of our culture understand that and play to it.

Take movies. The adult ones are now, for the most part, sex obsessed; violence packed; and full of other ugly or profane things that seem to sell nowadays. Why do they sell? We just expect that from movies now. It doesn’t shock us anymore, and we continue to buy into it, so it shocks us less and less, until our culture has deemed it totally acceptable to allow those things.

To prove my point further, did you know words like “damn” and “hell” used to be never even used as interjections in polite company, around children, and certainly not in books, unless used by a character you were supposed to despise. Men perhaps used them when they were together and working, it was called “rough language.” Why, “heck” used to be as bad as “hell” is now. What happened? I haven’t researched it, but I’ll bet you a lot changed when movies started allowing those words in more and more often, and younger people started watching them, and eventually it stopped being shocking. in my own life, I never heard bad words (that I recognized as such) until I was older than 12. Then for some reason, people stopped censoring themselves around me. I still don’t use curse words, but it got a lot harder the more it seemed like no one else cared about it except me and my mother and siblings.

Multiply that times thousands of people and you get a culture shift. I don’t think words are really the issue, and honestly, neither is violence. Not in of themselves. The problems that the idea of what violence is, and what curse words represent, got to be more and more acceptable.

You know what’s acceptable now? Living a life of bitterness and hatred, and being haunted by a troubled past. That’s what movies and shows are promoting now. Always from the cool, but aloof good guys, whom you really like, but they are always unhappy. And what usually starts to fix them? Sex. Or they go off the deep end and start killing people.

Why do we like this now? Could it be because we started letting things like cursing someone for driving too slowly; or cursing someone in front of our kids; and releasing all our negativity on people who really didn’t deserve it, become okay? Could it also be that we kept saying the violence on TV was either not real (if you’re the type who feels better if it’s fake;) or like real life (if you’re the type who feels smart when you’re doing something that’s realistic;) and so eventually the violence that actually happens just  seems life  apart of life.

I’m as guilty of feeling this way as anyone. But I don’t like it. I don’t want to embrace it. It’s funny, the people I know who are apt to excuse the garbage on TV as being fake, tend to think I take things too seriously; but the people who talk about it being realistic, think I’m sheltered. Maybe some of you other bloggers can relate. (One reason we all like blogging is that we can express our real opinion without someone we know assuming they already know it, right?)

So, my way of seeing things is definitely unpopular. Even more so because the majority of the culture would side more with the idea that the stuff we condone as “harmless is really harmless. It’s not like we’re part of the problem, right? We just go and see the new movies because we’re curious. We don’t have to buy them all. (Heavy sarcasm.)

You get what you expect. But here’s the thing, I actually suspect that a lot of us are frustrated with the low standards. We go along with it, but deep down we wish we had better options. maybe we do and we just don’t utilize them because it’s easier to go along with everyone’s else’s standards. So you see what I mean? Ideas are either popular or unpopular. The question I’m posing is will we choose to be proudly  unpopular.

It’s a tough call, there’s lot of pressure to just go with the flow of the culture. Go see the next Star Wars Movie, check out that new show, rely on your phone apps to amuse you and do everything for you from photography to studying. It’s not like everything has to be quality right?

Wrong. At least I think so. Well, this is too long already, so adios. I think I’ll be doing one more installment in this series, so catch me next time–Natasha.

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