10.07.2015

We can't have just one...

As I walked past a stack of magazines at the gym today, I was reminded once more of a blog post that I have always wanted to write but can never seem to find the right words to say it.

I am going to try again...

We'll see how it goes...

I am very selective in the media choices that I make. I am careful in the words I read, the movies I watch, the music I listen to, and the pages I allow my internet browser to load. I am sensitive to things that are too violent, too crude, too sexual, or just too asinine. I don't expect all things to be censored to the level that I feel comfortable with so I find it my job to do so personally. So based on this, the media that I usually encounter is what most would call "squeaky clean."

But even with all my parameters, there are times that media below this standard comes into my view. Billboards, movie tailors, magazines, a few pages in an otherwise great book, and basically anytime I pull up Yahoo's homepage. All of these allow words and images to enter my brain that I prefer did not exist there.

There have been numerous occasions where what I have seen or heard completely shocks me.

Blake and I went to the opening night of Hunger Games, before the show and even before the previews, there was this Behind the Scenes Look at Such-and-Such TV Show. It was essentially a three-minute pornographic display. The median age of that audience, if I had to guess, was 16. To this day I am still trying to figure out what the producers were thinking - what were they trying to accomplish?

I enjoy action movies. I would say my tolerance for on-screen violence is higher than my tolerance for on-screen sex. Blake and I usually see most of the PG-13 blockbuster action flicks in the theater. But the last Batman - The Dark Knight Rises - had me literally plugging my ears and closing my eyes to the carnage that was being displayed.

The only (non-church) magazine I have ever had a subscription to is Better Homes and Garden. But I have stood in enough grocery store lines staring at glossy covers that I could list 5 people Jennifer Aniston has dated without even trying and pondered the questions, "Have they really found 10 new ways? Really - 10 new ways? Haven't we been doing this for thousand of years? I don't think there are 10 new ways."

I think we have a problem in the entertainment industry. They want to walk that line - they want to cross it - they want to shock and awe us all. And we are becoming numb to it - we let it filter in, we pay money to read, watch, or listen to it, and we scroll through it on our feeds without recognizing any harm.

And then we are floored when a mass shooting occurs or that students are casually raped on college campuses across the nation. We can't comprehend the grievances born by so many innocents at the hands of drug and alcohol. We condemn the violence on the streets or that girls are being exploited at younger and younger ages. 

But we can't have just one.

We can't have the violence, the drugs, the sex, and the profanities be part of our entertainment without it affecting our real lives.

We can't have women standing naked (hands over boobs doesn't count as clothing) on magazine covers toting 6 easy ways to a perfect bod and wonder why women are still viewed as sexual objects.

We can't have realistic first-person shooter video games and wonder why gun violence is so high.

We can't have stupid comedies with the same alcohol-infused-party-plot-line and wonder why substance abuse destroys so many lives.

 As long as we allow degenerated media to be the entertainment in which permeates our lives then we will continue to see an alarming increase in real world moral decline.

We can't have just one.