So this is the November issue of the magazine with a few articles by me. Thomas Rhett's 'Beer with Jesus' has been included here and I wrote something about the entertainment industry which might be a little bit preachy...
Entertainment is not what it used to be
When you switch on the TV or listen to songs by the biggest names in the music industry, you cannot help but cringe and wonder at the abasement of it all. How did this degradation seep in? When did it become cool to objectify women and let derogatory comments pass off as comedy? Most of the famous shows today have this cool character whose life revolves around drinking and sleeping with different women, perfect examples would be Charlie Harper and the legendary Barney Stinson. These characters are the epitome of being cool and having it all, and they have the best lines on the show. This is the idea that is being propagated to young people who watch these shows, that your life is enjoyable only when you drink all the time and hook up with random women. The TV show, ,Two and a half Men, is disgusting, crass and completely juvenile. Barney Stinson on the other hand, is kinda likeable because of all his crazy ideas and notions that form the lifeline of HIMYM, but his attitude towards women is despicable. These shows can be entertaining to people in their 30’s and 40’s, since their moral values are already in place. They understand that what they observe in these shows is just a parody of the times we live in; they aren’t influenced by the characters. To them it’s just a way to unwind and have some fun. Impressionable young ones on the other hand, tend to think it is cool to be a womaniser and they try to emulate these unscrupulous characters.
And the music industry is a whole different dimension of insanity and debasement. Granted, a few songs do sound nice and they are worth listening to, but a majority of the chart topping songs are sleazy and profanity laced. And the music videos are even worse; they seek to shock rather than entertainment. And the biggest grossing movies are not far behind; they too celebrate crassness and vulgarity, in fact they revel in it. To a Catholic these movies, songs and shows don’t offer much growth or inspiration. They serve to desensitise us and make us think that what these characters do is acceptable in today’s world. I mean we no longer feel that it is a sin to sleep around with random people we just met, because everybody on TV does it. Everything is overtly sexual these days, even the advertisements on TV have only one agenda for their products, to make you more desirable to the opposite gender. I really don’t know what goes on in the minds of children when they see these advertisements, or hear songs with questionable lyrics. The Steubenville rape case is probably a result of such blatant sexualisation of women as propagated in the media. A google search will reveal the arrogance with which a couple of jocks took advantage of an intoxicated 16 year old and captured themselves violating her on their camera phones, and later bragging about it to their friends and sending them the pictures to prove it. Cases like this depict the eroding values of society; friends and classmates watched as the boys committed their crimes, no one thought of helping the girl or calling an adult.
Genuine entertainment should be sought out, movies and music that can enlighten and inspire should be propagated instead of violence and debauchery. Of course, it is good to stay abreast of times but it is not necessary to wallow in the filth that plagues society. Do not let this filth seep into your lives; learn to discern between decent meaningful entertainment and the senseless entertainment that serves no purpose. Inspirational movies, books and music will enhance your inner peace and joy, and serve to strengthen your faith. Search for books with true literary value that will enable you to evolve as a person. Learn to set ground rules for children and teenagers, their exposure to electronic media should be supervised. Starting today, try to seek out decent movies and shows, try to listen to good music with meaningful lyrics. Propagate love and peace through your actions and words and don’t be easily influenced by media and society.