Friday, May 2, 2008

Takin' What They Givin'

Originally uploaded by 米死米(MSM)

We're used to taking what is handed us. Sometimes we're even pretty good at convincing ourselves we like what is handed us. For an example, let's look at American pop culture. Pop culture says the music on the radio, American Idol, and other mass media outlets is what you should be listening to. It's what is cool. It's what you should like. As a result, masses upon masses mindlessly listen to the music they're being fed in those arenas. Some people don't even realize there are other alternatives, or worse, they don't care. After all, it's on the radio and American Idol. It must be good, right?

That's just it. What is perceived as cool, is not necessarily good. It's cool to go to Starbucks, but start going there all the time and taking in all of those calories your body weight will quickly become very uncool (not to mention, your wallet will become lighter). Suddenly what is cool isn't exactly good.

Which brings me to my other point. When we mindlessly follow pop culture, we're doing nothing but taking in what the beast is feeding us. It could be damaging to us personally in some ways (especially if taken in excess), but it's cool so we don't care. Some of the best music I have ever heard has never been played on the radio, and probably never will be. Some of the best places to eat out haven't sold billions of hamburgers or stayed open for a fourth meal after midnight. In fact, I'll just say it: The best restaurants never have to make those claims or try gimmicks like staying open late in order to get you to have a midnight snack.

So why do we settle for what is cool? Why do we insist upon being mediocre or much worse, just like the masses who are mindlessly taking what they're giving?


Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what you have to say on this post and enjoyed this and the post on "suffering while evils are sufferable." But I think that it is more than mindlessness that drives people to these outlets for their music and around the clock food. Lack of time, I think is another factor in this situation. People work around the clock which means they seek their meals at times when the best or most desirable restaurants are closed. Also, many don't have the time it takes to explore, find, listen to new music and so they settle for Top-40.
I agree with Socrates when he said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." this I believe is what your are getting at but the philosopher also had his fair share of leisure to come to this conclusion.

Andrew Weaver said...

I agree that many times our modern day hectic schedule has created much of this. I was primarily wanting to address the mindlessness in which people so many times go about their lives. Which I think you understood. The music one chooses to listen to and the places one chooses to eat is just a small example.

There are many other examples that could be shown where people just rarely think about the choices they make in life. The movies we watch, the books or magazines we read, our spending, etc. I was mainly just pointing out how people generally just go with the flow (what is cool) instead of attempting to truly figure out if THEY THEMSELVES want these things for their life.

All in all, I think you got that. But I do agree that sometimes our work or whatever can dictate that. BUT - I do think sometimes people even will use that as an excuse for poor choices. But that's another post...

Clayboy said...

hey buddy, I like the IHOP!

--Jim Gaffigan

Chris said...

I was just checking in for my daily dose of Indie.