By Kenneth Justice
~Over the past couple weeks the various NEWS rags have been publishing numerous articles on singer Miley Cyrus and her allegedly ‘sexually scandalous’ MTV performance and singer Robin Thicke’s new ‘controversial’ music video which features nude women dancing all around him suggestively.
Really??? This is what connotes ‘scandal’ and ‘controversy’ in Western Culture these days? Since when did it become unusual to see singers, entertainers, and performers using sexually explicit lyrics, dance moves, or outright nudity to gain popularity for themselves and their music?
What am I missing? Why are NEWS sources like Huffington Post, BBC News, and others using terms like ‘scandalous’ and ‘controversial’ to describe what has become totally commonplace in our culture?
Let’s be honest; Huffington Post and BBC News are using those tag lines for the exact same reasons that performers like Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus use sex and nudity; to get noticed! It’s all about exposure. A sad truth that many of us know about the journalism business is that is just isn’t very profitable. Many journalists refer to journalism as a ‘rich dude’s hobby’. Owning a newspaper just isn’t as profitable as you might think. UK’s The Guardian, the New York Post, the Times of London are all MAJOR newspapers that LOSE money.
Thus, if you are the editor running a major NEWS rag the temptation to use salacious headlines like ‘scandalous’ and ‘controversial’ is pretty big since you know that you’re just not getting enough readers who are willing to spend their money to help you pay for the monthly electric bill.
What also strikes me as odd is the regular people, men and women like you and me….who get shocked when someone like Miley dances suggestively on television or someone like Robin Thicke hires women to dance nude for him. Inevitably, various conservative religious groups will release press statements of outrage regarding the ‘shocking behavior’ by celebrities…. (Remember Janet Jackson?) The day after the VMA Miley Cryus performance a local Christian radio host here in my city spent 15 minutes ranting against what she did.
Why are people surprised when things like that happen? Where are you living…..next to a penguin in Antarctica?
In every major city across the United States and Europe there are strip clubs where women dance naked for suburban men (married and single men, atheist and Christian) so why does it shock you when celebrities leak sex tapes (like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton) or doing something nutty on a live show? Hasn’t this become normal for our culture? Aren’t our countries driven by things of a sexual nature?
Can anything really shock us anymore? I mean consider the fact that two of the United States congressmen who were the most vocal anti-war protesters of my lifetime, Barack Obama and John Kerry, are now the very two men leading the charge to go to war against Syria!
I’ll tell you what would shock me; if the United States stopped meddling in the civil wars of other countries! Now that would be shocking, wouldn’t it?
I’d also be shocked if us bloggers who dedicate so much time to offering our readers quality material….somehow were reimbursed for all our effort, now that would be shocking!
But let’s continue to be honest, our culture doesn’t value the written word the way we value other commodities and products. People are happy to blow tons of money on cable and satellite TV bills but spend money on newspapers or blogs…..never!
It makes me sad that reality TV shows which so often seem rather dull, dimwitted, intellectually deficient and any other adjective you want to include…..are the place where you can make money. But blogging, writing about important issues, creating a positive arena for stimulating conversation…..there just isn’t any money in it.
Is it just me, or are our values out of whack in Western Culture? Have we placed an emphasis on the wrong things? I sure think so and more often than not it is discouraging. It is sad that that journalism and media our trending in the wrong direction; they are moving further and further down a slope toward irrelevance.
There is no relevancy for my life to read an article about Kim Kardashian, I simply don’t give a damn about whether or not her farts smell like honey. No offense to her, but the reality that I live in is very disconnected from anything to do with her. Yet she is the substance that drives a tremendous amount of media and journalism.
I really need another coffee.
Categories: Culture & Society