By Kenneth Justice
~ Last night at coffee a late twentyish couple was sitting together on their first date and were engaged in the usual “first date blather”,
—) “So where did you grow up”
—) “How many siblings do you have”
—) “Do you believe in space aliens?”
—) “What kind of underwear do you prefer?”
They were sitting a couple tables away from me but their conversation was a bit loud and I couldn’t help but overhear most of what they were saying. The dude was REALLY into the lass, but I could tell that she wasn’t ‘feeling it’. The dude’s main problem was that twenty minutes into their date he shifted gears to talking about his job and didn’t seem to realize that he was losing the interest of the attractive woman sitting at his table.
A lot of people have interesting jobs and I would love to hear all about them; the Prime Minister of Great Britain, an astronaut, or George Carlin could most likely entertain someone with ‘work talk’ endlessly, but talking about your job for forty minutes on a first date is probably not the best strategy to get the girl to play footsy with you under the table.
People enjoy talking about important subjects. That is perhaps the strangest thing about Western Culture I’ve noticed in recent years; people will flock to my coffee table to talk about a wide range of subjects because they are starved for intellectual conversation; yet for the most part, in their private lives the average person seems more focused on talking about leaked celebrity naked photos, family gossip, or boring work blather on and on.
When I’ve hung out with men at house parties the conversation is almost always dominated with athletics; American men talk about football and baseball as though it’s more important than anything else, and my European friends can talk about soccer till late into the night. It’s not that I have anything against talking about athletics, I actually enjoy them in small spurts. Yet, Western Society, which was built on the minds of great thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume and Paine, in recent years the dialogue seems to be more directed by the great MTV icons Beevis and Butthead.
I also find it a tad bit annoying that anytime I write a series of articles which a certain segment of my readership disagrees with; people cut me off. I write articles discussing the fundamentalism of certain religious groups or I merely question if people are placing science on too high of a pedestal and the traffic to my blog practically drops off overnight.
People in Western Society are so damn temperamental! What happened to us as a people for us to be so driven by our emotions, so consumed with talking about triviality, and so obsessed with talking about work on a first date?
I’m currently working on my graduate degree in philosophy and it blows my mind away that Western Culture used to believe that philosophy was an integral component of education in society. Have we merely exchanged critical thinking for Desperate Housewives and Reality Television? God help us.
I need another coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society