Monday, March 07, 2005

Strip Clubs and Spy TV

It's funny, a couple of my favorite blog writers have chosen, seemingly independently, to write about this topic at once.

Watching televison these days, one get the sense that taste, decorum, and shame have all fled somewhere, never to be seen again.

The Mrs. has said it best:
"...it isn’t about dramas or comedies anymore. It’s about peeking into people’s lives. These programs started out innocently enough—talent competitions and game shows, but they quickly dissolved into something more than that. Now the talent competitions aren’t about the talent, but about the contestant. The talent component or the contest is just a fa├žade. It isn’t about who wins. We follow the participants from dressing room, to bathroom, to living room. We peer into their hearts and souls—their private conversations and inner thoughts. It’s blatant voyeurism. It’s truly disgusting. The fact that people gossip the next day about what he said, she said in offices and lunch tables makes me want to vomit."
Unfortunately It's not much better in the malls, or even in the workplace.

Avery tooley suggests:
"At this point, we live in a strip club culture. Nearly everything we do seems to be geared towards the lessening of inhibitions and towards a gratuituous displays of sex and/or sexuality. Look at what comes on television. I'm not so much talking about instances where the characters show skin. I mean, that's one level, but that's not where it really gets deep. The number one type of show these days is the surreality show. That's regular people who choose to live in front of the camera. That's level 1 exhibitionism right there. Sadly, people about 10 and under will have grown up with this as a norm. Most of them will grow up with a very different concept of what privacy is than the one I grew up with. Or maybe privacy isn't quite the word I'm looking for. Maybe what we're currently short on as a society is shame."

To my mind, it's not so much that we are missing shame (although we certainly are), but more that we have raised a generation (or maybe two) of people with very little sense of the apropriate.

This doesn't just apply to television, and music videos. I'm 28, and a small business owner, and I have conducted many interviews for professional positions where applicants just out of college (or around that age) have shown up wearing board shorts, a slogo t-shirt and a baseball cap.

They really didn't understand what was wrong when I refused to even consider them for the job.

Young women are even worse. What we wouldn't have accepted on Madonna 20 years ago is now worn by young women (really overaged girls) to the workplace, the mall, and even to two and three star restaurants.

Let me be clear, there is no environment other than the beach or the gym, where shorts or track pants with a thong sticking out, flipflops, and belly shirts are apropriate.

Unfortunately this trend even extends to language. If someone doesn't understand that the word bitch has no business in a job interview, how can you hire them?

As a culture, we have torn down the barriers between the personal, the impersonal, and the professional spaces, and young people just dont seem to understand what behavior is appropriate where and when, or even what appropriateness is at all.

Please note, I'm not blaming the 18 year olds, I'm blaming the people that raised them, and taught them... or rather the people who never did.