Total Posts:17|Showing Posts:1-17
Jump to topic:

Society is Getting Meaner

charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:12:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't know about you, but I've been noticing for some time now that our society seems to be getting meaner. And I don't just mean that the "bad guys" of our society are getting more predatory and sadistic, I mean that the attitudes of society's "nice people" and "good citizens" are becoming more and more unkind. I'll give a couple of trivial examples of what I'm talking about.

Back in the days before the Dirty Harry movies, when TV cop characters were more human and humane, police dramas would now and then do an episode that focused on the emotional aftermath for an officer who had killed in the line of duty. In these episodes the cop who had killed a perp would be shown going through some psychic pain and a moral crisis about taking a human life, even though his action had been ruled a "good shooting". These TV cops had decent human feelings about depriving even "scum bags" of life.

But then I think it was in the 80s that this turns around, and more and more TV cops became chips off the new Dirty Harry cultural archetype. Their approach to police work and their attitudes seemed to be modeled more on insensitive Inspector Harry Callahan and his take-no-prisoners (literally) mentality than on the mild-mannered Dudley Do-Rights of 50s and 60s cop shows. The "good guys" of the boob tube and the big screen became more unabashedly callous, more like the villains, except that they reserved their brutality and deadliness for those dregs of society who supposedly deserved it.

Sure, this is only TV, but it seemed to jibe with and pander to the mentality of a large audience, of a large and representative cross section of the public. It seemed to be an indication that our attitudes were hardening, that we were growing more disdainful of the human worth and rights of anyone we deem to be beyond the middle-class pale of propriety.

Today there seems to be no doubt left that this is the case, that as a society we've become seriously more unpitying. More contemptuous of the idea that the homeless are worthwhile human beings who are entitled to society's help, that immigrants are just desperate people seeking to escape the poverty created in their countries by our corporate fat cats, that black people are still the victims of the system's racism, and that crooks still have some human rights that should be respected.

In fact the "angry white man" who has only hostility for the notion that women and minorities have some legitimate gripes has become a familiar stereotype. In the "angry white man's" book everyone else is just a "whiner", he lacks the self-awareness and honesty to realize that he's just projecting his own inner whiner, his own sense of having been shafted by the status quo. Tragically, instead of joining in solidarity with women and minorities to challenge and change an unjust status quo, "angry white men" succumb to identity politics and unproductively focus their disgruntlement on powerless fellow victims rather than the power elite that's truly responsible for the raw deal their lives have become.

The other item of evidence pointing to the fact that society is getting meaner that offhandedly comes to mind is a program on TV that I recently stumbled across while channel surfing. The show is called Nancy Grace. It features an unpleasant person with what seems to be a permanent snarl on her face who exploits crimes and family tragedies that have made it into the news for fodder for her "legal analysis". Ms. Grace typically gloms onto the cases of molested and murdered children and other vile crimes and milks them for all the judgmental venom she can spew. Recently she sank her claws into the Zahra Baker case and just exploits it ad nauseam every night. Such cases merely serve as a sanctimonious soap box for her mean-spirited, moralistic demagoguery.

She also has a court show, Swift Justice, on which she provides her audience with a high tech pillory of people who've screwed up in one way or another. The chief entertainment value of such courtroom shows does seem to be that they subject "litigants" to a tongue lashing from judgy judges so that viewers can vicariously get their own judgmentalness off. In the Middle Ages they put naughty folks in stocks in the public square so that their holier-than-thou neighbors could stroll by and enjoy a sense of moral superiority to the lowly drunk or blasphemer, today we have the likes of Nancy Grace and Judge Judy providing the same release for our cruel side and petty egoistic need to feel superior at someone else's expense.

That our society eats up such television programming rather than being turned off by its unkind nature is what's so disturbing and damning in my view. What we like to watch on the idiot box says a lot about our mind-set, and what it's been saying for a while now is that we're growing increasingly unsympathetic, cynical, illiberal, and yes, downright mean in our opinions and sentiments.

Nancy Grace uses the slogan "We want justice", well, it seems that for her and for many of us nowadays justice is just an abstract concept that we use to legitimize our malicious desire to judge, rebuke, punish, and inflict violence. Moral cowards that we are we pay lip service to justice to conceal from ourselves the real nature of our impulses, to camouflage our cruelty.

The shameful truth is that as a society and as individuals we're less concerned about social justice and more keen on ruthlessly enjoying power over others. We'd rather narcissistically empower our egos by judging our neighbor than help him/her become a better person. We'd rather brandish the power to lock criminals up than rehabilitate them. We'd rather use law enforcement as an instrument of control over the populations of our ghettos than practice economic justice toward them. We'd rather demonstrate our system's power by cracking down on undocumented workers than address the immigration issue with intelligence and compassion. We'd rather inflict our military might on the innocent civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan than justly deal with the righteous reasons why the teeming masses of the Third World resent the rich nations. Etc., etc.

This self-pleasing pursuit of power of ours is leading us into mean behavior and attitudes that undermine our society's ability to achieve greater social progress and justice. If we genuinely care about grounding our society in the ethical and progressive values we profess to hold dear then we urgently need to wake up to the corrosive and corrupting effect that being power-proud, hardhearted, angry, and uncompassionate is having on our civilization's soul.

http://www.thetotalrevolutionproject.com...
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:32:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think if you are basing everything off of TV and the news, you are not going to be getting the whole story.

Americans are giving more to charity then ever (even when adjusted for inflation)
http://www.usatoday.com...

Americans give more per person then ever before (up 190% in 50 years) and most of the money is given by individuals.
http://www.american.com...

Violent crimes are decreasing.
http://www2.fbi.gov...

TV may not be so nice, but TV is not reality.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:44:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:16:33 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
tl;dr

Please, nobody is going to read something that long in these forums.

Now I feel bad cause I did read it all. I'll paraphrase, Basically he's complaining about shows like Judge Judy saying that makes people judge others, something about how since some movie came out people have been meaner, and something about how its not right that these days rather than helping criminals and immagrants, and helping other countries we punish, fight, and kill them.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:54:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:32:42 PM, OreEle wrote:
I think if you are basing everything off of TV and the news, you are not going to be getting the whole story.

Americans are giving more to charity then ever (even when adjusted for inflation)
http://www.usatoday.com...
People earn, much, much more in regards to what they live on.

Americans give more per person then ever before (up 190% in 50 years) and most of the money is given by individuals.
http://www.american.com...
Like above.

Violent crimes are decreasing.
http://www2.fbi.gov...
They started decreasing only about a two decades he's speaking in regards to the 60s-70s.

TV may not be so nice, but TV is not reality.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:55:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:54:02 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
They started decreasing only about two decades ago, he's speaking in regards to the 60s-70s.

Correction*
I changed the sentence midform.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/31/2010 1:56:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Society is getting meaner??? STFU, @ss clown!!!

What do you mean "society is getting meaner," idiot? :)
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/1/2010 2:24:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Television is far less relevant than now than it was in the 70's. At one point there was a quote by Nixon where he said: 'If i lose Cronkite I've lost the country". Can you imagine any president saying 'If i lose Katy Couric I've lost the country" - absurd now. Television, particularly network television, is deemed correctly as rating whores. I really don't think that A. it's fair to judge society by what you see on television, and B. that you watch so much television - it's really all crap. I never understood how i could find nothing to watch on television with hundreds of stations.

If your OP were to look at things like charitable donations or blood donations, or other rates of altruism that are measurable you would find more credibility.

Also - why don't you heed the suggestions and be more succinct in writing. It's far more reasonable to accommodate the customs of this site than expect us to accommodate you.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/1/2010 9:22:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:54:02 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
At 10/31/2010 1:32:42 PM, OreEle wrote:
I think if you are basing everything off of TV and the news, you are not going to be getting the whole story.

Americans are giving more to charity then ever (even when adjusted for inflation)
http://www.usatoday.com...
People earn, much, much more in regards to what they live on.

Correct, however, according to the second link (of which I'm trusting, I don't know where they got the numbers), our charitible givings have increased greater then our increased earnings. Our earning have increased 150% (adjusted for inflation), while giving has increased 190% (adjusted for inflation).


Americans give more per person then ever before (up 190% in 50 years) and most of the money is given by individuals.
http://www.american.com...
Like above.

Violent crimes are decreasing.
http://www2.fbi.gov...
They started decreasing only about a two decades he's speaking in regards to the 60s-70s.

TV may not be so nice, but TV is not reality.

True. However crime has been decreasing for about 2 decades, but society has been getting "meaner" over the last decade.

There was acually some very interesting things I learned in a history of video games college class I took (counts as a history class towards my general requirements!!!!). One of the things we looked at was how the protaganists have evolved through the generations, and mainly that in the late 80's through the 90's, games (and movies) took a very individual approach, which heros that were often alone and worked by themselves, often as rebels or outcasts. They say that is because of the society of the 80's (the teen's society, since that is where much of the games were targeted to), which had a disconnect from parents and authority. What many games are predicting is that upcoming future games are going to be much more team oriantated because of our growing social connection through facebook and twitter, along with growing technology that makes it easier to play with your friends without anyone leaving their house.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 10:03:10 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/1/2010 9:22:33 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 10/31/2010 1:54:02 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
At 10/31/2010 1:32:42 PM, OreEle wrote:
I think if you are basing everything off of TV and the news, you are not going to be getting the whole story.

Americans are giving more to charity then ever (even when adjusted for inflation)
http://www.usatoday.com...
People earn, much, much more in regards to what they live on.

Correct, however, according to the second link (of which I'm trusting, I don't know where they got the numbers), our charitible givings have increased greater then our increased earnings. Our earning have increased 150% (adjusted for inflation), while giving has increased 190% (adjusted for inflation).
I need to see the trends for complete knowledge.


Americans give more per person then ever before (up 190% in 50 years) and most of the money is given by individuals.
http://www.american.com...
Like above.

Violent crimes are decreasing.
http://www2.fbi.gov...
They started decreasing only about a two decades he's speaking in regards to the 60s-70s.

TV may not be so nice, but TV is not reality.

True. However crime has been decreasing for about 2 decades, but society has been getting "meaner" over the last decade.


There was acually some very interesting things I learned in a history of video games college class I took (counts as a history class towards my general requirements!!!!). One of the things we looked at was how the protaganists have evolved through the generations, and mainly that in the late 80's through the 90's, games (and movies) took a very individual approach, which heros that were often alone and worked by themselves, often as rebels or outcasts. They say that is because of the society of the 80's (the teen's society, since that is where much of the games were targeted to), which had a disconnect from parents and authority. What many games are predicting is that upcoming future games are going to be much more team oriantated because of our growing social connection through facebook and twitter, along with growing technology that makes it easier to play with your friends without anyone leaving their house.
O lawd, I know... The child [strikethrough]anarchist[/strikethrough] liberal movement is a thing of the 1960.

GCSE History - Module 4: The 1960s; I thank the lord that I didn't have to do this part of the course with the class. I was the only traditionalist conservative in the class and that movement crashed after goddamn liberalism(UK politics/Harold Macmillan).

Anyway, sociology/criminology has linked crime to times of poverty or social individualism(death of community). The latter choice seems more reasonable in regards to statistics. I remember reading about Holmes' Murder Castle in my Crime & Deviance module last year and analysing crime vs. community in 19th Century USA.

Games are a feature of the late 1970s and crime peaked and began to decrease round about then.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Veridas
Posts: 733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 11:01:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:12:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
I don't know about you, but I've been noticing for some time now that our society seems to be getting meaner. And I don't just mean that the "bad guys" of our society are getting more predatory and sadistic, I mean that the attitudes of society's "nice people" and "good citizens" are becoming more and more unkind. I'll give a couple of trivial examples of what I'm talking about.

Back in the days before the Dirty Harry movies, when TV cop characters were more human and humane, police dramas would now and then do an episode that focused on the emotional aftermath for an officer who had killed in the line of duty. In these episodes the cop who had killed a perp would be shown going through some psychic pain and a moral crisis about taking a human life, even though his action had been ruled a "good shooting". These TV cops had decent human feelings about depriving even "scum bags" of life.

But then I think it was in the 80s that this turns around, and more and more TV cops became chips off the new Dirty Harry cultural archetype. Their approach to police work and their attitudes seemed to be modeled more on insensitive Inspector Harry Callahan and his take-no-prisoners (literally) mentality than on the mild-mannered Dudley Do-Rights of 50s and 60s cop shows. The "good guys" of the boob tube and the big screen became more unabashedly callous, more like the villains, except that they reserved their brutality and deadliness for those dregs of society who supposedly deserved it.

Sure, this is only TV, but it seemed to jibe with and pander to the mentality of a large audience, of a large and representative cross section of the public. It seemed to be an indication that our attitudes were hardening, that we were growing more disdainful of the human worth and rights of anyone we deem to be beyond the middle-class pale of propriety.

Today there seems to be no doubt left that this is the case, that as a society we've become seriously more unpitying. More contemptuous of the idea that the homeless are worthwhile human beings who are entitled to society's help, that immigrants are just desperate people seeking to escape the poverty created in their countries by our corporate fat cats, that black people are still the victims of the system's racism, and that crooks still have some human rights that should be respected.

In fact the "angry white man" who has only hostility for the notion that women and minorities have some legitimate gripes has become a familiar stereotype. In the "angry white man's" book everyone else is just a "whiner", he lacks the self-awareness and honesty to realize that he's just projecting his own inner whiner, his own sense of having been shafted by the status quo. Tragically, instead of joining in solidarity with women and minorities to challenge and change an unjust status quo, "angry white men" succumb to identity politics and unproductively focus their disgruntlement on powerless fellow victims rather than the power elite that's truly responsible for the raw deal their lives have become.

The other item of evidence pointing to the fact that society is getting meaner that offhandedly comes to mind is a program on TV that I recently stumbled across while channel surfing. The show is called Nancy Grace. It features an unpleasant person with what seems to be a permanent snarl on her face who exploits crimes and family tragedies that have made it into the news for fodder for her "legal analysis". Ms. Grace typically gloms onto the cases of molested and murdered children and other vile crimes and milks them for all the judgmental venom she can spew. Recently she sank her claws into the Zahra Baker case and just exploits it ad nauseam every night. Such cases merely serve as a sanctimonious soap box for her mean-spirited, moralistic demagoguery.

She also has a court show, Swift Justice, on which she provides her audience with a high tech pillory of people who've screwed up in one way or another. The chief entertainment value of such courtroom shows does seem to be that they subject "litigants" to a tongue lashing from judgy judges so that viewers can vicariously get their own judgmentalness off. In the Middle Ages they put naughty folks in stocks in the public square so that their holier-than-thou neighbors could stroll by and enjoy a sense of moral superiority to the lowly drunk or blasphemer, today we have the likes of Nancy Grace and Judge Judy providing the same release for our cruel side and petty egoistic need to feel superior at someone else's expense.

That our society eats up such television programming rather than being turned off by its unkind nature is what's so disturbing and damning in my view. What we like to watch on the idiot box says a lot about our mind-set, and what it's been saying for a while now is that we're growing increasingly unsympathetic, cynical, illiberal, and yes, downright mean in our opinions and sentiments.

Nancy Grace uses the slogan "We want justice", well, it seems that for her and for many of us nowadays justice is just an abstract concept that we use to legitimize our malicious desire to judge, rebuke, punish, and inflict violence. Moral cowards that we are we pay lip service to justice to conceal from ourselves the real nature of our impulses, to camouflage our cruelty.

The shameful truth is that as a society and as individuals we're less concerned about social justice and more keen on ruthlessly enjoying power over others. We'd rather narcissistically empower our egos by judging our neighbor than help him/her become a better person. We'd rather brandish the power to lock criminals up than rehabilitate them. We'd rather use law enforcement as an instrument of control over the populations of our ghettos than practice economic justice toward them. We'd rather demonstrate our system's power by cracking down on undocumented workers than address the immigration issue with intelligence and compassion. We'd rather inflict our military might on the innocent civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan than justly deal with the righteous reasons why the teeming masses of the Third World resent the rich nations. Etc., etc.

This self-pleasing pursuit of power of ours is leading us into mean behavior and attitudes that undermine our society's ability to achieve greater social progress and justice. If we genuinely care about grounding our society in the ethical and progressive values we profess to hold dear then we urgently need to wake up to the corrosive and corrupting effect that being power-proud, hardhearted, angry, and uncompassionate is having on our civilization's soul.

http://www.thetotalrevolutionproject.com...

Shut the f*ck up and hand over your wallet.
What fresh dickery is the internet up to today?
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 12:34:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/31/2010 1:32:42 PM, OreEle wrote:
I think if you are basing everything off of TV and the news, you are not going to be getting the whole story.

TV may not be so nice, but TV is not reality.

Agreed, but I think that popular culture says a lot about our society.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.