26 October 2012

Ponderin' Stuff

I have optimized my job to the point where it's pretty much autopilot all the time. What do I think about? Well,

1. Are people really evil by nature and trained to be good instead of the reverse? Einstein is credited with a quote about how darkness and cold are not created, they are simply the absence of light and heat respectively. Therefore evil was not created, it is simply the absence of God. I don't know if this is an actual concept Einstein discussed or if it's simply credited to him...but I've wondered if that idea is accurate. People seem to be born with some sense of evil (or wrongdoing, or badness) and have to work to be good in life. As opposed to being born good and having to work at being bad. Way over generalization, I know, but let's think about that for just a minute. The anonymity of the Internet has shown that people are far more likely to make negative and rude comments where they wouldn't in real life. Why would they do that if they were basically good? People troll others on comments sections, Facebook, and Twitter because...why? Does it make them feel better about themselves to bring others down? Does it allow for an anonymous expression of the evil within? What kind of person will exist as a result of this in two generations?

2. Why is such an emphasis placed on beauty in our society? When J talks about potential girlfriends he talks about how hot they are first. S has also talked about previous girlfriends (and the ones that got away) as how hot they were. Specifically S says things like he couldn't believe such a hot girl would like him (when he was a teenager), and J talks about the hotness of a girl in relation to what she might be good for (wink, wink). Admittedly I don't talk to a lot of teenage boys but I do notice the same trend on many tv shows. The guy character feels completely inadequate next to the bombshell of a girl, or the girl uses her hotness to attract the hot jock-type boy. Even the girls portrayed as nerds or the new trend of socially inept are overly beautiful. Why is a fluke of genetics the measuring stick for a good person?

3. Why do women's magazines have such a negative tone? From what I've read of the covers they are full of advice about how to be better in bed, be better looking, be thinner, be a better cook, be a better manipulator, dress better, get a better job, or wear better makeup. It gives me the impression that I'm somehow broken by default and that unless I follow all this advice I will be terribly unhappy in my life. And I used to fall for that and read all about how to Be Better...and found I would feel worse. Now that I don't read them I find I'm mystified that the industry would think that women could be so flawed and unaccepting of ourselves. Why do we allow that?

4. Where did the smart TV channels go? Remember when Discovery and TLC had thinking programs full of sciency stuff? It used to be worthwhile to just randomly go to either channel at any time and get some really good information presented in a way that made me think about the world. Now there's crap about Honey Boo Boo and scripted reality garbage. 

5. Would I think any differently of any of that if I lived farther away from the influence of the USA?


none of your beeswax said...

ok so.... take your #3.... and your answer is in #2.

not even kidding. men still run our fucking world. even when they don't, they do. when men stop being the gateways to decide which women will be successful and for what reasons (did you know that good looking and thin women make more money than fat and "ugly" women?), we won't have to try so goddamn hard to fit into the boxes that they want for us.

basically, men set the standards, and we are never good enough. 15 year old girls are (often) good enough because that's what men in our culture CURRENTLY value, but guess what? 60 years ago it was 25-year old curvy-looking women that were the ideal. 500 years ago it was homely/plain women. it is a moving target and if you think you've got it this year... it's gonna change. nature my ass, it's all trends.

anyways, my point is that we can't ever be good enough as a gender, because if we were then that would mean that equality has been reached. no way, no how!!! now go and get your lemon juice and baking soda, cuz that grout won't clean itself.


p.s. t.v. over here is largely rubbish except for some BBC channels that are similar to PBS and it is hella hard to even find reputable science mags.

Chantelle said...

Good answer on #3 and #2, and I agree with you, Vicki.

About #1 and why people bring others down. I'm a bully, and I'm a dangerous driver, and while I don't tell people they're stupid or call them names, I have been very mean to people on the internet.

I am ashamed of these actions but I don't think that having done them makes me automatically evil. I don't exactly know why I behaved in those ways (it's something that I'm working on with my psychologist) but I have a sense that it's related to my childhood.

That said, the baby boomers (aka the Me Generation) became quite selfish and they've passed on those behaviours to their kids. Kids aren't being brought up with manners or to respect other people and the lack of competition (as in, everyone gets a prize just for participating!) has artificially inflated their egos. Add to this a lack of attention from their parents and no real consequences for their behaviour, and they behave this way.

Little kids can be cruel to each other but as they get older that cruelty used to be socialized out of them. What happens when we don't have proper socialization and kids stay cruel? We're seeing it.

I also think that the amount of chemicals and hormones in the environment and foods play a role in this too.

When I think of teenagers behaving violently, I think of elephants after reading an article from the New York Times. Poaching of elephants has destroyed their social structure, leaving the adolescents without the socialization they would normally have received. As a result, they are behaving very aggressively towards people, destroying crops and whatnot, and towards rhinos by raping and killing them. The elephants aren't inherently evil, but their behaviour is definitely evil... thanks to human poaching.

I think people are similar in that our social structure has shredded and people are acting out in different ways. I don't think all people are evil (although I do think some people like psychopaths are evil) but they can sometimes do evil things - sometimes because they don't know how to behave any different.

About tv channels... the channels that used to be good like history, a&e, tlc, and discovery, are crap now. There are good channels out there, like T+E, Oasis, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, Hifi, and eqHD. These are the new cable channels with actual content but they cost extra.

Love you,