Disclaimer: While I do make a strong effort to keep my material family friendly, as the name implies, this post serves as social commentary, citing issues which are not particularly family friendly or G-rated.
It’s funny how no one wants to be judged or to be gossiped about, but in good conscience we are able to read “news” stories and watch reality TV shows that ultimately entice us to judge and gossip about the people involved.
In case no one has yet pointed it out to you yet, allow me to be the first: We as Americans live in the midst of a vibrant culture war.
Polarizing ideas are constantly being reinforced that A) liberals are all socialist idiots whose gay marriage is turning America into the perfect place for God’s fiery judgment; meanwhile B) conservatives are all close-minded, homophobic, racist holy rolling bigots.
It’s an ongoing debate between CNN versus Fox News that we allow to live out all around us. To me, it’s become a parody of itself, like both country and rap music have become.
But what about those of us who are in the middle if these two unforgiving extremes? Well, I believe we are the outsiders of our culture.
Because if you’re not taking the bait to either be offended, or to judge others for their lifestyle, you begin realizing there’s really not that much real “news” going on.
For example, check out yesterday’s “Trending Topics” that were featured yesterday on Facebook:
Target: Ohio Mother Says ‘Girls’ Building Sets’ Sign in Store’s Toy Aisle Shows Gender Bias
Miley Cyrus: Singer Discusses Coming Out as Bisexual to Her Mother as a Teen in Paper Interview
The X-Files: Fox Releases Image From Set of Revival of Sci-Fi Series
Glassdoor: Jobs Site Names Highest-Rated CEOs in 3rd Annual Employees’ Choice Awards
Joyce Carol Oates: Author Appears to Condemn Photo From ‘Jurassic Park’ Showing Dead Dinosaur
Bob Costas: Sports Broadcaster Calls Caitlyn Jenner’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award ‘Exploitation Play’
Robert Gibbs: Former White House Press Secretary Appointed as McDonald’s Executive Vice President
Holly Madison: Hugh Hefner’s Former Girlfriend Details Life at the Playboy Mansion in New Book
Librarian of Congress: James Billington Announces Retirement After Nearly 3 Decades in Position
#WWDC15: Apple Announces Product Updates at Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco
It’s very clear that in the midst of a few non-sexual headlines, we are being prompted and provoked to make a judgment call on what constitutes as gender bias, as well as to either support or be shocked by Miley Cyrus’s sexuality, then an accept an invitation to either agree or disagree with Bob Costas’ comments on Bruce Jenner’s gender reveal, and then to finish it off with learning some juicy details about life in a house that celebrates pornography.
If nothing else, you can at least judge the author who condemns the “dead dinosaur” photo, right?
Yes, that’s supposed to be “the news.”
That’s not the news.
People want you to gossip and judge others. It’s abundantly evident in the headlines, TV shows, and reality shows in our culture. And we do; that’s how they make money off us.
The Kardashians wouldn’t be famous if we ourselves didn’t keep them famous.
Imagine how many people tune in each week for The Bachelorette/Bachelor; a show that is presented to us under the guise of romantic people trying to find love and marriage, via a polygamy style game show in which the bachelorette/bachelor and the final few contestants have the option of staying overnight in a “fantasy suite” to sexually “try out” each of the people before they marry them.
In other words, by supporting that show, we are contributing to the fact that the bachelor or bachelorette is being pressured to have sex with 3 people they only recently met. We laugh it off as silly, which it is. It’s also people’s actual real lives involving real decisions with actual consequences.
I say it’s impossible to watch shows like this without judging other people for their actions and lifestyles.
Ultimately, it seems virtually impossible to avoid all forms of gossip. But if I can be more aware of it in media, I can make a deliberate effort to step out.
And I can only hope what I just said doesn’t sound like I’m being judgmental of others.