The Absurd Feeling

May 11, 2011
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We live in an era of absurdity. Television and Internet is accessible from any phone or computer, plenty of video games feature sex and violence as major genres, and video is quickly replacing instant messaging. And yet, some argue that we, as a society, have gone too far. Some argue that our children are becoming more cynical at younger age. But there is also evidence to suggest a more mature, understanding, and politically inclined generation. The simple question is: is this a good thing? Or is it a bad thing?

When considering the prospect of violence, politics, and censorship, one need look no further than the opinions of youth. The vast majority of opinions in the world today are those of so-called ‘millenials’, the latest generation to speak their mind. Children today have the greatest understanding of the world around them, and are able to communicate around the world at incredible speeds. The question is not one of ethics but of morals.

Another argument holds that children, being so thoroughly connected to the world, are at risk of becoming less like actual children and becoming cynical, depressing, and even violent. This argument is commendable, if slightly pessimistic. The idea of children ‘growing up too fast’ is not a recent concern: it is a cycle. Every generation criticizes the generation they spawn. Consider this: baby boomers that put Elvis on the map were quick to judge their children for being Beatles fans, and the Beatles fans were up in arms regarding the next musical explosion, and the cycle continues. So when considering the prospect of morals, generations are carriers for a pessimism virus.

The idea behind shows such as CSI, Criminal Minds, and 1,000 Ways to Die is to educate and entertain. If a show is more method than madness, it goes on stations such as the Science Channel, or Discovery. But if it is more madness than method, it goes on MTV. Shows like the ones mentioned above fall somewhere in the middle, providing a source of information and action that has only a splash of violence.

Consider, however, the cynicism that can arise from watching these shows is excess. I can tell you from personal experience that these shows are rife with darkness, and can make the average viewer pessimistic to a fault. Is this a quality desirable in young adults, or children?

The point of every media outlet, in the end, is to make money and give people something to focus on. In the end, they do just this by providing an outlet for our darkness and our light.





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