Are they saying that it’s okay to be selfish, mean and greedy? Do we want our children to learn from these examples? Perhaps the message is that other people don’t matter in the face of our own desires or convenience. I find these cringe-inducing commercials anti-social especially when my young son is watching with me. I exercise my power to choose when I pick up the remote and switch to the Weather Channel or the cable-access bulletin board channel, or close a webpage.
It seems this mean spiritedness is everywhere. Maybe it’s because of Reality TV. Maybe Reality TV is just another symptom. It certainly seems that genre is all about rewarding mean spiritedness. The winners of that island/wilderness show are never the nicest, most supportive contestants. And, does anyone remember when the Discovery Channel used to be about real science? I quit watching that channel because all I could ever find on it was some kind of reality show — like the purported custom motorcycle building show; it was more about the dysfunctional, often abusive relationship between the motorcycle artists (yes, I fully recognize the magnificent artistry of the bikes they produce). I don’t care about motorcycles; but, I would probably have watched the show occasionally to see the how’s of custom bike design (the same reasons we like shows about how everyday things are made, and the show that debunks or confirms myths and legends in popular culture).
Maybe it’s the politics of the day. From around the world, we certainly don’t lack examples of political corruption and infighting. Political contention is the order of the day. Long ago, in a time now apocryphal, we had statesmen who became leaders to serve the public need. Now… (pause to shudder) we have POLITICIANS.
If you gage Humanity by the politics and media and entertainment and advertising industries, we are a base, corrupt species. If extraterrestrial aliens did come to this world, I think they might decide we are an irredeemable race based on our entertainments and news. Who knows, maybe they’ve already been here and left. Maybe Roswell was the aliens bugging out.
Yet, uplifting entertainments and news of hope is something I have to believe most people want to see. We’ve seen multiple examples even on the big screen very recently. There’s a reason that the Bible is still the best selling, most distributed book in the world. There’s a reason we all love a happy ending and want to see the downtrodden win the day.