by Steve Wright
The Family Healing Center will be sharing with KRL’s readers about the things they do once a month.
I had somewhat of a difficult time deciding what to write about this month. There are so many things going on in our society that are disturbing and worthy of commentary. I am actually pretty tired of all the political discourse, so I have decided to stay away from that subject for the time being. The shooting of the Republican members of Congress at the yearly baseball game practice is a new low for violence associated with this political discourse. I am thankful all those who were shot will recover, and I pray for healing for all involved. I also pray that people can begin to see their way through the muck and the mire and begin to work together for the betterment of our great country.
I am concerned, though, with human behavior, and I teach Criminology at Fresno Pacific University. In my classroom effort, I try to bring forth some of the things that occur in society that influence people to act certain ways, primarily criminal, anti-social, etc. We talk about environmental, social, economic, inherited traits, social media, and many other factors that create a breakdown of our moral fiber and the basic fabric of our society. There are so many things that we debate over when it comes to moral issues. I fear many of those issues have been turned on their head and what was once good is now bad and was once bad is now good. There is no more standard of morality, and we live in a world of moral relativism. Each person can decide for themselves what is moral, right, and good without respect for other person. Once this concept takes control then there will be no boundaries. One of the primary factors we discuss is the entertainment industry and how it influences our youth, this includes social media and technology.
It is again impossible to discuss all of the horrible shows that are currently on main stream television that our youth are exposed to that create some very negative role models. I use to focus my attention on shows like South Park and Family Guy, most of the reality TV shows like, Real Housewives of here or there, the Kardashians, which claim to be “reality” but are as far from “reality” as you can get. Now there are so many that have come on the scene that it is hard to keep us, like 13 Reasons Why, and What Happens at the Abbey, just to name a few. My original intent was to talk about the show 13 Reasons Why, but I did not get a chance to really review it closely. I know teen suicide is a very important subject today and one that we should talk about in a serious way. I will get back to that one at another time. There are also documentaries out there like the one out by CNN called Mostly Human which discusses the real option of humans having “relationships” with robots. This particular documentary actually portrays this as if it were normal and natural behavior, one that should be embraced by the world, this is the relativism phenomenon I was referring to.
I worry about the shows that are out there that are in “cartoon” format, even though they claim to be designed for adults are actually marketed for our youth. I actually read an article with a statement from the writer of Family Guy to this effect. And it doesn’t matter if we as adults try to block the show or the channel on our television. Youth these days from the age of eight or nine have smart phones and can watch anything they want on them. It is really our responsibility as parents to control content and accessibility. The show I heard about this past week was a show that is a Netflix original called F is for Family. In case anyone didn’t know Netflix is now combined with Xfinity, so if you have Xfinity as your television provider you can get any program that is on Netflix as well. This show is in cartoon format and portrays a family in the 1970s living in suburbia US somewhere. The father is a mean, demanding, controlling drunk that abuses all three of his children in one way or another. His oldest is a fourteen-year old boy who is a drug addict, the two youngest, one boy and one girl, seem to act pretty normal as eight- or ten-year old kids as long as those age children say the “F” word, “SOB,” god d*m, sh*t among other swear words very often. I watched several episodes of this show just to see for myself, and it is one of the most disgusting shows on television (my own opinion). The wife is submissive and does whatever the husband tells her. There is open swearing by everyone on the show, open sex, and regular degrading of the church and what it represents.
I know that many will say it is protected, freedom of speech, artistic license, etc., and if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. My issue with that is this type of media is accessible and marketed to our kids, our youth. It is a fact that what we experience through our senses— see, hear, etc, has an influence on us whether we want it to or not. There are some things you just cannot un-see. I am not the self-appointed movie and tv critic here, I just see our society going down a deep dark hole through our entertainment industry and all in the name of art. There are no more boundaries, anything goes. I can remember a day when there was real conscious thought about what was shown or said. I recall the fight within our society, when our music became very raunchy and there were battles about it, and the result was putting parental warnings on albums and CDs. It had virtually no impact. There comes a time when we have to decide what we will tolerate and what we will not. Recall the saying, the only thing that will allow evil to prevail is for good people to stand by and do nothing. Just because we can do something does not mean we should do it.