Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can you feel it?

The winds of change are blowing through and although I wish they were a bit more balmy than they are, at least they will bring a much-needed dramatic shift in the currents.

For so long I have personally felt at odds with the cultural climate. I didn't understand the raging interest in reality television that encouraged bad behavior among its contestants. I didn't understand how people could be so cruel to one another under the guise of anonymity on the internet. I didn't understand how people in cars could have no respect for the people around them. If anyone was naming this past decade the "end of days," I believe they could point their collective finger at how we have treated each other as evidence.

I have repeatedly called this decade "thin and cheesy." As in, we are living in thin and cheesy times. The books and movies and television and art we are leaving for the next generation are insubstantial and cheaply made. It's like the "me decade" and the "greed is good" attitude tossed together with the obligatory 15 minutes of YouTube fame. People expect to have things handed to them because they taped their cat playing the piano. And why not? Someone else got a million-plus hits for their baby laughing.

It comes from the top down, this lack of work ethic, which is shocking because we are descended from the Puritans whose work ethic and inner strength are legendary. What happened to us?

We need to change the way we talk about ourselves. It can't be "I" and "me" all the time.

We need "we." We need "us." We need "our."

We need to banish the "I" for a little while, unless it's, "I can help you."