by A.G. Cohen | March 30, 2014 7:35 pm
At an alarmingly fast rate Hollywood elite believe more and more that they are the enlightened ones in our society. That they are the ones who the ‘average, middle-American people’ look to for a moral and cultural foundation. Whether it be Sean Penn sympathizing with Hugo Chavez or the various stars who preach to us about living green (while they travel in private jets) the impression they leave is that all they have to do is say the word and we will fall in line with whatever their agenda happens to be.
It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing with what they say and do, but about rejecting the notion that they are the ones who get to shape public discourse and mold the minds of Generation Selfie. American culture has always had a healthy interest in the stars of Hollywood. From the beauty of Natalie Wood, the undeniable appeal of Marilyn Monroe, who Elizabeth Taylor would marry next, or the rare, once in a lifetime talent that was Elvis Presley, we were genuinely interested. It seems that since Paris Hilton had her go at the spotlight the younger generation just can’t look away. They’ve been bitten by the bug. Then Kim Kardashian comes along to prove that you really can be rich and famous even if you’re not especially talented or have specific accomplishments to point to. If you haven’t watched #RichKids of Beverly Hills on E! Entertainment Television then you may still be holding out hope that #GenerationSelfie is still salvageable. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but all signs point to an utter wasteland of narcissistic, attention-seeking selfie models. (Yes, I know that not everyone who takes a selfie is a narcissist.) The whole of the show is rich kids flaunting how much money they have (for several of them it’s mommy & daddy’s money) and how they can buy whatever their hearts desire. That’s truly inspiring E!. Thanks for that! (Oh, and while I’m at it, thanks to ABC for the conjured up reality that is The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Really. Humanity at it’s finest with the most real, raw emotions that are natural and normal in healthy, long-term relationships. Let’s keep teaching the kids that, shall we?)
The rise of the reality tv show has proven that it is in fact possible for ordinary, everyday people to make it onto the TV, get lots of attention for their immature or amoral antics, earning them the status of ‘a household name’. I suppose it is what it is and that’s just the nature of the beast or the natural evolution of the TV and entertainment industry. That does not mean we should say “oh well I guess that’s what the kids are doing these days” and settle for decline in our society. Where are the real role models? The real heroes? Hopefully we all have someone in our personal lives that we can look up to as a hero, but that’s not always the case. So, if you must look to famous people then at least admire someone who has done something amazing, has meaning in their lives, and substance behind what they say.
I think Ashton Kutcher was trying to make this very point when he gave this epic inspirational speech at The Teen Choice Awards addressing this very cancer on our kids today. You can read the full transcript here. If we could all reach out to at least one casualty lost in the Generation Selfie wasteland that worships Hollywood and reality TV stars maybe we can start to right the ship. It’s worth it to try and we have a civilization to lose if we don’t. Do what ever it takes to get through to them because we are always just one generation away from social chaos. Join them in detoxing from reality TV, trash TV, or even E!. Why not go one step further? Help Generation Selfie understand that posts on social media are not usually an accurate depiction of real life. Challenge them to detach the smartphones from their hands. Have an actual conversation with the humans in their personal space. Scary, I know. Choose wisely. #BeTheBridge
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