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Pop Culture and Plato

Pop Is Short For Popular, Not Phosphate by Lisa Emori

These days, there are very few real trendsetters. If we were to be honest with ourselves, it's very possible that the people we think of as "cutting edge" would be in fact only the first to buy into every commercially profitable spiel. It's depressing to realize that some people see how stupid a fad is and still follow it for want of acceptance, attention, etc. Even worse are those who devote themselves to an outrageous trend for the sake of being different.

We give our attention to the Michel Jackson's, the Osborn's and the J. Lo's. Where are those true mold breakers? The Gandhis and the Martin Luther Kings? People do the cool "thing", they wear certain clothes, and try to forget their internal shortcomings through external fulfillment.

The thing that makes someone distinctive is purpose. People who don't have higher goals or objectives try to replace them by striving for popularity, or possessions, or achievements. A person is not an individual because they have purpose; instead, one recognizes that they have a purpose, unique from everyone else, because they are an individual.

Is there no more injustice to be opposed? Looking around, are you content with the society you live in? Purpose does not mean a mortal will to change the world; it can simply be a determination to live by what you hold to be good and true. Things that matter (beliefs, resolve, knowledge, etc.) are important because they are valuable tools when a person takes on any task.

Corporations are cashing in on our feelings of inadequacy- "Buy this and it will make you skinny; wear that and you'll be popular." Saddest of all, relationships have lost their joy and happiness. Pitched the right way, sex sells. Period. We get the idea that love is no longer about two people caring for each other, but about individuals trying to find superficial validation in the attainment of another's affection.

Sex is the topic of many jokes. It's a special thing, and yet today entertainers use it as banter. Popular media depicts promiscuity as being open-minded and porn as a part of everyday life. If we treat something with so little care, it loses its value and significance. Pornography objectifies and degrades women, it warps relationships, and ruins lives. If our attitude towards something like porn is so casual, it sends the message that these things are ok or at least no big deal. It means boys won't learn how to form loving relationships. We're telling girls they are only as good as their looks, that there is little else for them other than a man and the mall. These things are results of what Plato warned against with "causal tales told by casual people."

If children are not given the message that they have worth, if they are not told they have potential, what are the chances that they will strive to be great? Without those creative, solid, sparkling individuals, what will be left but a commercially driven jaded mass? If that is the future, we will most likely find this hypothetical soda of a world to be flat and warm. Bummer.

 

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