The Problem with Modern Entertainment
By David Brandt Berg
Have you ever noticed how audiences these days laugh the most when the actors make cutting remarks and try to embarrass or hurt each other? That’s supposed to be funny. Well, to me it’s offensive! When I was young, audiences would be stunned and offended at that sort of thing. Now they just roar with laughter.
You can hardly find a movie or TV show about a family with children where the kids aren’t fussing and fighting like mad. The parents do it too. Husbands and wives are constantly arguing and putting each other down in front of their children—and in front of your children. Because this has become the norm among families in the media, the children watching naturally assume that it’s normal and acceptable for families to behave that way.
Sad to say, it probably is typical of the average U.S. home, since that’s where most of those shows originate and that’s who the producers are appealing to. It’s normal in that sense, but it certainly shouldn’t be considered acceptable. It’s unloving, hurtful, and wrong—and it’s contagious! It’s also rapidly becoming a picture of home life almost anywhere, largely due to the influence those shows have as they spread around the world. Isn’t that horrible?
Children imitate what they see and hear, and they seem to have a penchant for copying the negative. Young children, especially, can’t always tell the difference between good or bad, and it’s even harder when those guilty of some of the worst behavior are made to look so enviable, so “good,” in other ways—good looking, affluent, popular, smarter than the adults, and free to do as they please.
Children are in the process of forming the values that they will carry with them through life, and it’s their parents’ responsibility to guide that process. Parents are failing at that job if they let their children watch what they want without any parental guidance or explanation as to what is acceptable civil behavior and what isn’t. And that goes for shows that are supposedly geared to children, even the ones that are meant to be educational.
Just because a movie or TV show is rated for children doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for your children. Parents need to take personal responsibility for that decision. They also have a responsibility to steer their children away from the negative, either by not exposing their children to it in the first place, or by explaining why it’s bad and not to be imitated.
What a mess the entertainment world is in! It could be such a good tool for teaching about life, as it once was, but instead it’s getting worse by the year!
Today’s mainstream media rarely mentions God except in profanity, the occult is intriguing and “cool,” and religious people are usually portrayed as kooks. When I was growing up, many movies had positive, reverent references to God and prayer, and often even the most wayward characters would wind up learning their lesson and reforming. Movies back then usually had happy endings, with morals and lessons being taught.
Not now! Sometimes you can hardly tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. What I really hate are those stories where the evil wins out in the end.
In Greek drama, European opera, and Shakespearean plays there were lots of tragedies, but there was always a lesson to be learned. The Greeks believed that the emotions tragedy released, sadness and grief, were good because they had a purgative, purifying effect. Shakespeare’s tragedies were insightful and meaningful. Every Aesop’s Fable had a moral at the end.
But most of today’s music, movies, television, videos, and other entertainment have nothing sensible to teach, no lesson to be learned. They leave you with a feeling of hopelessness. “Everything’s a mess! The world’s a terrible place! God must be a monster to have created such a thing!” They blame it all on God. Even if they don’t mention God, that’s what they mean. “Why me? This is unfair! Why does this have to happen to me?”
Cartoons have always had their share of violence—cartoon characters hitting each other and blowing each other up and that sort of thing—but some of the latest cartoons are even worse because they introduce children to the occult and other evil supernatural stuff. I love the supernatural—the good side—but many of today’s cartoons portray and promote the other side, a full array of Satan’s goods! It’s like stepping back into the Dark Ages. It’s terrible!
It’s the same with much of today’s music and music videos. You can hardly ever understand the lyrics—at least most adults can’t without really making an effort. But if you make that effort, or if you read the lyrics [most can be found online], in many cases you’ll be shocked and appalled at the perversions and warped values that songwriters and bands are preaching to young people through their music.
If you’re a parent, you need to take a long, hard look at what’s out there and decide if that’s how you want your children to turn out, because what they watch and listen to and imitate today, they will become tomorrow.
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