Community, Mental Health

Sunday Sayings – Differences and Reality TV

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, can make us think about moral and ethical issues.

The preponderance of reality TV shows, of late, has me questioning just why it is so many find them fascinating. After all, they feature individuals that are quite different to the mainstream public, or focus on the more marginal sectors of society.

Why do we have a morbid curiosity for those who are dissimilar to us?

Yet we criticize, shy away or even distance ourselves completely from them if we were to meet them in real life?

Not only do many of us become addicted to watching such shows as ‘Married at First Sight‘, or ‘Teen Parents‘, but we might actively criticize or judge them, from the comforts of our living room.

Why do we do this?

Is the simple explanation, as some theorists might have it, that our neural circuits have evolved to pay more attention to things that are perceived to be a potential threat?

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

-Albert Einstein

If we are simply curious, sometimes morbidly so, are reality shows such as ‘Botched Bodies‘, just another manifestation of staring at the ‘Bearded Lady’ in the Circus Freak Show of years gone by?

Is it natural to be curious? Or too inquisitive?

computer
CC0 Creative Commons

Do you consider the media might have a role in discouraging prejudice or judgemental behaviours in society, by limiting promotion of such voyeuristic programs such as “Bad Mothers” or “Swamp People?”

I wonder if proliferation of this type of show desensitizes us to differences between individuals or conversely, does it highlight and therefore, exacerbate prejudice?

Come and walk a mile in my moccasins, before you criticize who I am.

Kom och gå en mil i mina mockasiner innan du bedömer vem jag är.

Swedish Proverb

Is there a case for censorship of these shows on moral or ethical grounds?

If you favour censorship of some kind, would that censorship effectively remove an individual’s right to make a morally appropriate choice and thereby limit tolerance of marginal folk in the long run?

Do you consider the freedom of the individual so vital that only we can decide for ourselves, what each of us feels is and is not appropriate or socially acceptable?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Sunday Sayings invites you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

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73 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – Differences and Reality TV”

  1. Jesus, Amanda ! – what the devil do you mean by posting on so HUGE a philosophical topic ?! Were I to start pondering about this, I would be obliged to stop doing everything else. Is that what you want ? – that I progress no further with the walrus ?
    [sob !]
    How cruel you are …

    [grin]

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      1. Indeed. Real people will do it for kicks, or a moderate sum of money. Actors in dramas on the other hand and production teams are expensive. So yes, to the television channels, it is cheap to produce. The human cost, well that is immeasureable.

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  2. I like true crime shows; programs that analyze criminal acts from a scientific, psychological and / or law enforcement perspective. Other so-called reality shows – at least those I know about here in the U.S. – are hysterically dubious, in my opinion. I’m sure they make for some good laughs, but I find them vapid and boring.

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    1. As a general rule I am against censorship, but there are instances where leaving hateful and vile comments online should be taken offline. When lies start to be more and more dressed up as the “truth”, that’s where I really draw the line. As to these strange “reality shows”, I don’t really watch them. It seems to me that it’s just another way to exploit people who often don’t have sound judgement to begin with. The reality show producers exploit vulnerable people for profit. There are always people willing to sell the souls and dignity for a quick buck and others willing to take advantage of someone! Sad times we live in when this passes as entertainment.

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      1. You have summarised the issue well, Sabine.
        ” just another way to exploit people who often don’t have sound judgement to begin with. The reality show producers exploit vulnerable people for profit. There are always people willing to sell the souls and dignity for a quick buck and others willing to take advantage of someone!”
        It sounds like it is the same in the USA. In fact, I have noticed we have had things like Love Island America and The Bachelor ( America ) on our TV. I don’t watch them either but my husband often has the television on and I hear the advertisements on them. At face value, it has a comparison to a meat market.

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      2. Meat market is an interesting description! We stopped subscribing to cable a few years ago and went to a streaming service. This eliminated all these useless tv channels that I wouldn’t want to watch even if someone paid me to do so. I just find it sad and disturbing that someone’s serious issues could be sensationalized and broadcast around the world. All for profit! 😬

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      3. We are so fortunate to have choice in our television watching. My husband loves to watch repeats of old shows. Until recently, we only had four channels – and they were high quality. Now we have many, many channels and they are mostly rubbish. I like the public broadcaster that airs world movies and foreign language programs and news.

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      4. Sounds like you have better options on programming! We have PBS, the public broadcasting service, but the administration is trying to cut funding. It’s the only channel really without commercials. Most channels feature a good 20 minutes of advertising per hour!! I hate it! Cable companies are monopolies and charge way to much for what you get. In years past we kept our TV in the closet.

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      5. The closet is a good place for it, Sabine! 20 minutes per hour… goodness me, that would be irritating. I couldn’t cope at all, it is very distracting. No wonder everyone’s attention span is decreasing. (not the only reason but it might contribute!)

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      6. Well I don’t watch the commercial networks hardly ever, Sabine. I think it is about ten minutes per hour. Although highly rated shows that are very popular, appear to have an ad break every few minutes. Highly irritating. The SBS public foreign broadcasting channnel used to be fully funded by the Government, however it has to start “paying its way,” due to funding cuts, of course, and so started showing advertisements. The good thing about that way that they were at the end of the program and before the next one started, so it gave you time to go get a cup of tea! Also, you could watch a movie all the way through without interruption. A good thing to improve concentration levels which contrast heavily with the commercial networks. The worst thing about the commercial networks is when they repeat an ad at the beginning of an ad break and then at the end of the ad break, before the program resumes. It does my head in, and I walk away…..

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      7. It’s the same here with public television getting more and more defunded. They rely on charitable companies and regular people’s donations. We don’t watch much regular TV either and yes, that ad trick at the start and end is done here as well.

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      8. I know what you mean! Some commercials are so irritating that I would never consider their service or product. But I think most people don’t seem to mind. Commercials must work, otherwise these companies would spend so much money playing them on TV. If we can’t fast forward them, we make use of the mute button! 😉

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  3. The multitude must watch these shows, and no, I’m not one of them. I don’t get them at all, although I did watch a season of dancing with the stars once, and I got hooked. There was an understandable reason why I started watching it, getting hooked though was a surprise. I know very few people who actually watch them, yet the ratings soar. I wonder if many of the contestants need councilling post show. The editing often shows up people to be total monsters, which I’m sure most are probably not in real life.

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    1. That is an excellent point that you raise, Chris. The personal tole on the contestants and the manipulation by the editors. It is all about ratings, isn’t it. Making television interesting at the cost of someone’s privacy and sanity is deplorable. Keeping the masses entertained has become so twisted. I guess there is no going back to period dramas and police series now.
      And I think you are right – these people may be marginalized in life, but they also might just be as sane and ordinary as our next door neighbours, but put them in the jungle or send them off with a stranger and they lose the plot. It amazes me that they do not foresee this when they sign up, given it is now well documented.

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      1. There was one young fellow who did this after he was eliminated from Australian Idol…. in Brisbane, I believe. Just so Tragic. I think they might use some kind of psych test now.

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  4. A very interesting discussion.. I don’t watch TV much at all so have no idea what you are referring to as shows but I do agree we do have a morbid propensity to look at what is very different. I have to question myself as to whether this makes us more or less tolerant..

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    1. It is an interesting question, Lisa. Experts have proved we are evolutionarily adapted to pay extra attention to things that might be perceived as a threat. This is a protective mechanism for our own safety in our early days as a species. However in the case of watching TV shows that showcase people who are very different, will this absorbed attention affect our thinking or tolerance if they are continually on our television or media channels? I don’t watch them, but I have watched one or two in passing and did find myself getting sucked in. This is one of the reasons why I don’t watch them because I don’t want to get addicted to a television show. The participants cast in the shows are real people, who often have very interesting personalities: volatile, energetic, quirky or crazy and this obviously makes for good television viewing. However it has been shown that, as Chris Riley mentions in her comment, many of the contestants or participants in the shows require some kind of counselling, after they leave the show. They are often harassed through media and the Internet for their actions on the shows. This indicates the public do experience some level of personal involvement in the shows, (as a viewer), even though they have never met that person IRL. It is troubling.
      What was your answer to the question you asked yourself in your comment?

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  5. So much to say. It’s the human nature to watch and observe the car crash/train wreck.
    No longer are we subject to differences in our society, it has become common p0lace with the rise of the internet and world wide web
    EG https://me.me/i/im-sorry-i-have-to-let-you-all-go-but-4379884624174931af0b2c43655152f0
    The graphic violence has now become mainstream so no wonder we are building a violent society. I don’t watch much of the so called reality TV
    I do watch some I must admit as long as there isn’t violence of human degradtion

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    1. It is a good thing that the beareded lady has become commonplace, Bushboy!
      In some cases, violence or conflict is seen as a spectator sport, with various sides cheering each other on. It reminds me of a mentality in children in Northern Ireland during the eighties, where they cheered if the ‘enemy’ lost a few lives in a car bomb. These children were desensitized to the real human toll this violence had on their society, and it was relegated to a them and us scenario. The more we hear about violent acts, the more we become blaze about it. This is the problem: should media report it, and if so, should they do it without displaying violent footage. Just yesterday, I saw the picture of the dead Mexican and his 2 year old child floating in the riverbank in America. I don’t think that helps matters. Why is it necessary? For ratings? For advertising space? And therefore for money?

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  6. Reading your blog often makes me think, Amanda. Or ponder, as it may be 😉
    I cannot really comment on the reality shows, and would prefer not to speculate on the reasons why people watch them, for I currently watch TV exactly one time a year only – on the 1st of January, when the Vienna New Year concert is on. 😉
    However, I do have some thoughts on censorship.

    To the best of my knowledge, we do not have a single country on Earth today which do not, in one form or another, practice censorship. In the States, for instance, they rate movies according to the amount of nudity and blood shown, and according to the rating a movie receives it may only be watched by certain parts of the populace. They also have this sick idea that sex is much worse for youngsters to watch than violence… but that is a matter for another discussion.

    However, censorship of any form is highly problematical for a democratic society. I am not going to advocate against censorship, for I regard it as a necessary evil, but I cannot say that I am happy to have it.

    The reason why I regard censorship as a necessary evil is not, because I am in favour of grading movies according to contents. That is something I could well do without. But because humans, as a race, are both excitable and curious and there are people who take advantage of that.
    I therefore regard certain restrictions as necessary – specifically as regards hate speech and calls for violence and the destruction of property.

    The caveat for any censorship is, of course, who gets to decide which is which? Therefore, to my mind, it should always be possible to appeal any decision made to the courts. It won’t guarantee fairness, of course, but it’s the next best thing…

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    1. I am grateful for your comment, Northern Dragon and flattered that my humble blog makes you ponder about these issues. I was wondering how you viewed censorship. We both have more or less agreed, correct me if I am wrong, that the current systems have flaws and there is no one size fits all perfect solution.
      Despite that, I do think minimization of inherent systemic problems in governments could be achievable, if the general public had enough knowledge of and desire to advocate for that. In this regard, censorship might restrict that, or worse still be used as a platform for propaganda. In some ways, it seems the Media is already doing this.
      On sex/violence and censorship in movies: in the Scandinavian countries, children have access to illicit magazines at a young age, yet it doesn’t seem to turn them into raving nymphomaniacs.
      For the life of me, I cannot see why we have television shows that make their viewers witness the slow motion replay of a knife slitting someone throat or stabbing someone’s belly (all special effects and not real but simulated to look that way), over and over again in shows like: ( I am guessing here, as I don’t watch them), CSI or other forensic inspired fictional shows. Surely that harms young children’s minds, heavens knows it makes me squirm (and years ago, I was a nurse so am used to blood and guts!), but more worrying is the possibility that it desensitizes them to violence and empathy to someone in pain, or needing help. So yes, we need censorship of some kind, especially for hate speech, wanton destruction and violence. And we also need an avenue of appeal in the cases of restrictive/subversive censorship. A censorship system that encourages tolerance would be my goal. But even tolerance should have some limits. The other thing to bear in mind in this discussion is that values and standards change greatly with each generation. What is seen as crossing the line or not acceptable to us may be totally acceptable to our great grandchildren’s generation. Society moves on. I do hope it is for the better and not the worse.

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      1. As they say, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” … and no, I don’t either believe in “one size fits all” solutions to issues like this. Unfortunately so, for it sure would make things a heck of a lot easier if they did exist! 😉

        But no, when you get right down to it, then it’s almost always the middle-of-the-road compromises, the small, day-by-day improvements, the things which each of us do to make ends meet and things work – which really matters. When I hover over the lands and look down upon the earth (dragons do that, you know 😉 ), it is easy to imagine countries almost as living, thinking entities by themselves. But they aren’t, really (nor are corporations, for that matter). Countries – and companies – are made up of people. People following rules, customs, ingrained patterns of thought often… but still, people. With all of the foibles and weaknesses and petty things which that implies – and all of the dreams, hopes, aspirations, and goodness which they carry within.

        Rare is the person who views himself as truly evil…
        (humans have the most amazing capacity for self-rationalisation)

        But I do agree with you – we should change the system to fix the flaws in it. There are laws which could be enacted to create a strong, truly independent, public-service TV & Radio station, for instance. Restrictions could be placed on how much of the media can be owned – even indirectly – by any legal entity (person or corporation). And one could set up rules and guidelines for how to make the processes of government more cooperative, maybe – though I would be more unsure of the specifics and possibilities for that.

        But restrictions on how much violence it is allowable to show in media and computer games… is something I would be rather vary of asking for. On the one hand I am all in favour – I saw a staggering statistic on how many murders the average kid in the States has watched, by the time he or she turns 18… and I believe it cannot but warp their sense of reality and what is normal and allowed.
        But, on the other hand… imposing censorship because of a cultural bias? That is a slippery slope indeed.

        The Scandinavians are doing very well, in their society, despite the legalisation of sex and their general rejection of violence. But again – cultures differ and the Scandinavian model would probably not work as well in areas which are less culturally cohesive and uniform than they are. Still, it would be worth I try. I wonder what would happen if Bernie Sanders actually got elected president of the US… 😉

        Do you have any strong social-democratic candidates, in Australia?

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      2. Northern Dragon, there is a whole novel in my reply to you, but I will try and keep it short. Agree about the slippery slope. So hard to balance the right level of censorship for each society, with freedoms and inclusiveness whilst weeding out the nasty stuff. Everyone would most likely seek a different boundary. I think you are right, the Scandinavian model would not work well in the States. Although it is nice to dream of something a little more Utopian than what the electorate came up with. You asked about Australian politics, and it is quite funny as we have had a revolving door of Prime Ministers for quite a few years. Both major parties are full of young folk who have little experience in the real world and have made politics their career. As such, they contribute to a culture within the partyroom that is one that is geared to scoring brownie points against the opposition, rather than on a reforming agenda. So the short answer is no. We have more left orientated politics here than in the USA, but it is becoming ever more centrist and right wing, for some unexplained reason. (Although the media is much to blame). Ultra right wing mentality is gaining momentum but are still minor players. Our last election was a Trump style landslide to the incumbent party who was is towards the right and more recently dominated by religious types. The Ultra right got them across the line due to preferential voting. The Greens ( environment), seem to losing momentum in the face of rural folk who despise them and who are desperate to keep the coal industries going so that they can have more jobs, however theoretical these jobs may be. The Greens advocate action on climate change but the country folk hate them and so vote for the ultra right to keep them out. And so it goes. I hope the pendulum of common sense will swing back. However, with the ever increasing control of the media and the gagging by the newly elected government of the public broadcaster, things look to be heading by far in the wrong direction. We do need a new charismatic centrist-left leader along the lines of Hawke, an intelligent man who could mix it with the locals down at the pub and gain popularity. People who had never voted for anything but right wing parties loved Hawke and his government and the subsequent female ( first ) Prime Minister achieved so much for our country. But much like Trump and Obama, the new government seems hell bent on erasing all that progress that was achieved in the past. There is much disenchantment in the electorate for politicians, and as again they will hear only what the media dictates. A new charismatic leader could really alter the landscape in a good way. I suppose history teaches us that leaders like this aren’t always orientated to the country’s or the community’s benefit. But we can only hope one comes forward and breaks through the media cone of silence.

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      3. That sounds eerily familiar: “Both major parties are full of young folk who have little experience in the real world and have made politics their career.”

        I believe that to be a particular curse of our modern society – and it is going to be a significant issue further down the line. For those people, who are “professional” politicians today – and who have had no other career during their life at all – will in all probability be minded to have their children follow the same path. It is, after all, a high road to money, success, and power – a combination which very few (if any) other jobs can match.

        What do we call a political system based on dynasties? Last time I saw one, it was an aristocracy…

        Another issue – and even more serious, at least in the short term: without “real-life” experience, how are they going to have a prayer of a chance of being effective at reforming society? We have seen, again and again throughout history, what happens whenever anyone tries to ram through a reform based on idealistic theory…

        If I were you, I would watch out for the “ultra-right”. They have a way of surprising you. The thing is – emotion is a far more powerful motivator than logic, and the right are much better at using emotion in their propaganda than the left is (these days). With, I should add, the notable exception of the greens: the green movement is equally emotional – and again, that is also the key to why they are so efficient at mobilizing people.

        Common sense has little play in politics, I am afraid.

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      4. My apologies for my spam filter being so touchy. I have answered your comments about emotion in another of your comments (that I restored). To your point about the young upwardly mobile nouveau politicians, I regret to say you are most likely correct. A political dynasty fixated on the “game” of politics and scoring brownie points. Nasty manipulative types that I could never get along with….. I will watch out for that ultra right…….

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  7. You do like to open cans of worms, don’t you, Amanda? 🙂 I’m almost lost here after reading comments. I don’t watch reality TV. But I am becoming my mother. I noticed in her last years she watched a lot of Disney movies and old television series reruns. I made a little fun of her for not staying current. Now I understand. I watch just a little when I’m doing some handwork and I too watch the lighter old series as they don’t send my blood pressure soaring and send me off to sleep with nightmares. I think we have become jaded in our entertainment and always want the next level of everything. Reality TV is a form of voyeurism and while I’m always curious as to how others live in the world, I do not need a steady diet of that either. We have dumbed down our America for a long while because we are easier to control that way. Like magic tricks they keep us focused on one thing while they manipulate us with another. Seems to be working for them. I’m not fond of censorship. I know how to change the channel or not buy the book or magazine. I can teach my children to be selective while allowing them to be open. You have no idea how hard it was for me to see my daughter dabbling in the occult during her teen years. Turns out it was just a blip on the radar of her spiritual quest, only slightly different than mine. I could have caused all manner of difficulty by interfering in her journey. I learned a LOT from her. I’m hoping that we go back a little more to the middle again and stop all this backwards movement. Sometimes we need the storm to appreciate the calm. I don’t know if I’m making any sense here but then I wonder that most days anymore. The warmer it gets, the less I can think. ;( Hope all is going well with you. M

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    1. Yes Marlene, the lid is off and the worms are wriggling!
      It is funny that you mention your Mum liking those old movies etc, because you described the MOTH! He loves watching the old series like Married with Children ) gosh was that politically incorrect and sleazy; I dream of Jeanie; etc etc. I find them hard to take. Although I can watch the original Star Trek series – they had clever plots and interesting characters. No hard core 21st century blood and gore neither. Totally agree on the reality TV. Some is reassuring that one is in fact normal and there is actually a lot of abnormal that is really normal!
      Do you think the media moguls are complicit in the dumbing down, or does it stem from government?
      The heat doesn’t appear to be affecting your words as you make perfect sense, as always, Marlene. Lovely to hear that you were such a tolerant and accepting Mum. No wonder your daughter is such a wonderful person, from all accounts! It is a hard thing to watch by and let the kids make dire mistakes, but we have to respect their choices. I used to probably try too hard to sneak in lifestyle advice in our conversations, and my kids told me that they were wise to that, so I stopped. The relationships got better once we both respected our right to our own choices in life. We seem to be following the American example, scarily so. But then that has often been the way of Australia. We are too small to go it alone economically and geopolitically.
      I guess we would never make it to the cast of a reality TV. We have our stuff more or less together! It would make for boring television, but it makes for a good life!

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      1. It’s a funny thing about what a person watches. Neither of my husbands watched television with me. I’ve been binge watching the old Matlock series with Andy Griffith. No profanity and always the good speaks louder. I like a good Hallmark mystery but not fond of the silly romance movies for reasons of my own. HGTV House Hunters is a mainstay but I don’t like when I see couples bicker. Makes me crazy. It’s a way to see many homes in many countries without the cost of travel, There was a time my life was a soap opera which is why I love the peace and quiet of it now. As for protecting them from dire mistakes, I put my daughter on birth control at 16. Turns out I didn’t need to because she couldn’t have children anyway. I also always picked up the her and her friends when they had been drinking, no questions asked. She still never gets in a car after more than one drink and rides with no one that has been drinking more than they should. If it’s a girls night, they stay in or hire a driver. She did marry badly but after 2 years, called me to say she was done and so sorry about the cost of the wedding. She’s making up for it now. 🙂 We all have to do those things to grow. That’s why I have no regrets. I consider myself fortunate in so many ways. 🙂

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      2. I have seen one episode of House Hunters. Not bad for a reality show. There is an English one similar called Escape to the Country. I like that one as I get to “travel” to England and see the countryside, as I doubt I will ever travel there. Peace and quiet does have its attractions. And when we are older, boring is a word that doesn’t enter our vocabulary. There is always so many things that can and need doing. Boring I guess is a word for teenagers. Lol!
        It is sad to hear that your daughter couldn’t have a family and her marriage didn’t work out, however, you are correct, we all have to make mistakes to allow us to grow. Although unwanted pregnancies are mistakes that have dire consequences for all, so that kind of protection is warranted. Kids will experiment, and kids are often active before parents think they are. I always brought the kids up and supplied condoms to my boys and my daughter. Both kids lives could potentially be changed for the worse with an early unwanted pregnancy. Some friends thought I was condoning sex by doing this, but I made it clear there was a difference. I knew they were human and I wanted them to be prepared for any eventuality. It was a surprise to hear some of these opinions from my friends when we discussed it. I thought folks might be a little more progressive in their attitude these days. Seems not everyone thinks this way.
        Like you, I have no regrets at least in that area. None of them feel they are ready for children or are in a position to afford them. If one came along, they and we would cope, but better to wait. They may never be ready and may never have that opportunity, but that is life. We never know what you are going get – F.Gump.

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      3. Love F. Gump. 😉 and I’ve watched every episode of Escape to the Country. So much more genteel than House Hunters International. I wonder where they get most of these people? Sometimes I think they pay them to misbehave. The English version was so lovely that my entire family was hooked. 😉 I’m with you on how backwards some views are about providing protection for out young people. Didn’t matter to me, did what I thought was best.

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      4. It was right for you and your kin. That is all that matters. So pleased that you liked Escape to the Country. I had no idea it would be shown in the US. There is an Australian version too, although I haven’t seen it.

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  8. Different can be dangerous. Can be interesting. And definitely a game which politicians and the media love to play to their advantage. And we always seem to buy it, lap it up.
    But the question is: where goes the borders of morality?

    A great post, dear Amanda, with many questions!
    And – wonderfully provocative! 😉

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    1. Hi Elena,
      Thank you for your valued comment and question. Where does one draw the line with morality? That has to be different for each person, as each person has a unique upbringing and values that they hold dear. We can be similar in values, but never totally the same. So then, how can an authority arbitrariliy draw a boundary for morals. It is easy to point the finger and say that a particular movie, or utterance has gone to far, but can we draw up guidelines for morals? That is pretty difficult, I think. Has any country tried to do that?

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      1. Hi Amanda,
        I think every country build a complex net of rules or morality – mostly unstated. And I generally really like the way it is, here in Denmark. Except of course, for the populist nationalists, who insists on building walls between the cultures…
        “Med lov skal land bygges,” (with law are countries built), as one of our kings stated. And I believe that. But the law rests on an uncertain and ever-shifting foundation of morals…

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      2. It is never certain how strong or how flexible the law will be. Judges sometimes interpret it strangely. But we need a system and at present it is the best one. Without it, we would have anarchy.

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  9. It’s just another aspect of the direction the humanity is taking. There used to be culture on TV, at least when I was growing up in Yugoslavia. There were serious programs on art on TV. I watched that. By choice. (Also, but not only, of course. I loved pop culture just as much.) When everything becomes commercial, this is what happens. People get what they are willing to pay for: the satisfaction of instant needs, peeks into the lives of others who are luckily not us or who we wish to be, and who are just happy to be on TV. Terrible, ugly, corrupting. One of the major reasons I stopped watching TV a long time ago.

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    1. It seems like a lot of us bloggers avoid TV, Manja, and for good reason. Commercial mainstream TV does seem to be on the decline, that is the channels dictating what programs are played each night. Now with streaming channels, one can pick and choose what you want to watch. Even so, the usual channels still attract a big audience and perhaps this reality TV Penchant is a desperate way to cling to viewers. My kids rarely watch TV and one of them only watch selected movies. My MOTH however is old school and clings as many still do to the old shows and newer crappier shows on the mainstream channels. There is a choice to watch more documentaries with whatever you call those Fox channel thingies – I hardly ever watch them and would never pay to have TV so don’t know what it is really called. I do like to watch foreign movies for entertainment. Usually European. And love history docos or a bit of comedy. But I hear bits and pieces when the MOTH watches TV and I don’t like the way it is going. You are right when you described it as terrible and corrupting. It seems many of the people on reality shows wish to gain more instagram followers. But they pay a heavy price, they forego their privacy, their respect and in some cases their health and jobs, as social media can be unforgiving if you are cast or edited in a bad light. Good on you for turning it off. I wish more people would hit the off switch! But they seem unmotivated and sit zombie like watching rubbish even whilst complaining – “there is nothing on TV tonight.” Then why on earth do they leave it on?

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  10. In reply to your earlier comment… 😉

    That sounds eerily familiar: “Both major parties are full of young folk who have little experience in the real world and have made politics their career.”

    I believe that to be a particular curse of our modern society – and it is going to be a significant issue further down the line. For those people, who are “professional” politicians today – and who have had no other career during their life at all – will in all probability be minded to have their children follow the same path. It is, after all, a high road to money, success, and power – a combination which very few (if any) other jobs can match.

    What do we call a political system based on dynasties? Last time I saw one, it was an aristocracy…

    Another issue – and even more serious, at least in the short term: without “real-life” experience, how are they going to have a prayer of a chance of being effective at reforming society? We have seen, again and again throughout history, what happens whenever anyone tries to ram through a reform based on idealistic theory…

    If I were you, I would watch out for the “ultra-right”. They have a way of surprising you. The thing is – emotion is a far more powerful motivator than logic, and the right are much better at using emotion in their propaganda than the left is (these days). With, I should add, the notable exception of the greens: the green movement is equally emotional – and again, that is also the key to why they are so efficient at mobilizing people.

    Common sense has little play in politics, I am afraid.

    Like

  11. In reply to your earlier comment… 😉

    That sounds eerily familiar: “Both major parties are full of young folk who have little experience in the real world and have made politics their career.”

    I believe that to be a particular curse of our modern society – and it is going to be a significant issue further down the line. For those people, who are “professional” politicians today – and who have had no other career during their life at all – will in all probability be minded to have their children follow the same path. It is, after all, a high road to money, success, and power – a combination which very few (if any) other jobs can match.

    What do we call a political system based on dynasties? Last time I saw one, it was an aristocracy…

    Another issue – and even more serious, at least in the short term: without “real-life” experience, how are they going to have a prayer of a chance of being effective at reforming society? We have seen, again and again throughout history, what happens whenever anyone tries to ram through a reform based on idealistic theory…

    If I were you, I would watch out for the “ultra-right”. They have a way of surprising you. The thing is – emotion is a far more powerful motivator than logic, and the right are much better at using emotion in their propaganda than the left is (these days). With, I should add, the notable exception of the greens: the green movement is equally emotional – and again, that is also the key to why they are so efficient at mobilizing people.

    Common sense has little play in politics, I am afraid.

    Like

    1. Well, that one worked. So, let’s try this in smaller stages then…

      In reply to your earlier comment… 😉

      That sounds eerily familiar: “Both major parties are full of young folk who have little experience in the real world and have made politics their career.”

      I believe that to be a particular curse of our modern society – and it is going to be a significant issue further down the line. For those people, who are “professional” politicians today – and who have had no other career during their life at all – will in all probability be minded to have their children follow the same path. It is, after all, a high road to money, success, and power – a combination which very few (if any) other jobs can match.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What do we call a political system based on dynasties? Last time I saw one, it was an aristocracy…

        Another issue – and even more serious, at least in the short term: without “real-life” experience, how are they going to have a prayer of a chance of being effective at reforming society? We have seen, again and again throughout history, what happens whenever anyone tries to ram through a reform based on idealistic theory…

        If I were you, I would watch out for the “ultra-right”. They have a way of surprising you. The thing is – emotion is a far more powerful motivator than logic, and the right are much better at using emotion in their propaganda than the left is (these days). With, I should add, the notable exception of the greens: the green movement is equally emotional – and again, that is also the key to why they are so efficient at mobilizing people.

        Common sense has little play in politics, I am afraid.

        Like

      2. What do we call a political system based on dynasties? Last time I saw one, it was an aristocracy…

        Another issue – and even more serious, at least in the short term: without “real-life” experience, how are they going to have a prayer of a chance of being effective at reforming society? We have seen, again and again throughout history, what happens whenever anyone tries to ram through a reform based on idealistic theory…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just came across these quotes and thought you might like them in reply to your comment:
        “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” ~Groucho Marx
        “He knows nothing, and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” ~George Bernard Shaw

        “You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.” ~Jon Stewart

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I will check the spam. Quite possible, as it has done that to a few bloggers lately? I am unsure why, but I do check it periodically, so would have found it eventually. Rest assured, it is not me ignoring you! I am always interested in your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. If I were you, I would watch out for the far-right. They have a way of surprising you. The thing is – emotion is a far more powerful motivator than logic, and the right are much better at using emotion in their propaganda than the left is (these days). With, I should add, the notable exception of the greens: the green movement is equally emotional – and again, that is also the key to why they are so efficient at mobilizing people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I did reply to this above. Re “egg boy” comment. For some reason, your comment was held pending – Usually this only happens the first time you comment. When you repeated the comment, wordpress went into meltdown figuring you were a spammer! Hopefully all is okay now. You can always email me if for some reason your comment get lost in the web of spam. It is on my profile.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. It is a fact of life that emotion is a more powerful motivator than logic. I see this in the people voting for the charismatic leader who stands for a party they never voted for before. (Mind you, I always look for policies so could never see myself doing that. My logical left sided brain wouldn’t permit it).
    I also see it when someone mentions the words “new tax” here – even when it wasn’t a new tax, the incumbent government managed to use it in a highly emotionally charged way against the opposition, and this has become the opposition’s reputation in the less knowledgeable/less aware sectors within the community. I would agree the Greens use this, albeit in a different way, however, they now have to tread more carefully here. It backfired on them in the last election when they tried to campaign heavily in hard core conservative areas. Too much emotion pisses conservative folks off. Interesting that when the right tried to use emotion it worked – as they were tapping into fear, perhaps? Have you heard about the “egg boy” incident? – with the ultra right nutter?

    Liked by 1 person

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