Why is society's views so out of whack?

Preface: Before I begin this post, I would like to clearly state that I feel that in no way are my views superior to that of anyone else. I am just stating some facts that depress and distress me greatly.

I had a truly horrifying revelation today, that the true leaders, heroes, and vanguards are no longer recognized. If any of you were to approach the average teenager and ask he/she who won best actor or what was the song of the year almost instantaneously they would respond with the correct answer. The same applies to many popular sports.

Now if you were to ask a teenager for a Nobel Prize winner in any category over the past fifteen years, most would be dumbfounded. The only winner most have heard of is Martin Luther King, Jr., simply because it has been pounded into their heads year after year.

You say the Nobel Prize is not relevant to daily life and is not taught in school? Your right it isn’t but it should be. Although the Nobel Prize isn’t, AIDS was discussed almost daily in my health class in High School, yet we do not recognize the achievements of Dr. Gallo co-discoverer of HIV and Dr. Fauci co-discoverer of the retro-virus qualities of HIV.

I enjoy entertainment as much as the next guy, but since when has it become more important than societal improvement and advancement? Our morals and ethics are topsy turvy.

Why are the huge sums of money given to the singers and athletes and not to the movers and shakers of society? It is the lack of funding and recognition that keeps the brightest and the best out of research that our society so desperately needs. The money of Wall Street is drawing away the great minds. These are the minds that we need to cure our Diabetes, kill the Virus, and perfect stem cell usage.

Our society has placed monetary gain and the value of entertainment above all us. This to me is totally unacceptable.

I am still quite young, in fact I am a teenager, so I am not sure if the world was always like this. If it wasn’t when did this shift occur? Can anyone allay my fears that our society is not doomed?

Lost In Reality

Not Having A Quote Since 1985

If you find the answers to that one, and find a way to rectify the situation, stand for public office. I’ll move to your jurisdiction and vote for you!


Why should it be? Just because someone won the prize doesn’t mean they’ve made earth shattering discoveries that have implications for generations to come.


Edison, DuPont, Ford, Gates, Jobs, Deere, Washington, Jefferson, and Hughes are all movers and shakers in society who made oodles and oodles of money. More money then any athlete these days. Huge sums of money are given to entertainers becaues people like to be entertained and are willing to pay for it.


I don’t have a cite but I thought I read that most millionaires only averaged C’s or low B’s while in college. Many didn’t even graduate or attend.


I don’t think our society has done that at all.


Edison, DuPont, Ford, Gates, Jobs, Deere, Washington, Jefferson, and Hughes are all movers and shakers in society who made oodles and oodles of money. More money then any athlete these days. Huge sums of money are given to entertainers becaues people like to be entertained and are willing to pay for it.

There are exceptions to everything, but there were more than nine people who helped push along society. Those nine made great contributions but what about the starving “fill in occupation”


First of all, the people I know that extremely financially secure sure as hell did not pull C’s and B’ in college, and they most definitely graduated. Once again their are some extreme exceptions. I will still stand by my premise that money draws people, and that it is drawing away our leaders in medicine and law

Lost In Reality

Not Having A Quote Since 1985


I was just giving you a few examples of movers and shakers who also made big bucks. I didn’t say that only 9 people helped push society along. And if you want to talk about exceptions then let’s go back to athletes and singers. They are the exception to the vast majority of athletes and singers who do not become wealthy.


So all your friends are millionaires?

Well you really didn’t offer any support for your premise.


I do know quite a few millionaires (they’re all over the place in Hong Kong), and I don’t see any general rules about their smarts. Some of them pulled As (or the equivalent) in school and University, and some of them flunked out entirely. Some of them are completely stupid, believe it or not. Looking among friends and acquaintances who are “financially secure” I don’t see any particular pattern at all except the drive to succeed and the ability to seize an opportunity.

I do agree with Lost in Reality to an extent though: I think the societies of the world are a little bit too interested in popular entertainment, commercialism, and consumerism. Why can’t Nobel prize winners be as celebrated as Britney Spears? I think the answer is that it takes effort to understand the accomplishments of a Nobel Prize winner, but it’s not even required to understand Spears. That’s the difference between popular entertainment and thinking.

Doesn’t entertainment improve society? Society is more than just research and manufacturing. Entertainment makes it a more pleasent place to live.

Also think of it this way. Any major sports team or motion picture studio has the ability to reach tens of millions of Americans. By comparison, a much smaller portion of the population has a disease like AIDS.

It is obvious that you have little understanding of what ‘Wall Street’ is. The Street is not some monolithic money machine that sits in a vacuume. Financial markets are a way for ALL types of companies to raise capital for those projects that ‘society desparately needs’.

Besides, what makes you think that brokers and traders are the best minds? Just because someone is good at finance does not mean they would make a good chemist.

That’s not true. Since you are a teenager, most likely the only millionares you see are entertainers and celebrities on TV. In the real world, millionares are in every industry. You just don’t hear about them because they aren’t on TRL every afternoon.

The world has always been like this.

We no longer have Heroes. Heroes were larger than life, some one you could never be, but stood in awe of. Hercules, Ulysses, King Arthur, Robin Hood. Back when stories were told mouth-to-ear, the greatest were of Heroes, and even though you cannot BE them you could try to emulate some of their better characteristics.

Now, we have role models. Role models are not so untouchable as Heroes were. Role models are a watered down version. Role models are real life people that we can try to be better than. Now that we have the Global Village live via sattelite 24/7/365 on CNN MSNBC ESPN MTV, it becomes ultimately too easy to become famous and thus be put up in front of people to emulate. And quite frankly, most of these people that are our role models are not suited to the job. Or perhaps since we can see them in realtime, real life, all the time we can see their faults and are subtley disappointed that they are not the Heroes we long for.

Look at OJ Simpson. A great athlete who commited a heinous crime. If it was 200 years ago, he would be the hero of a great tragedy. A Hero who had his was betrayed by his True Love and then avenged himself upon them and was in a dramatic chase to escape the wrath of the evil Authority. But we know the real story thanks to helicopter cameras and DNA evidence. And OJ is no hero. He is a man that can’t control his temper. A wife abuser and murderer. sigh

So when people complain that sports stars are poor role models for children, tell them to turn off the damn tv and read them a book. The Odyssey or 1001 Arabian Nights perhaps…

I don’t think things have changed one little bit—what makes you think that kids were any better informed 100 or 200 years ago? Indeed, with cable and the Internet, I’ll bet kids are BETTER informed than they used to be.

One hundred years ago, kids worshipped boxers, murderers, local toughs, vaudeville actors, “actresses in tights” (!) and similar pop-culture lions. Nuthin’s changed.

I went to elementary school in the Bronx in 1948 - 1953. I remember studying American inventers, such as Thomas Edison and Robert Fulton. We were encouraged to emulate these heroes. Various explorers were also presented as heroes.

I remember reading the Ny Times in 5th or 6th grade. We were encouraged to read a serious newspaper.

December—But there have always been highly educated and cultured wonks like us, and there have always been the majority of the hoi-polloi, who would rather go to da fights or da honky-tonk. I still don’t think “society” or “people” as a whole have changed all that much, if at all, over the centuries.

Every reproduction newspaper I’ve seen is as full of
fluff as todays. The days of the Wild West were filled with political corruption, genocidal savagery and spin doctors. Authors wrote all kinds of heroic tales of Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane and others. These contained less truth than you’ll find in an infomercial. As I’ve said before, Punch and Judy shows date back centuries. Our environmental problems are new, but the problems of culture are the same as always.

   Galileo and Coppernicus were not just prevented from spreading their knowledge. They were branded as heretics. Read the bestsellers of the past century. With a few exceptions, you'll find them to be the same junk that sells today. As for myths, find an unexpurgated text. The original versions included plenty of gore and sex. Zeus castrates his father. Hercules squire is also his eremnos, the boy he educates through engaging in sex with. In their original forms most myths are closer to a Stallone film than a Bible passage.

I went to elementary school in Kansas from 80-87 and we studied inventers, scientists, and explorers too. We were also encouraged to read a newspaper and bring in articles we found interesting and share them with the class. I don’t think things have changed much between the time you went to school and the time I went to school. Kids learned about Lewis and Clark 100 years ago and kids will be learning about Lewis and Clark 100 years from now.

Living on Long Island I learned about all the same things that you did, but just on the surface and simply enough to pass the new test. We are learning strictly to pass test A or test B. Especially in my school, we are extremely competitive and our school forces children to take tests which are not necessary for the child. The school knows that
these children will do well and will therefore rasie the school average. The schools no longer teach so that the children can utilize the newfound knowledge.

Oh by the way MGibson not all of my friends are but some of them are children of millionares who did well in the top notch schools of our nation.

msmith537, I am aware of how the stock market runs. I know of a decent number of students who went into business and the stock market instead of going into medicine to follow the money.

Lost In Reality

Not Having A Quote Since 1985

Heck, most Bible passages are closer to a Stallone film than they are to a Bible passage, when you get right down to it. The Old Testament is as full of sex, violence, betrayal and revenge as anything coming out of Hollywood.

And then you have the story of ol’ Samson, which has sex, violence, betrayal, revenge, AND bad jokes.

Honey in a lion’s head forsooth.

As a person who has worked closely in Theatre, I utterly reject this notion that “Entertainment is bad”. Movies, stage productions, TV shows… these have massive potential (and, occasionally, deliver in spades) to bring new messages and new thoughts to their audience. While most Hollywood productions are pieces of feel-good, special-effect bullshit, these are usually the ones that perform horribly in the box office.

Again, there are exceptions to every rule… but look at the example of films such as 2001: A Space Oddysey, and tell me that it didn’t make people think. Then look at The Truman Show, and tell me that it didn’t make people think. Then look at The Cider House Rules, Quills, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and tell me that those didn’t make people think.

Well, okay, that last one was a joke… but humor is just as important as creative intelligence.

Oh, I dunno SPOOFE. Holy Grail taught me that supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony, and that if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away.

Man ohhh man. You must have read the flaming bitch slap I recently got in the pit. You are smart (wo)man… welcome to the SDMB!

Moving right along…

I agree with SPOOFE in that entertainment is good when it’s good. There have been films that have really affected people deeply and let them understand and digest reality on a different level.

However, a lot of entertainment is common detominator, low-brow, utter garbage.

Ya fargin’ bastige, ya. Damn that beer stings going up my nose. Why I oughta bill ya for a new keyboard that now reeks of Bud…