I am not only beginning to sound like my mother but also like my grandmother. When I observe and discuss the culture today with my peers, I can see and hear my Italian grandmother Francesca in my head saying, “le cose da un altro mondo.” This saying means “things from another world.” Of course her body language enhanced the words, for she would look toward heaven, arms extended upward as if in prayer. She was always praying, so perhaps she thought somehow she would receive an answer.
The fact of the matter is that things change and we are often at the mercy of thinking of how things were or how they “should” be. I find myself questioning whether I have become a dinosaur. In some ways I have to stand firm in my belief that we have transitioned into a society that seems to be perennially occupied with gadgets, gizmos, selfies, the pursuit of fame and an almost obsessive need to be busy and self-absorbed. I suppose that sounds rather condemning, but those who research societal norms seem to agree that we are very disconnected and fragmented. No, it’s not all doom and gloom, but a lot of our culture has become dark and gloomy.
There seems to be a constant need to report all manner of bad news 24/7, and it’s often done in a garrulous fashion. Oh, there are still a couple of anchors that resemble the days of Walter Cronkite and others. However, more often than not it’s a panel of individuals vying for their ten minutes of fame by over talking one another or using insults as a way to appear hip. The Presidential campaign has become a mud slinging event. It reminds me of the title of a book I have called “A Confederacy of Dunces.” It feels like I’m back in grade school with kids who used to yell, “Your mother has a mustache,” which now appears angelic compared to some of the remarks we hear daily.
The lack of dignity and respect for others does not only resonate in the political arena, but seems to permeate the world of entertainment. The so called reality show franchises are filled with cat fights and name calling. Perhaps the media moguls should build a replica of the coliseum and put all these folks in it with a couple of tigers so we can see a “real” cat fight. I have seen snippets of these shows and others like the “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” series just so I can continue to add to my stash of ludicrous media mindlessness.
So what if anything is there to do about the above and more? I will continue to see the insanity and humor inherent in it. But more importantly, I can only make sure I don’t become part of it!
Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.