"The Effects of Entertainment on the Taste of Humanity or Where are we going?" - Neal Gabler's 2003 AP Free Respoonse Question

Essay by bigmikeydoggCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2004

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Considering the attention and respect (perhaps undue) that today's movie and music stars receive, Neal Gabler is completely justified in his argument that entertainment has the capacity to "ruin" society. Pop culture is heavily focused on the entertainment industry and looks to it as a model for new trends and obsessions. As entertainment gradually pushes the limits in what is acceptable, our cultures echo this movement through their accepted values and standards. The deviance of contemporary media is on the path toward destroying our set of principles, and the breaking down of society with that destruction.

In today's world, society revolves around entertainment and relies on it to shape the commonly accepted normal and trends. For example, a celebrity recently wore an old trucker hat to some function, and two months later, everybody and their brother owns a trucker hat. It's sweeping the nation; this just goes to show the true power and influence that is held by most persons of fame.

Keeping in mind the nature of the behavior of some of these stars, is this really a good thing? I understand that many pin-ups may be positive role models for society, but these individuals are greatly outnumbered by the reckless and sometimes downright uncontrollable young stars.

Therefore, as entertainment remains progressively deviant in order to attract viewers, society's accepted guidelines shift toward the deviant as time passes. The public sees the behavior typical of rowdy entertainers or the roles they play in films and views those things as acceptable when they actually may be borderline absurd.

As of late, the sophistication of television programming has been plummeting to all-time lows. It would seem as if network executives have abandoned attempts in maintaining quality programs, and instead opted for line-ups that will attract viewers purely from their raunchiness and...