If I had a Hammer: Pop culture- a smashing influence on our children.

Essay by BILLMAN January 2006

download word file, 8 pages 4.6

Downloaded 132 times

"Art is not a mirror held up to reflect society, but a hammer with which to smash it."--Unknown

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."--Solomon

"The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind's history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good-and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities."-FCC Chairman Newton Minow.

Does American popular culture reflect society and our traditional values? Or vice versa, is it a force of its own, expecting society to conform to the values it portrays? This is an old debate, at least as old as theater in ancient Greece. Opinions have historically been very strong on both sides of the issue, to such extremes that historical movements have occasionally attempted to shut down theaters, ban certain music from the airwaves, and even burn book, in order to stop what was seen as immoral, corrupting influences.

I am not an advocate of censorship by any means; however, I hope you will keep an open mind as I present the evidence, as I see it, that popular culture does not reflect our traditional American values, and that we should carefully monitor what we absorb through the media, and evaluate the effect it may have on us.

I believe it is certain that our popular culture influences us, shapes our thoughts and behaviors. If it were not true, Madison Avenue would have been out of business some time ago Every day advertisers are convincing us to: have a beer; buy that next new thing, feel as if our lives would be better if only we had the new, improved version, or lived like others (so they say) are living. They are very successful at fueling the rampant consumerism so prevalent today. Television and movie insiders as much...