Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why am I so Cynical?

My sister and I love to, um, "debate" at family gatherings. This year, due to the recent release of Twilight (the movie), the topic quickly shifted to the sad state of commercial entertainment in the U.S. How much money did Twilight make in it's first weekend? Have you even tried to read the fourth book in the series?

(I'm not a fan of Twilight, by the way. I understand why every girl at school loves the stuff, but it isn't for me. No way. I'm just jealous, of course. I want the book deal.)

So anyway, sister dear hits me with "I didn't think you were so cynical?"

Did you see the news yesterday? A 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in a rush for cheap crap? Look--this is the kind of thing that scares the hell out of me. Is it wrong to be cynical?

Now Aaron, you say, Twilight and the Wal-Mart incident are unrelated.

Really, I say. Really? I think the mob mentality is present in both situations. People have been whipped into a frothing mad frenzy for the purpose of selling some junk and making a little profit. Our highly commercial entertainment industry has been blended to a vanilla paste-pudding because it sells better. Have you read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? He was spot on with a lot of our modern entertainment. Scary how prophetic he was in that book. Make art easy for people, and they buy more. Make art simple and they consume like it's water.

An example: Student 1 had me listen to a song by Emo Band #1 the other day. Student 2 said, "Emo Band #1 sucks; Emo Band #2 is awesome." I listened to Emo Band #2--it was the same thing. Same chord structure, same tempo, same inane lyrics spouted by someone who can't carry a tune. The kids swallow this stuff by the truckload.

I know "money makes the world go 'round". I live in that system. I just don't have to like it.

What me cynical? Only until I land my own seven figure book deal.

(winks and nods)


Robert said...

I'm pretty cynical too. We should have a cynical contest to see who's more cynical. I'll totally out-cynical you any day :-)

Seriously though, that Wal-Mart thing is messed up. Not only was that man killed, four other shoppers were injured, INCLUDING an eight month pregnant woman. The most ridiculous thing is that when everyone was asked to leave because someone died, they shouted that they'd been in line forever and kept on shopping.

katey said...

All I really need to say to this one is, "Yes."

Also, *high-five*

Aaron Polson said...

Robet - who needs horror writers, eh?

Katey - back at 'cha.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I knew there was a reason I drink. I mean, really, who doesn't like water.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Having a cynical streak just makes us better writers. You should hear me rant on the homogeny of Western tv/movies ; )

Carrie Harris said...

This is why I don't shop at WalMart.

Barry Napier said...

I am incredibly cynical, too. I should let you in on a little secret, however...if a band is described as emo at's going to suck.

As far as Wal Mart unemployed streak has made me face the music and apply to part time jobs....Sears, Target, etc. I did not, nor will I ever, apply to Wal Mart. It is the core of everything that is wrong with this country (that and MTV. And top 40 radio. And...)