Culture 2009: Year in review
Continuing with the theme of "going to hell in a handbasket"... Is the pop music phenomenon known as Lady Gaga another sign of the impending Apocalypse? There seems to be a race between her, Beyoncé, and Shakira to achieve the sluttiest stage persona in the music industry. Meanwhile, Britney Spears is trying for a comeback. What ever happened to respectable female vocalists like Janice Joplin or Grace Slick?
The death of Michael Jackson in July sparked a deep emotional outpouring around the world, as most people remembered all the joy he brought to the world and looked past his troubled personal life. I share those sentiments, for the most part. On the other hand, it could be another example of declining standards and the widespread tendency to rationalize or excuse indecent behavior.
I had the impression that the culture wars cooled off just a little bit last year. There was not such a big deal made about Christmas vs. Secular Winter Solstice celebrations, etc. "Kwanzaa" may even have "jumped the shark," becoming just another lame cliché of political correctness. On a more disturbing note, the attacks by Muslim terrorists at Fort Hood, aboard that Detroit-bound airliner, and elsewhere have deepened the chasm between the Islamic world and the West. It seems all but inevitable that ethnic profiling will eventually become necessary at airports and other critical public facilities.
On a brighter note, last week's USA Weekend magazine listed some of the good news from 2009, widely regarded as topping the charts on the bleakness scale. Here are the Top Five pieces of Good News:
- U.S. Airways Capt. Sullenberger lands on the Hudson, saving 155 lives.
- African-American inaugurated president.
- Twitter empowers average people to spread news.
- NASA discovers water on the moon.
- Ford Motor Company survives without bailouts. (Our Escape still runs fine.)
Here are some "honorable mentions":
- Plain-looking Susan Boyle's voice enchants millions.
- Paul McCartney goes on tour, young at heart despite his divorce.
- Newly remastered versions of all the Beatles albums are released.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd releases a new CD, "God and Guns." Excellent stuff!
I checked the rollingstone.com, but only recognized seven of the top 25 songs of the year -- ouch! Well, I'll probably become familiar with more of them eventually. I recently started listening to Nickelback, Hoobastank, and Coldplay, three rock groups from early last decade. And here are some "less than honorable mentions," the first four I which I covered in my blog:
- World class procreation -- Nadya Suleman becomes "Octomom."
- The end of the Newspaper Era -- dawn of the post-literate era.
- Lutherans split over "gay rights"
- Catholic - Anglican reunion? -- prompted by push for "gay rights" by liberals.
- Amy Winehouse goes "back to rehab."
- Chris Brown beats up Rihanna -- what a scumbag.
- Tiger Woods' "world-class" infidelity -- what a scumbag.