The Pryor Times


December 14, 2013

Bad weather, worse entertainment

PRYOR, OK — Between the four-day weekend for Thanksgiving and being snowed in with Snowmageddon, I've had an unfortunate amount of time to watch TV and browse the internet.

Sure, there are some great shows on with fascinating plots, yada yada. As a whole, though, pop culture is a pretty sad state of affairs.

How on earth did we get to this point?

Entertainment used to have the likes of Shirley Temple. She was adorable, charming and pretty wholesome. Her dimples and ringlets were irresistible. Now we get Honey Boo Boo, which I might add, is not a name. She burps and talks about cheese puffs on national television.

Music fans in the past had the soulful sound of Frankie Valli and Buddy Holly. With lyrics like “Oh, what a night, late December back in '63, what a very special time for me. As I remember what a night,” and “My eyes adored you, though I never laid a hand on you my eyes adored you...carried your books from school playing make-believe you're married to me, you were fight grade, I was sixth when we came to be,” teens had real musical heart throbs. They had a way with words, a classy stage presence and music you could sing along to without a care in the world.

I can barely even stand to talk about Justin Bieber. One of his chart-topping songs “U Smile” had the lyrics, “Oh yea, Mmm, I'd wait on you forever and a day, hand and foot, your world is my world yeah.” In case you aren't completely charmed by that gem, the lyrics of “Swagg's Mean” are literally just that. “S-swag's so mean, S-s-swag's so mean. Swag's mean, Ah-Swag's mean. Yea she want me cause my swag's so mean.” Is swag even a word?

A huge part of pop culture has always been fashion icons. Jackie Kennedy was a fashion icon, role model to women everywhere. Her perfectly appropriate suits and trendy hats were copied in department stores across the country. Her hair, even her sunglasses, were a statement. She belonged, in family and in name, to a world of class, wealth and responsibility.

On today's red carpet is a woman who comes from a family whose name and money are known worldwide. Rather than teaching poise and perfection, Paris Hilton is selling hair extensions at $20 a pop. The Hollywood darling can barely be trusted to leave the house with proper undergarments.

Even the gang on Gilligan's Island had more substance than the lot on Survivor.

We went from Laverne and Shirley, Thelma and Louise to Snooki and J-Wow.

Brooding bad-boy James Dean, rocking a leather jacket an a “I don't give a darn” attitude, was replaced by Robert Pattinson, all sparkle and angst.

After days of this, I saw the absolute worst, hard-hitting television news program allowing a time slot for celebrity gossip.

“Enough is enough!” I may have screamed at my TV. The decline can be summed up fairly well just by looking at Miley Cyrus.

Have we simply lowered the standards to which we hold “celebrities?” Or are we allowing ourselves to be entertained by utter nonsense?

What came first, the subpar celebrities and icons or the devolution of American standards?

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