The Life of the Happy Squirrel

October 6, 2015

Every time we seemed poised to make progress the popular culture floods the air waves with nonsense and indecency to drown out our good senses.

In the 70s it was the ‘Superfly’. A fly is something nasty and they had us wanting to emulate something super nasty. I don’t remember hearing black people in the street speaking in the labored slang dialogue and walking with the exaggerated swagger of the Blackploitation films. Yet that was the stereotype that was promoted and we bought into it and acted it out just like it was our reality. Now it’s gangster rap and seeing how violent, how ignorant and how profane can we get and our youth are feeding into that. But you can do that when you take away a people’s culture. There’s a void there and they will fill it with something. Now we are addicted to being entertained.

“In 1985 Andrew Postman, in his book “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” made this point: “TV is turning all public life (education, religion, politics, journalism) into entertainment; how the image is undermining other forms of communication, particularly the written word; and how our bottomless appetite for TV will make content so abundantly available, content be damned, we’ll be overwhelmed by “information glut” until what is truly meaningful is lost and we no longer care what we’ve lost as long as we’re being amused.

The death that Postman is describing is of consciousness, the death of regard for important things, the death of intellectual capacity and curiosity. Now 20 years later, add to that information glut, content from Computers, PDA’s, Smartphones, Ipods, Ipads, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and instant messaging, and it will take a Noah’s Ark to save us from the flood of virtual nonsense. Spiritual language, the language of intelligent behavior, is no longer reaching the public.” From “Yes, I Am Your Brother: Understanding the Indigenous African American Muslim.”

Even animals will reject certain things. Our very nature tells us to seek intelligent and meaningful things. Our body seeks cleanliness and rejects impurity and so should our mind. Thus the saying “cleanliness is godliness” or cleanliness is next to godliness. It is our nature to reject ignorance and go for intelligence; reject hostility and show compassion. But some of us now are even worse than the typical furry animal. We just want a laugh and a happy feeling.