Bill Tammeus is a great writer and a wonderful person and Kansas City is lucky to have him. I have huge respect for him, and eagerly look forward to his weekly column, and read his blog regularly. Last Saturday's KC Star column on our cultural values was one of the best of his I have read, and I hope you'll click here to read it all for yourself, or dig it out of your recycling pile and give a perusal.
Here are some snippets:
"...they say we are focused on trivia, on mindless entertainment, on nothing of eternal value, that we’ve lost our way. We demand bread and circuses but are willing to forgo the bread in favor of the circuses."
"We save our angriest responses for those times when we can’t get Hannah Montana tickets, when some TV network cuts into our soap operas for a news bulletin, when newspapers cancel our favorite comic strip, when our local pro football team fails to pummel an opponent."
"...although we need the arts as a way to help us understand the world and imagine a better one, there’s a difference between the arts and much of what our pop culture offers to distract us from lives of quiet desperation and to numb our hearts."
Regarding the Hannah Montana concert:
"When we put huge amounts of energy into getting tickets to hear a 14-year-old singing about her limo, something clearly has gone amiss. And religious leaders who aren’t pointing out that sad conclusion aren’t doing their job."
But guess what the Kansas City dot com web page from which I am reading is showing in the upper right corner of Bill's column? It is an advertisement for ... ready? ... LASER HAIR REMOVAL and it features a close up picture of the body (only body, no face) of a bikini-clad woman. Unbelievable. A column slamming the shallow, "vacuous" culture in which we live, and it's publication is funded by a hair removal ad that shows a close up of a woman's nearly naked body.
I'm pretty sure Bill has nothing to do with the choice of ads placed on the web pages! But rather than anyone thinking I am not doing my job by failing to point out that little irony, I'm going to just go ahead and point it out, ok?
Let me paraphrase: When we put huge amounts of money into placing an ad that clearly objectifies women and exploits human sexuality for the purpose of selling a product that does something as vain, shallow, and selfish as removing hair from one's body, something clearly has gone amiss.
(How was that, Bill?)