Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Great Society

"And with your courage and with your compassion and your desire, we will build a Great Society. It is a Society where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled."
- Lyndon B. Johnson,  May 7, 1964

That was just over 50 years ago, and I'd assume that Mr. Johnson had no idea of the so-called technological advancements that would take place over the next 5 decades.  Things like cable television, the Internet, microwave ovens, and digital photography that would contribute to our now Great Society.  yeah.

The mid-sixties was a time when we concerned ourselves with issues like civil rights, gender equality, and free speech. In the mid-(I don't know)-14th year of the third millennium, we have other concerns.  Those of legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriages, and where to build our next casino.  It's very sophisticated - and selfish, in most ways.

We walk around with earphones, heads down, oblivious to the rest of the "great society," and our gaze is fixed on our next text message or Facebook "like."  Have we built a Great Society? It says here that we have not.

What we have built is a society based on personal wants and needs, and not the wants and needs of the society, which isn't Great at all.

The more our technology grows, the less our personal contact grows.  We prefer to text rather than talk - e-mail rather than hand-write a card or note - and our Facebook "friends" are not real friends at all, but merely Internet acquaintances we have met because we know somebody that they know, too.

I don't know anyone's telephone number.  In the 1960s (and into the 1980s) if someone wanted me to call them, I immediately knew their phone number and could recite it.  Now, if I don't have my cell phone handy, I have no clue of your phone number.  You are an icon and a click on my Contacts list.

And, this Internet thing.  Well - maybe you have no idea, but I suspect you have some idea.  There is fornication everywhere.  If I was a teenager growing-up in this society, my head would explode over the vast amount of nudity, sex, and other acts going on that are just a click away. Sure, they are "protected," but all one has to do is click "YES, I ACCEPT" and they're in.  If I was a parent, I would literally lose sleep over what my child was seeing on the Internet. I really can't believe that there is that much intercourse and deviant sexual behavior going on in the world - let alone what is being recorded and broadcast over the Internet.  I am by no means naive, but all one has to do is a simple Google search and see the amount of web sites devoted to it to realize - Jeebus, that's a lot of stuff!

You can go pretty much anywhere and see women (and men) in various stages of undress.  In my day, you had to find a stray copy of Playboy magazine in your uncle's trash to get a glimpse of a breast. Now, you can Google-search Vagina close-up and get a gander - for free.  See how easy that was?  And think - your 12-year-old knows how to do that, too.

And then, there is Facebook and Twitter, where you can log-in and insult people at will. That's a bargain compared to what it used to be, where we had to write letters and sign our names and stuff.  Now, you can be Wonderboy1400 and post a comment.  It's easy to offend from afar.  I bet Johnson never saw that coming, either.

Meanwhile, children are still going unschooled.  If you doubt me, just read their Facebook comments and check the grammar and spelling.  As for unfed, I'm not so sure.  They look like they have plenty of food - and perhaps that's another issue.

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