Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why Do I Care?

My daughter was watching some show last night, something off of MTV. (A sidenote: remember when MTV showed music videos? My daughter said the other day, "I'm going to start a cable channel that shows all music videos all the time, and I'm going to call it Reality TV!")

As I was saying, my daughter was watching some show from MTV last night that made me groan. It was six young men, probably in their early twenties, in a library (or a library setting anyway) having to do these weird gags to each other without laughing out loud (because they were in a library). Things like, stuffing a bunch of food in their pants, or allowing a billiard ball to be shot at their crotch, or swallowing a glassful of something disgusting enough to make the boy immediately vomit it back up.

I thought this was one of the stupidest things I'd ever seen. I thought this was a depressing look at the state of entertainment these days. I thought they all looked like a bunch of idiotic twelve-year-old brats. And then I didn't think it -- I said it.

"Geez! They're like a bunch of stupid, immature, twelve-year-olds!" I snapped.

My daughter rolled her eyes. "Why do you care?"

A few minutes later, we were all watching Harry Potter 7.1, and I heard in my memory the voice of an older friend giving her commentary on Harry Potter (which she'd never read or seen). "That's just weird creepy stuff. I don't know why anyone would want to watch that!" -- pronounced with the same turned-up nose and air of contempt with which I had just condemned the library show.

Now, I can justify my attitude all over the place. I did actually watch some of that library show before I judged it. And the difference in quality between the two shows is pretty incontrovertible. But it still bothered me how much I sounded like my elder counterpart. Lord knows, I do NOT want to grow up to be the proverbial contemptuous old bitty who criticizes everything and everyone and whom nobody wants around or takes seriously anymore.

On the other hand, I DO want my children to have more class and taste than that library show appeals to. Ugh.

What to do . . what to do . . a constant struggle in my life. How to communicate some standards in our household without becoming the Church Lady. Because, whether or not I should, I really, really do care.


Suzanne74 said...

I struggle in the same way. I can not stand the thought of sounding like a judgemental church lady. When you find the balance let me know. And I miss the old MTV too:)

Joyce said...

I have the same conflicting feelings. My "balance" is to embrace my inner church lady and preface my criticisms with the acknowledgement that I know I'm too old to get it, But... whatever. More importantly, I just try to share the things I love with the young people I love. And there's always something they're into that I can appreciate, so I'm not just always critisizing. I think quality wins out in long run. That's how classics become classics.

Gwen, thanks for writing such interesting stuff.