We’re coming up on the 67th anniversary of the story that inspired the cult-hit movie, Idiocracy.
Cyril M. Kornbluth was a science fiction writer whose futuristic story, The Marching Morons, was published in Galaxy (a sci-fi magazine) in April 1951. 67 years ago.
The Marching Morons is a look at a future world consisting of five billion idiots and a few million geniuses. The pressure is on the few geniuses to keep things running.
Well, the morons are winning. In 2012 I registered the domain, SurroundedByNinnies.com. Go ahead. Click it.
Part of the Ninnie-ism Movement is crudeness and vulgarity. It has skyrocketed in popularity over the past 20 years.
Irreverence has always existed. So has sin. But many behaviors that were once done mostly in secret have come out into the broad daylight, not just visible, but parading. Showing off.
Popular culture is killing us!
Talent isn’t as meaningful as it once was because narcissism now rules.
extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration
Celebrity. Fame. That’s increasingly the aspiration.
HBO and Rolling Stone founder, Jan Wenner, produced a 2-part documentary on the history of that magazine. Mr. Wenner started the magazine in San Francisco in November 9, 1967 (when the first edition was published). He and his cohorts were aiming to cover the counter-culture. Some argue – and I happen to agree with much of what they observe – that the counter-culture has been shouted down, politically and socially bullied so that today society is no longer tolerates counter anything. Conformity is the key ingredient.
And we’ve seen conformity morph increasingly toward crudeness and vulgarity. In every area. From clothing, or lack thereof, to speech, to demeanor, to movement (think twerking), to entertainment (think Big Brother or the Bachelor), to music (think Curren$y and a host of others), to the fact that now we can no longer determine if our newborn child is a boy or a girl because we’ve got to wait to see what they identify as. We’ve lost our mind and our insanity is more popular than it’s ever been.
It’s a very big, broad and important topic. I’m not a trained sociologist or social anthropologist, but I’m a human. Last I checked. That qualifies me to observe what’s going on around me. And to draw some conclusions. Mostly to see patterns and figure things out. I certainly don’t profess the power to alter much, or influence much.
As usual, today’s show as prompted by something. Namely, the increase in profanity in professional settings. Cussing has been around in the workplace as long as I’ve been in the workplace (since about age 15). My experience isn’t empirical proof of anything. It’s just my experience.
Blue collar work that I did as a kid involved far more vulgar talk than the work I did in retail. When you work in a store serving the public, it wasn’t acceptable…even if behind the scenes language was gutter-like.
I started thinking back to my youth, that typical time when kids start “talking ugly.” My parents didn’t allow foul language. I didn’t grow up around foul language. I wasn’t even allowed to watch the TV series, The Twilight Zone until I was nearly an adult! Yes, I was protected and I know we use that verbiage as though it’s a prudish or bad thing, but that’s likely part of the problem. We’re not protecting our children from much of anything today. Shame on us. It’s a big loss for our kids. But I digress.
My house wasn’t filled with crudeness or vulgarity. I know that’s a big deal. But my friends didn’t live in houses filled with it either. Even if their parents cussed, the cussing wasn’t in the same league as today’s vulgarity. Not that I support it, but the traditional “hell” and “damn” aren’t quite in the same league as the commonplace F-bombs you hear and read today.
Today’s show is a bit of a rant. And no, I’m not sorry about it. I’m only sorry for the truthfulness of our current condition.