March 31, 2008

Final College Lecture

Over the course of my college classes there are only a few lectures that I can truly recall years after the original lecture.  And the majority of those memorable lectures were given by the same professor. 

It was right before my graduation (for my Bachelors Degree) I was in a humanities class and we were having a discussion about society and it's future evolution and how it will affect Western Civilization.  Now, my professor readily admitted he felt he was born in the wrong time in history.  He felt it was just out of place in the 20th Century.  He named everything for example - very anthropomorphic in behavior.  Even his Apple Computer had a name! LOL.  On top of this he was a Southern Baptist Minister - I am sure you know the type LOL.  

Well anyway, the lecture began about talking how society evolved from the last couple of generations to today.  The general consensus was that society was devolving with the counter culture movement and the cheapening of human life while at the same time there is the contradiction in society about the value of life etc etc.  Then of course this was big for Cal Baptist but the disregard of religious values and norms was a big topic of discussion (of course I could care less about that LOL) but also a combination of shorter attention spans, the MTV commercialization and acceptance among the population was discussed. 

In the course of this discussion one video seemed to be highlighted.  Beck's Loser video.  For some reason the professor (G-d I cannot remember his name for the life of me) was the one who brought it up.  He tended to use that video to highlight the gradual decline and self pessimism of society.  The fact that few people tended to view society in a positive manner and instead, focus on "I 'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me" type of mentality.  I remember pointing out that the song is more appropriate in a Teen angst sort of a reflection and to assume that it can be extrapolated into a society context is not exactly fair - was taken in stride but overall the class, being much more religious and older than me tended to disagree.

My thought was simple if you can take that one song and use it to show a crises of confidence in society then I could just as easily take Marky Mark's Good Vibrations as a counter point! LOL (Not that I would mind you). 

These were the sort of debates that I really enjoyed and thrived in.  Yes, I could see some points the professor was making how society has had a crises in confidence essentially going back to the Victorian age.  But this is something we all must deal with in an effort to continue to advance.  To assume that generations in the past did not go through such growing pains is to minimize those generations, IMHO.  Yes, our growing pains are different.  Maybe even worse than generations in the past - given the war on Terror, double standards for nations like Israel, wanting to be the good guy when time calls for strong and decisive action.  And digesting those major issues and a plethora of minor issues that might just barely touch our radar.  The ultimate question is what are we going to do?  Each generation has had to answer that question.  Generations in the past have had to answer that question and some of them answered it honorably - like the Greatest Generation and the generation of the Founding Fathers...some less honorably - baby boomers and the generation of the Civil War and immediately after (Reconstruction and the Guilded Age).

In conclusion here is the song that inspired the lecture.

Beck - Loser

Posted by: Robert Woolwine at 09:42 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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