Posts Tagged ‘Popular culture’

Our False Positive Popular Culture

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

It’s one of those news stories you think you didn’t hear correctly. Teen girls trying to get pregnant!

It could have happened anywhere, but the town of Gloucester, MA is now trying to figure out why the teen pregnancy rate is four times higher.

Perhaps as usual, we’re asking the wrong questions:

• We’re trying to understand why over 150 girls under the age of sixteen, which very likely means that over 150 girls, under the age of sixteen were having sex
• We scratch our heads and wonder why girls would make a pact to become pregnant
• We look to point the finger at the school, the community and the parents to see who is at fault
• We debate over the use and availability of birth control and parental notification, when we should educate both
• We question the wisdom of making is easy and fun to bring a baby to high school and park a car seat and stroller combo next to the lockers
• We ponder the self esteem issues of young girls that need to feel loved

We follow popular culture in a ignorant stupor as millions are paid for the first picture of Jaime Lynn Spear’s new baby. No doubt the celebrity babies (see an earlier blog on this same topic) have a lot to do with the romantic notion of having children. This is a case where a positive test result leads to a false sense of reality.

What we really need to question is why we are not outraged that so many girls under the age of sixteen are having sex.

Please don’t lecture me on the reality of life. We create our own realities, and we’re so worried about our kids’ self-esteem, that we don’t think about this reality: they are too young to be sexually active. How does that affect their self-esteem?

Parents – talk to your children and be the moral compass in their lives.

Our Celebrity Crazed Culture

Sunday, January 6th, 2008


The Wall St. Journal listed the most popular stories on the web. The most viewed was “Loyalty Points That Buy a Night With Travolta.”

For 124,000 Starwood Hotels & Resorts points, Michael and Georgia Soares might have spent six nights in Paris at Starwood’s Hotel Prince de Galles on the Champs-Elysees. Instead, the Southern California couple used their hotel points to spend one night with John Travolta and the cast of the movie “Hairspray” at the film’s New York premiere.

“We walked the red carpet and everything. It was cool,” says Mr. Soares, a 43-year-old father of four who owns a restaurant in Orange County with his wife. The Soares also attended the movie’s after-party, where they chatted with Mr. Travolta and snapped a few photos

While the hotels are thinking outside the box to provide new experiences that loyalty points can provide, I can’t help but wonder; what is the appeal of spending time with a celebrity?

Our culture treats celebrities as if they were royalty. Even if they were I couldn’t imagine trading in points to spend time with Prince Charles.

Isn’t it enough that we see celebrity photos in dozens of magazines on the checkout line, watch the intimate details of their life (or at least the ones they choose to share) on reality TV, while network and cable news shows lead off with celebrity stories as if the war in Iraq or potential recession was filler.

C’mon folks – let’s stop this feeding frenzy and live our own lives. I doubt that Travolta would trade in his points to meet with the Soares family.