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As Time Goes by with Rich O'Brian: So, Who are We Now? Part 2

By Rich O'Brian

December 7, 2022

Last week I cited some of the somewhat disturbing trends I have found in our culture. I made it known I assumed that, while they were problematic to me, I would understand if no one else seemed troubled by them. I also made the point that I do not intend to sit in judgment on those whose choices differ from mine. To each his or her own, in other words.

Here’s where I’m headed with this. For many years there have been movies filled with what I would call tasteless language. Then came the day Rhett Butler, played by actor Clark Gable in the 1939 film, “Gone With the Wind,” spoke the words, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a d—.” You see, I couldn’t bring myself to spell out the word, lest I defeat the purpose of this column. Some would argue that the actor’s line in that movie was the beginning of the end of decent films in our society. What is your opinion? I would say whether “Gone With the Wind” represented a downward trend in the Hollywood standard acceptable by the American public or a simple bump in the road, it was at least shocking at the time.

What causes uneasiness on my part is what has become the acceptable norm on the part of so much of our society. That would be television’s dramatic programming. If your first instinct is to say of me, “you’re just an old fuddy duddy,” I would be forced to agree by saying, “Guilty!” But really, would it change that much to drop the crude language of my favorite NCIS Series in favor of, say, an occasional ‘heck’ or ‘blow-me-down?’ But have I become like those I criticize? Do I tend to look past the language I declare as crude and unnecessary in order to stick with the storyline because I accept the motif of the otherwise decent tale?

But get this; the language gremlin has even invaded commercials that many of us permit to enter our homes.

I feel compelled to repeat the statement I made earlier. While I do consider some of the trends I have cited troublesome, I don’t mean to be judgmental of others. Perhaps you consider these trends perfectly acceptable. I’m simply pointing to those cultural changes that trouble me personally.

Two brief final thoughts: A reminder to the men of our area that the last Fight Club meeting of 2022 has come and gone. We’ve come to the conclusion that it is hard to fit Fight Club into the Christmas Season.

Therefore, our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 16 at JJ’s Restaurant. And there’s this. Let’s help one another remember why we celebrate Christmas. After all, the so-called holiday is named for the one whose birthday we celebrate, CHRISTmas. Have a great celebration right here in The Garden of Eads or wherever you are reading this.

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