Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Question of Caliber

I've always been old-fashioned.

I don't like loud noises, flashing lights, or music that sets my insides vibrating. I've never been one to read modern books, watch modern films, or wear "modern" trends. While most of my soccer teammates were off in a swoon over Twighlight, I was curled up in a corner with Vanity Fair. ;) My mom's the one who, with few exceptions, tells me to call my friends, leave the dishes, crank up the volume, and "stop being so nice." ;) lol We joke that I'm Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility and she's Marianne. I remember once, certain members of my family were having a little too much fun in a restaurant. I was the one who leaned over and whispered, "Will you guys please act your age?"

So yeah. I'm a bit of a prude. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I was born in the wrong era! ;)

I think that within every generation there is a certain minority that feels left out. They see the direction the culture is taking, and they shudder to think they must accommodate (or at least live with) its style and manner of living. I like to think of myself as one of those people; the sort who flocked to Europe during the 1920's where they were dubbed the "Lost Generation."  I'm not saying I'm a brainy uppity, only that my tastes in pretty much everything are radically different.

I was thinking about this earlier as I was relistening to my Music Appreciation CD's. We studied Classical Composers several semesters ago, and I had to read a some lectures on Hyden, Mozart, and Beethoven. This was my conclusion after reading those biographies:

Evolution is a joke.

Forget carbon dating and Lucy and all the mountainloads of evidence. This world is NOT evolving for the better. It can't.

You know why?

Because Lady Gaga cannot compare with Beethoven's 6th symphony...
Justin Beiber doesn't hold a candle to Mozart's operas...
And Beyonce couldn't compose 104 symphonies if she wanted to!

*slowly exhales* That felt good! ;)

Now I know what some of you are saying. "Well, Talia, *nudge nudge* neither could you" and "that's not their genre of music!"

That's exactly my point!

Why aren't musicians composing they way they did in 1750? If we're so "advanced," shouldn't our intellectual capacity for genius be greater than it was 200+ years ago? More improved? More sophisticated? But no, we're so incredibly developed that our all-illuminating icon of entertainment is Taylor Swift! ('Cause you know, opera is too simple a past time for our brilliant minds--lol) I don't know how people can look around at our society and conclude we are a "more civilized species." We're not.

I think we've become exceptionally good at mediocrity. We've educated the masses, we now no longer have class, racial or gender divides, so everyone's swimming in the same pool with the exact same opportunities. And yet...

We're all getting nowhere together. ;)

Oh, we're very proficient technologically. Anyone these days knows how to work a computer or a cell phone. But are we truly smart? Did you know that the "accomplished" young woman of yesteryear could read, write, and speak two or three languages? And even that was bare-bones. As one Dr. of Philosophy put it, "We are the first mono-linguistic society in the history of the world."

I blushed when I heard that. Here we are making ourselves out to be so intelligent, and yet most people can't even hold a decent face to face their mother language.

My point in writing this post is not to say everything about the present day has changed for the worse. Only most things...LOL ;)

No, what I'm trying to communicate is my disappointment. Because like so many homeschooled graduates out there, I sometimes feel very alone in my values and beliefs. Just for once, I would love to have a discussion about the implications of Romantic literature on society and what distinguishes Bronte from Dickens in their writing styles. Do you ever hear two 18 year old talking politics? Religion? Ethics? No. Nobody wants to talk about meaty subjects, so we're left with the same cycle of repetition. How are you? I'm fine. What's new. Nothing much. That's nice. etc.

*hits head* AAAAHHHH!!! What are we coming to? (See, there I go again sounding like I'm eighty! ;P)

If we can't cope with ourselves individually, how is it we scratch our heads at the culture and wonder "what went wrong?" I'm not saying education is the answer to the world's problems, but I am asking: what are our standards?

What ought they to be?

Just something to think about...

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.


Anonymous said...

I challenge you to "be" the change you want to see in the world. Live it out loud. Don't just write about it, Eleanor.

And like an infectious disease, may you spread to your God-given sphere of influence.

Marianne ;)

Anonymous said...

Don't give up hope. A lot of teenagers wouldn't mind being more mature, they're just waiting for someone to make it look cool. You are more than able to set the trend with the people around you. :)

Joseph said...

Okay, have to admit your post made me laugh for a variety of reasons. First of all, let me say that I'm no Lady Gaga fan. However, there is one very good reason why people don't like classical music: it's old! Nearly all classical music sounds the same. In fact, the only use it has is music for cartoons. Hence, why almost all Looney Tunes episodes have some crazy symphony playing in the background. I mean it just stinks. Besides that, I think I agree with you on the most part.One thing you might not have considered is that the reason people don't speak five different languages today is because we are so well connected technology-wise. That and speaking one language is easier!

Besides that I think you have some good points.