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[personal profile] gypsyanna
One would expect a class like British History to 1603 to be focused on, well, history.

Not when one has an interesting, intelligent, and interactive instructor. :)

Last night's class took a brief side trip into discussion of current society and how we can easily identify clear signs of the decline of our civilization. In two words: reality tv.

She's right, of course. Archeologists are digging up and discovering art, literature, science - great things from dead civilizations. If the life on this planet ended tomorrow, what would some far-future alien race discover about us? Big Brother. Survivor. Jersey Shore. Real Housewives.

No art. No literature. No great deeds, amazing scientific advances. Just a world that opened the door on endless possibilities, and never stepped through. And they'd see these reality tv shows and base their understanding of humans on them.

It's almost enough to make one want to shrivel in shame now, isn't it?

I'm all for escapism. I love escapism. I love being entertained. I've spent most of this morning, however, thinking about my favorite forms of escapism and I've realized - no, there's not great scientific value in those television shows, or those books. There's not something in them that makes me walk away, thinking and wondering and stretching my mind. But there are common themes in them, morals and ethics, that feed my soul, my idealism, even as the word-painted pictures entertain my mind. Heroes, justice, mercy, compassion... Right and wrong. Good and bad. Acceptance. Open-mindedness. All the good, positive, warm traits of humanity that are never shown on those reality tv shows.

I've long wondered: what is it about humanity that would make us a race worth knowing, admiring, respecting - even emulating? In groups, we do not show to advantage. As individuals, however, that's where we shine. Without the faceless horde of humanity to ridicule, mock or take advantage of generosity or compassion, the strength of the human spirit shines forth. One on one, we are worthy. As a species - we've a long way to go.

The question, however, is...do we want to? I do. Do you?

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gypsyanna

June 2012

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