Friday, July 31, 2015

A world of entertained fools

Do we really put our money where our mouth is?

The writer of a letter to the Statesman Journal notes that we are "a nation of fools":
We, the American people voluntarily pay professional athletes more than we pay the president. We pay entertainers more than we pay doctors and nurses and school teachers. We are a nation of fools. We are getting exactly what we deserve.
He is terribly wrong.  We are not a nation of fools.  We are a world full of fools.  People all over the world seem to want to be entertained 24x7, and are willing to pay gazillions to entertainers of all kinds.  What the hell is wrong with us?

This global pattern is one that Forbes wisely recognized in its latest listing of the world's highest paid entertainers:

Who the hell is Channing Tatum and why is he/she earning that much?  Now, that question by itself says a lot about how much I am willing to pay to be entertained!

A quick detour on this Channing Tatum.  Turns out it is a he!

The need to be entertained is so pervasive that ... hey, hey, don't go away.  Come back and read the rest of this post! ;)

Like I was saying, the need to be entertained is so pervasive that educators have for a long time complained that education has been degraded to edutainment.  Even church pastors have found the need to make their sermons entertaining so that the few who do come continue to do so.

It is almost as if serious inquiries, whether it is secular or religious approaches to understanding the human condition, have to compete against entertainment of various kinds: from traditional ball games, to video games, to movies and television, to ... Heck, apparently people will rather be so entertained by the freaky weirdness of a couple having nineteen kids that they would willingly support the "characters" now that the multi-million dollar contract has been canceled!

Perhaps entertainment is all about escapism.  To try to run and hide from that one thing that awaits us all: death.  The fear of mortality.  Instead of dealing with it, maybe people prefer to be entertained.  If only they knew how rewarding it is to read and think about death itself that there is no time for "entertainment"!

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