Hot Peppers, Stupid Humans, Culture Clash, and Textual Russian Roulette

This entry is part 74 of 100 in the series Today's Tidbits

Two fascinating culture articles in today’s feed. One about the perception of lowbrow, midbrow, and highbrow cultural norms and another about a “game” called Damage Control that the kids these days seem to be playing.

The ideas, ideals, and realities of socioeconomic and cultural class systems fascinate me. How one level looks at the others, what anyone in a given class aspires to be, how divergent reality often is (sometimes despite the “best” efforts of society to have rigid separations). It always seems to me that those stratifications are made by people who want to, in some way or another, be able to easily identify themselves as elite.

Using things like art and clothing to lord over others who may simply have different tastes is a time-honored recipe for separation instead of synthesis. And in today’s world of ascendant “geek culture” all the classic “low brow” entertainment (i.e. comic books) is suddenly gaining traction and it’s now acceptable, if not a sign of a certain “elite” class, to actually be a geek.

Of course, all of that would likely still be considered, at best, midbrow by anyone who considers themselves highbrow.

The other cultural article is about a “game” called Damage Control, wherein people (often when drunk) hand over their phones to friends (or “friends,” depending on how things go) who then proceed to send some sort of off-the-wall/offensive/sexual text to someone (anyone–there are no rules limiting who) in the phone’s address book. People have lost friends, jobs, and tons of sleep as a result of this game.

I see it as not much less than classic Russian Roulette. Instead of risking physical death for the rush of “winning,” these people are putting their social standing and professional opportunities on the line to get the same sort of rush.

That seems to say something about what’s considered valuable and important to those who play. It also likely says something about how much they don’t feel a sense of fulfillment from what they’re doing. If you’re willing to risk everything on a random text, that strikes me as kind of call for some sort of fate to change circumstances you feel unable (or are otherwise unwilling) to change on your own.

Makes much more sense to me to just identify what you’re unhappy about and actually work to change it… instead of relying on utter randomness to maybe make life better.

So, definitely check those article out… they provide a lot to think on.

Here’s the full feed…

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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