Last week my family and I went to see Iron Man 3 and, as I always do when I go to the theater, we got there a little early. (I like popcorn and previews—it's all part of the experience.) While we waited, we got to see plenty of ads even before the movie previews started. Three consecutive ads for TV shows stuck out: Pretty Little Liars, Twisted, and Devious Maids. "Hmmm," I thought. "I think I'm noticing a trend."

Is scheming "in" now? I don't know, but you can tell a lot about a culture by the character traits it admires, as well as the ones it laughs at. Back when Jesus taught and John, Peter, and Paul wrote, Roman culture highly valued cunning, self-serving strategies and considered humility to be a sign of weakness. Of course, the nascent Christian message (not to mention centuries of Judaism) taught humility as a strength and a virtue. Then, as now, the gospel is counter-cultural. (Except when Christianity becomes entrenched in culture and starts to look like something other than Christianity. But that's another blog.) The real thing is supposed to challenge the values of society. And those values often show up most clearly in entertainment.

So I wonder where we are as a culture that we can laugh so easily at selfish manipulation. From an entertainment standpoint, it isn't a big deal to me. I'm not exactly sanctimonious about what I watch and can enjoy a good, earthy film as much as the next guy. But from a cultural standpoint, this is intriguing. An abundance of shifty fictional characters says something about a shifting value system. And I'm pretty sure what it says is a little unsettling.

  • Smileys
  • :confused:
  • :cool:
  • :cry:
  • :laugh:
  • :lol:
  • :normal:
  • :blush:
  • :rolleyes:
  • :sad:
  • :shocked:
  • :sick:
  • :sleeping:
  • :smile:
  • :surprised:
  • :tongue:
  • :unsure:
  • :whistle:
  • :wink:
 
   
 

©2013-present by chris tiegreen