Lessons I've Learned From T.V.: Downfall of social interactions
I hear new episodes are shown on Comedy Central, but nobody really watches "Beavis and Butthead" anymore and their relevance has faded somewhat from the pop culture mainstream spotlight. The names spark nostalgia and memories of the 90s in all those who were present at the time to remember the show, but very few remember actual moments or quotes in addition to the characters. Like most successful shows, it had its run and peaked then faded away.
"Beavis and Butthead" sparked controversy in the beginning of their run. People felt they were poor examples for American youth and that they were the poster children for the feared "MTV Generation" that parents and conservative groups constantly warned about. It's hard to take that seriously now with shows like "16 and Pregnant" or "My Super Sweet 16" pulling in ridiculous amounts of viewers, but at the time it was the case. What people never stopped to realize is that this was the entire point of "Beavis and Butthead." The fact that MTV aired them was a big joke that creator Mike Judge was laughing at and could not believe to be true. The two were always meant to be satire and somewhat of a warning that this was exactly where American youth was headed. Yes, it was a funny show and a funny movie, but nobody was ever supposed to like these two. We were supposed to laugh at them but be worried about the future and do something about it.
What's scary about the show's satirical nature not that it was already so true at the time, but that it's even truer today. Everything the show had to say about American youth's values, culture and beliefs has only gotten worse. Beavis and Butthead sat around watching MTV all day and refused to do anything else. We see in the movie that the two have grown so stupid from this that when their TV is stolen they don't even realize it right away and it takes them forever to process the information while staring at the thief escaping with it out the window. At the time TV was the technology and MTV was the thing. Now imagine them sitting next to each other on the couch playing on their iPhones while watching Netflix and texting each other about it. How different is this from what they were doing?
It's been said that texting and modern day technology is ruining American youth by lowering social abilities and distracting them from enjoying the outside world. As a camp counselor, I was disturbed to find that the majority of the kids never wanted to play or talk with one another. All they wanted to do was play games on their iPads or Nintendo DSs all day. When the battery died, they would scream and freak out if they had forgotten to pack their chargers. When I told them to put their things away and play with each other my requests were met with nothing but yelling and rude comments. Kids don't understand the value of money, but downloading as many apps as they want on their parents' account for anywhere from 99 cents to $10 a pop has made this worse. I always heard kids say things like, "Why don't you have this game? It's only 10 dollars."
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Things are getting worse. "Beavis and Butthead" may seem outdated, but strangely enough everything it said that would come true has. Is there a solution? The show didn't seem to give one and given that I also grew up in this distracted and lost generation of American youth that Mike Judge warned us about, I am not capable of learning anything I didn't see on TV. If I was would I really have this column? I'm exaggerating a little bit, but this really is a problem today. Log on to Netflix and watch "Beavis and Butthead Do America." It's a funny movie I guarantee you'll enjoy, but try and tell me you don't see everything I just talked about in it now. Scary, isn't it?
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