Music

Music is an art form, therefore it is completely subjective, and there really is no right or wrong. So feel free to disagree with me, but I think that today’s music isn’t anywhere near the quality that it used to be. When music was first beginning to become more contemporary, it was being made simply for the love of it. Take “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, for example. This song, along with most of The Beatles’ discography, was an instant hit. But it was a meaningful song with a message, and that’s why it is still listened to today. True music is timeless, and the majority of today’s hits are watered down melodies with the same degrading message, which is mainly materialism.

Most people my age are really into hip-hop/rap. Don’t get me wrong, I love rap music, but only to a certain extent. Most of the stuff on the radio stations have at least some rap elements to them, but the message is missing. In the eighties and nineties, what is known as “the hip hop golden age”, there was a strong message to the music. The message was about rising above all the negativity in the world, and about having a positive impact. The style of hip hop today is nowhere near what it used to be; in my opinion, it shouldn’t even be called hip-hop anymore. Today’s rap music is stagnant and dry, with the same basic topics. These themes are shallow. Most “rappers” stick to the topics of drugs, money, and pardon my language, the hoes.

Music has become an industry these days, rather than an art. It is ruled by corrupt record companies, and the majority of listeners of modern music are young kids without much musical knowledge. Music needs to move back towards it roots, and record companies need to change their view. There is still good music out there, you just have to look a little harder to find it. But the majority of today’s hits are sending out the wrong messages to people who are easily influenced. We need groups like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. We need rappers like Nas and Common. Instead, we have artists like Chief Kief, who do nothing but spread corruption.

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Conformity

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses,”? Today’s equivalent, I think, would be something along the lines of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. In the 1950’s, the United States was thriving, and was at the beginning of a new part in history. The U.S. had just won World War II, and the Cold War with the Soviet Union was starting to heat up. No one wanted to be viewed as a communist, and soon conformity was the trend of the nation.

People no longer wanted to stand out, but instead wanted to fit in. Since the 50’s, this trend of conformity has gotten stronger, to the point of mindless following. I notice that a lot of people are more concerned in acting how they think other people want them to be, rather than following their own heart and mind. This has led to problems in our country, and probably will continue to do so in the future.

Take global warming, for example. We have known for a long time that pollution is a serious issue, and that it is leading to irreversible change to our climate. But if everyone doesn’t really care that much, why should I, right? More action is being taken now that we really see the cold hard facts, but people still shrug it off because they see other people doing it. I remember hearing a story about a murder where no one called the police, because they all assumed someone else would. Can you see the parallels?

A major problem that I see in today’s society is the level of conformity. Everyone wants to fit in, yes, but there needs to be a limit to that mindset. For how can we ever make change and move forward, if we are all constantly trying to be the same?

Poverty

More than forty-six million Americans live in poverty in the USA.poverty

For a country on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, a leader in healthcare, and an international superpower; nonetheless we seem to have a hard time fixing one of the fundamental national problems; POVERTY!!! The land of opportunity, a dollar and a dream, and “the American dream” are all values that are ingrained in the identity of the US and yet for so many these are not even distant aspirations.

The foundation of American society is based on the idea that you can create a better life for yourself and your family with a little sweat and some hard work. This is simply no longer true. The age of optimism has passed, taken from the working class in the process, and replaced with a hard dose of reality. Moving up the ladder in the US has become increasingly difficult with the widening gap of wealth distribution. Currently less than 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. See videos below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-v6JQEijYw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTj9AcwkaKM

So why is poverty a problem?

Morally it’s a problem because the United States is seen as the land of opportunity, and yet we can not take care of our own people. What I mean by this is that there are way too many people who are struggling just to survive.

Society has a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate. Secondly, it is economically a problem for many reasons. Our economy relies on consumers to be circulating money, buying and selling, because in this way our economy will be strong and prosperous. If the focus of people is merely survival, then any money they manage to make is going towards just that and not contributing to the economy. In this very way poverty diminishes our economic strength.

Lastly poverty is associated with a higher crime rate and more drug abuse. For obvious reasons this is a not only a moral problem, but an economic one as well. Cutting down on crime and drug use costs money. It is this money that could otherwise be going towards more beneficial things.

 

 

America’s Education System

It’s truly sad to think of how flawed education in America is today.

However, if you asked some of your family, friends, and/or colleagues they might beg to differ.

In fact I’d say that a lot of Americans see education as something that is improving. This is not even true when compared to the economy, as both show a similar declining trend. As much as America’s economy might be heading in the wrong direction, we are also quickly and abruptly falling behind many countries in math, science, and reading. These are all areas that America used to be a top scorer in.

Why is this happening then?

The simple answer, that anyone currently enrolled in some sort of mid to high level schooling system could tell you, is too much pressure. Close behind in second is ultimately a lack of motivation.

Why are students in America today feeling pressured and less motivated?

To list a few reasons, because I could go on and on……..

 

  1. Insanely high cost for private grade level schools and almost all four year colleges.
  2. Common core system, now implemented in 46 of the 50 states (Number of states may be reduced).
  3. Insanely high stakes on tests such as the SAT and ACT.
  4. Lack of freedom to choose subjects until high school and college.
  5. GRADES!
  6. Social media and new technology.
  7. Poor economy = Harder time finding jobs.

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