January 22, 2010

Liberal cultural imperialism

This morning I was reading on the Fox News website (via Hot Air), about the slow disappearance of the the native New Yawk accent.  My reaction was not one of surprise. I've never been to New York, but I could have guessed that the accent was being 'cleansed', and I think I know why. It's liberal cultural imperialism.
As a point of reference, let me remind you, I'm from Canada, eh? No, we don't really talk like that much any more, and we don't say A-boot instead of about. Perhaps in very rural areas you still see that. But it is something that has changed over time. 30 years ago, when I was a young teenager, my father had done quite a bit of work for the company he worked for, in various parts of the world, including spending a lot of time in the United States.

When he came back from a recent extend stint in North Carolina, he started pointing out to my younger brother and I how often we would end a sentence with 'eh'. We started noticing it in ourselves and more in others around us. It was everywhere, and it sounded well, annoying. Possibly it was just because my father noticed it upon his return and pointed it out to us, so it was irritating because we were noticing it.

But having been exposed to that annoyance, and being constantly corrected for a number of months by our father, we had a pretty good grasp on the use of the ubiquitous 'eh'. And over the subsequent decades, the use of the word has fallen dramatically. It may seem anecdotal, but I've been exposed to no doubt, hundreds of thousands of conversations over that time. It's not being used like it used to be. The same is true with other Canadian linguistic distinctions.
And the same, is clearly true for New York. I bet it's true for Boston and many parts of the south as well. Accents are disappearing. Why?

Television. I recall a conversation I had a over a decade ago (I don't recall with whom, - it may have been myself because there were no 'eh's in it) and I was saying that within a hundred years everyone in North America would have the same accent. A Hollywood accent. A television accent. Television is omnipresent. It exerts a greater influence on people than anyone realizes on a daily basis, from an individual perspective.

Disappearing accents are the canary in the coal mine. Think about everything else television feeds the public - political correctness, fashion, thinking on global warming, the idea that conservatives are bad, the military is bad (see Avatar), the FBI is bad, the CIA is bad, liberals are righteous crusaders for truth and justice. It's no wonder that so many people are liberal zombies - they are being spoon fed everything from liberal dogma, to how to talk, by television. Ubiquitous indeed.

How about another big word - homogeneous. Everyone will be talking the same, thinking the same, and dressing the same in 30 years, never mind 100. And that thinking will come from the mind of liberal writers in Hollywood. The biggest danger of homogenizing the population is the limits will impose on individual thinking, critical thinking and innovation. You are dooming the future of an innovative society by herding thought like it were cattle.

The good news is that conservatives, who might seem more skeptical and less wiling to believe in the irrefutable evidence of global warming, don't get their news from television (at least solely). They read, they use the internet, they listen to talk radio. We're less brainwashed than the left.

I'm not some radical, throw-away-your-TV kook though. I love television, and I don't think it's all bad by any stretch. It can offer a lot - from the History Channel to ESPN. Keith Olbermann broadcasting an NFL game I'm fine with. Him telling me Bush was a war criminal - that I don't need. I can self filter. The point I'm trying to make is that there is the outright Keith Olbermann type indoctrination, and then there's the soft indoctrination of shows that range from The Family Guy to Big Brother to Oprah  to CSI have influences on how you think of things.  You don't have to stop watching them - just be aware of the possibility that they are trying intentionally or unintentionally to shape your thinking.  Free speech is a right in America, more critical is free thinking.  There's no Bill of Rights protection from someone trying to change your thinking without you even realizing it.  What good is free speech if everyone thinks the same way?

And another conservative network or two wouldn't hurt either.

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