The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger
And Other Crap That Polluted Our Brains
Last week, I was engaged in the never-ending debate with some friends about whether kids playing violent video games are the driver behind the meaningless violence overtaking our culture, or if our culture of violence is the reason kids stay in their rooms and play violent video games twenty-three hours a day.
Every single human being seems to have their unique take on this argument and none of them seem willing to budge even marginally. In case you’re wondering, I’m of the opinion that video games are one of several factors that have helped desensitize an entire generation regarding the value of human life.
That got me to thinking (Yeah, I know. Sound the alarm.) and I began to analyze the influences that enslaved my generation. Back in the middle of the last century, we didn’t have video games and nobody would have ever dreamed that two brothers named Mario could initiate a worldwide pandemic of carpal tunnel syndrome. What we did have, however, was TV, albeit black-and-white and with only five channels, assuming you avoided PBS and everyone did. I mean, how many times could you watch that frizzy headed guy talk about paint by numbers?
I was among the inaugural generation of latch-key kids. Beginning in 1963, my after-school routine was to walk into the empty house, throw my books on the nearest flat surface, and flop down in front of the giant RCA black and white TV. With only five channels, there weren’t a lot of options but channel 11 always had something good to watch. Apart from “The Three stooges”, there was always, “The Lone Ranger”, “Superman”, Paladin”, and “Zorro”.
Maybe you’re starting to see the same pattern I recognized – a bunch of lone-wolf hero figures, romanticized for their solitary lifestyles. Batman, with his faithful sidekick, Robin, didn’t come along until 1964 and even then, you had to have a fancy TV with all of the UHF channels in order to watch them vanquish Gotham City’s criminal element.
Admittedly, the Lone Ranger had his close pal, Tonto but if I go into that, then we’d have to get into all the objections about the Native American getting second billing, and the question about whether or not they were a couple and that whole multi-ethnic, alternative sexuality stuff. None of those issues was familiar to me back then, so, for the purposes of this story, the Lone Ranger was just that, “Lone”.
So I let all that information simmer on the back burner while I considered why my generation has overwhelmingly embraced antisocial media where you can have 543 “friends” without ever having to smell their B.O., put up with their conversation-interrupting children, or even meeting the obnoxious spouse they claim to love. And, if their mother suddenly dies, rather than take them a casserole and attend a funeral like our parents used to do, you can fulfill your “friend” duties by sending them several praying-hands emojis.
It’s no wonder that my generation suffers an aversion to close personal relationships. Perhaps you’re going to try and convince me that it was the dearth of close personal relationships — ostensibly brought on by the Soviet nuclear threat, fluoride in our drinking water, and/or global pre-heating — that drove my generation to embrace mind-numbing television and antisocial media in the first place. In either case, it’s a significant problem and until we start reprogramming the faulty operating systems embedded in our own psyches, we won’t have a starting place to reach that next generation who’ve been brain-washed with their own misinformation.
Thankfully, there are some incredible resources for understanding and addressing our faulty subconscious programming but I’m not going to share any of that here. If you really want to know more, you know where the reply button is.
Maybe you even think that living our lives, interacting solely via the internet, is viable. If that’s the case, let’s get together in person — I’ll bring the Macallans which you need. If you’re open to the notion that people were created to interact with other people, then let’s have coffee or lunch and interact. I’ll buy.
“Truth carries with it confrontation,
demands confrontation: loving confrontation,
but confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”
― Francis Schaeffer
Did someone forward this newsletter to you after reading it themselves? Don’t settle for that!
to get a fresh, unused copy of this newsletter sent directly to you every Sunday morning. If you decide it stinks, you can always unsubscribe.
The Culture Code
— Daniel Coyle
I’ve never read another book as concise and instructive as this book. Chapter One, “The Good Apples” is the equivalent of two years’ management training. If we can recognize and implement the qualities of constructive leadership in this chapter alone, we can turn entire businesses around and point people in a completely different direction than many are currently headed. The concept works equally in families, in schoolrooms, and in the corporate world.
The Power of Truth
— Daniel Goldman, PhD and Warren Bennis
About once a year, I find myself listening to this short book again. It’s amazing to me that two individuals with such a profound potential to turn contemporary business around are not on every evening news show and the cover of every business magazine. Just implementing their basic principle of creating an environment where nobody is afraid to speak their mind would lay the foundation for explosive growth.