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Twisted values

Is the good less fashionable than the evil? This is a question I usually ask myself when I think about society’s values. The definition of good and evil can be contextual. What one considers as good or evil can depend one one’s religion, culture, philosophy. In addition to these dimensions, each of us have a moral conscience that judges whether a certain behavior or act is good or evil. Although definitions can be contextual, there is no arguing that some acts are undeniably good while others are undeniably evil.

This weekend, I went with friends of mine to watch an English language movie in one the popular cinema places of our city. In fact, the idea of a movie came up not because we expected to watch a movie of our taste but simply because there was not much to do as a group aside from sitting in a café and chatting. The movie that we watched was just one of those movies that are filled with scenes of cruel and cold-blooded killings. And the funny thing is that the bloodiest killer of all is actually the hero in the movie. I totally understand that some thrill in movies can be exciting especially among the young viewers. What I do not understand is why the cinema would make sure that a majority of the movies that are being shown are those that are filled with violent scenes. Most of the viewers are teenagers. So, what are we trying to teach them with these kinds of movies? Is it appropriate to show these kinds of movies simply because the young like to watch them?

These days, I cannot bring myself to watch the English music videos that are shown by one of the popular Ethiopian TV channels. I always wonder what criteria the channel uses to select its music videos. A great majority of the shown videos feature nearly nude women dancing “inappropriate” dance routines and a bunch of men leading a lowly lifestyle filled with drugs, sex, money and crime. Does the channel want the kids that watch these videos to aspire to this kind of lifestyle? Do they show the videos simply because they are trending worldwide? But aren’t there millions of other decent music videos that they could have shown to the youngsters?

Why is it that the cool kids are the ones that chew khat, drink alcohol, become sexually active at an early age and smoke? The kid who is well-mannered, is academically driven, and chooses not to engage in evil activities is the boring one that only very few wish to befriend. What is trendy among the youth these days is not exactly what one would call morally correct. Take video games for instance. Peace is rarely preached in video games. Everyone that plays them is at war. I always wonder how these kinds of games succeeded in being so popular among kids. I remember watching an American movie based on true events that demonstrated the sad results of violence based video games. In the movie, two teenagers decided to gun down a number of students in their school after being inspired by a violent video game they played. Such kinds of video games only harden kids’ hearts. 

So, do I think that the good is less fashionable than the evil? Yes, I do think so.  I believe that human beings have a natural tendency to be attracted by the bad than by the good. The news are mostly bad news because bad news sells more. Trend setters such as the showbiz industry and the media have a great role to play in making the good more fashionable.