My Dear, Dear America: A Crude Perspective on a Complicated Affliction

By: Joel Lawrence


Many times I’ve wondered what kind of example I’m providing today’s society and if I’m living up to the standards I’ve set for myself.  And within each reflective moment, I’ve experienced numerous faults and failed attempts at meeting or exceeding those expectations and have become quite remorseful as each one of those thoughts sunk in.  Is it because I entangle myself within the web of distractions that you have to offer or am I just plain lazy?

There’s plenty of accusation to go around I suppose, but honestly, I’m distraught over the devaluing of necessary functions and misrepresentation of actual virtues once held in such high esteem.

For example, let’s look at the decline of literacy using some statistics I located off of Straight Dope Magazine.  In 1945, the average American grade school student knew approximately twenty-five thousand words as opposed to the ten thousand words of today’s student.  That notion is quite alarming and should send any proper society rushing to the nearest dry erase board, but kids aren’t the only ones suffering.  How is an adult supposed to instruct or teach a child when they themselves don’t take the necessary steps in developing a strong foundation in reading/writing?  This isn’t coaching or an attempt at badgering, but a mindful observation in one area where our culture lacks the awareness and social aptitude in improving itself.

To gain more perspective and quite possibly an angle if I’m honest with myself, I web-surfed over to Rolling Stone’s online magazine to once again be disappointed with the subject matter it covers on a routine basis.  Very few articles held any real depth and hardly any weren’t concerned with celebrities.  No real surprise there, but I hadn’t checked it out in a while and was bitten with a sensible curiosity.  Sure, it’s a pop magazine, but with the weight that it carries within such an ignorant civilization, you would think that it would offer up much more on the metaphorical plate for us Americans to fill our grossly obese faces with.

For me and the rest of a disturbed bunch of humanists in the ever-growing populous, I surmise that there is a trivialization and dilution of publications for writing and that is where the laziness is directed to for many folks in the U.S.  So basically, it makes it somewhat convenient to give in to the unfocused popularized media.  In the past, I too have been victimized by my energy deficiencies, but even that is an excuse for my lack of forethought.  Despite missing a certain amount of credibility, Rolling Stone is only one of many magazines that recycle the garbage that people of an overly abundant culture request.

But I’m not picking on you America, just feeling like I need to highlight the severe diseases you are enduring and putting into motion.  I’m becoming like a bastard child of you and less and less like an actual citizen these days.

My perception isn’t growing any more hopeful now that I’m noticing three high school girls gushing over their cell phone selfies.  And to think, I didn’t even own a cell phone till I was out of high school.  Not sure if this open-faced rant makes me plain old, judgmental or hypocritical, but in either case it reinforces my own train of thoughts and free way of thinking.  Can’t wait to hear back from you!


Your loving bastard son,



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