Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2011/ 10 Adar I, 5771

Why We Need Romance

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We sure could use some more romance right about now — particularly among our younger people.

I speak of the debate surrounding "Skins," the latest provocative MTV show. It portrays teens indulging in illegal drugs, booze and "hooking up."

Many argue that the show elevates deviant behavior — that it will encourage highly impressionable teens to mimic what they see.

Others argue that today's teens are grappling with a lot of these issues in real life — that the show helps showcase the dangers of such behaviors.

Such programming is bound to occur in a free, open society with a massive mass culture and several hundred cable-TV channels in competition with each other.

Freedom opens the floodgates for everything that is not so good in the human heart — greed, dishonesty, salaciousness — but it also opens the floodgates for everything that is good in the human heart, such as generosity and selflessness and integrity.

And romance.

In our loud, over-sexualized culture, I feel that young people are being cheated. They're being taught everything about biological functions, but know so little about our higher functions — so little about romance.

We humans have two natures, in a manner of speaking.

We're part animal, to be sure. We're a few links away from monkeys — at least most of us are! But don't we also have hearts, souls, minds and spirits?

Our lower nature is biological and clinical. It is the one so often celebrated in the popular culture. Our popular culture does its best to keep our lower nature, our animal part, in a constant state of agitation and overdrive.

When our biological side is inflamed, all we think about are animal things, such as booze and sex and indulging our physical needs.

MTV might call this "realistic" and kids might think such a show is "hip," but what it is mostly about, in my opinion, is provocative programming designed to exploit young, impressionable kids. Consider: "Skins" airs at 10 p.m. with a "TV-MA" rating. That means it is not appropriate for viewers under 17, but isn't that MTV's core audience?

Of course it is.

According to Nielsen Co., more than a third of the 3 million viewers who watched the first "Skins" episode were under 18.

MTV is airing racy fare to draw in lots of teens, a highly coveted marketing demographic, so it can make lots of dough.

And it is robbing young people of any notion of romance in the process.

In our free and open society, I suppose, it is easier to draw viewers by appealing to their lower nature rather than their higher nature.

But appealing to their higher nature could be most profitable — and good, too. I'll bet if you sat any teen down to watch "An Affair to Remember," say, or many of the old romantic films, he'd be just as moved as the original viewers were.

Romance appeals to our higher nature. It appeals to our sense of hopefulness and ideals.

Romance is about kindness and honesty and graciousness and affection. It is about trust. It is the sense that someone places you above all others and cares more for your needs than his or her own.

It is about a longing for love, a commitment to another, a harmony of two people coming together to create something much more beautiful than they could ever have created or been on their own. Maybe if MTV crafted a show that celebrated teen romance, rather than teens gone wild, it'd be on to something big.

But then, I'm a romantic.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


ARCHIVES

© 2011, Tom Purcell

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles