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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Dec. 27, 2010 / 20 Teves, 5771

Yes, that's so wrong

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk, and I need you now." It shouldn't come as a surprise that a year that included that chorus line in one of its hottest country-music hits would end with controversy in the air about a "Dancing with the Stars" country gal going a few steps too far.

Julianne Hough's striptease-acrobatics video "Is That So Wrong?" is wrong in more ways than one. And the primary one isn't the scantily clad gyrating. Hough, who also appears in the movie "Burlesque," sings: "Doesn't everybody just want to feel somebody? Just wanna hold someone to fill that empty space? When you're missing that rush and a friend's not enough?"

You've probably heard more graphic lyrics. But Hough's video, in a genre frequently known for uplifting or otherwise fundamental messages about faith, family and freedom comes at a time when Americans are drawing more and more lines in the political sandbox. That's what the tea party movement has been about. And it's a reminder that we ought to be doing so culturally. Because these things are not unrelated.

As young men and women are just reaching for whomever to satisfy a feeling -- divorcing sex not only from commitment but, sometimes, from even an illusory sense of love -- their choices are having long-term societal results. Discussing his new study, "When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America," W. Bradford Wilcox recently emphasized: "We are witnessing the emergence of a whole new class of communities -- especially in rural and small-town America, and the outer suburbs -- where scores of children and young men are growing up apart from the civilizing power of marriage and a stable family life.

"This does not bode well for the economic and social health of these communities. … Among children in middle America, family breakdown typically doubles delinquency, drug use, psychological problems and teenage pregnancy. Children who grow up without two married parents are also significantly less likely to do well in school, to graduate from college and to hold down a steady job later in life."

Children learn from what is presented to them at home, of course; but with children being fed -- according to the Kaiser Family Foundation -- 75 hours a week by popular entertainment, pop culture matters. And a cautionary word to parents who have opted out of those influences by keeping television and video games and the like out of your homes: Unless your child is trapped on a "Lost"-like island, he or she will be influenced by these poisons.

There is, of course, good and uplifting work being done in popular culture. And as consumers of -- or simply concerned citizens involuntarily co-existing with -- these products, we should encourage the good. Listening to, and watching, Miss Hough's "Is That So Wrong?," it's hard for a country-music fan not to think of myriad other songs that reach for a firm foundation, a moral core, an ideal. This year also brought us songs like Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me." She sings of feelings, too, and a little bit of the same journey Hough seems to sing of. Going back to the home she was raised in, as the title implies, Lambert sings: "I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it's like I'm someone else. I thought that maybe I could find myself. If I could just come in I swear I'll leave. Won't take nothing but a memory. From the house that built me."

When you're on the verge of forgetting why you're here, on the verge of or in the wake of a bad choice, it's not a bad message to hear. Julianne Hough is perfectly free, of course, to sing songs and make videos like she has. But we don't have to applaud it. We can ask for more of our entertainment and entertainers.

It's like a broken record: Good girls in pop culture tend to go wild. It's considered a commercial matter of broadening any given young woman's commercial appeal, as an act of supposed independence and maturity. Real independence and maturity is countering that perverse message. Actual independence and maturity is having the good sense to embrace time-tested virtues. There's wisdom in looking for healing, as Lambert sings -- for true fulfillment -- not a stopgap rush.

A song about a girl who knows she doesn't have to settle is the tune I want young men and women and children to hear. They can have more than, perhaps, they've seen modeled around them in their own lives. They can build their own houses. And they can be made of the strong stuff of true commitment and love.

It's not about Left or Right or religious or secular. It's about wanting better, always, for ourselves, for those we love. Have it out with any cultural influence that doesn't inspire. Who has time for anything else? Why would we make time for that? Why would won't we do everything in our power to make sure girls and boys know they don't deserve anything less?

Is that so wrong?

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