In this issue

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 March 17, 2010/ 2 Nissan 5770

American Exhibitionists

By Arnold Ahlert

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In recent weeks, I've had a lot of interaction with younger Americans. And while every generation has a uniqueness (good and bad) that divides it from the previous one, I believe there has been a paradigm shift in one fundamental: younger Americans prefer exhibitionism to privacy.

I had no idea how far this had gone until I sat in a friend's living room and watched what passes for entertaining television. Reality show after reality show consisted of little more than people willing to parade their entire lives before a camera. Yet I couldn't decide which was worse: the exhibitionists themselves, apparently more than willing to come off as clueless, petty and boring — or the kids who watch them.

No doubt many of the watchers are convinced that they, too, could have their own show. And why shouldn't they be? If being outrageous in some manner simply for the sake of it — absent a lick of genuine talent — is all you need for a career before the camera, whose to say such dreams are unrealistic?

The new rule to live by? Better to be infamous than anonymous.

Why now? Technology. "Everyone" has a Myspace page, a Twitter account, videos on YouTube, and a cell phone with picture-taking and internet posting abilities. Everyone tweets and texts about everything, no matter how mundane. For far too many young Americans, cyberspace and reality have become one: a person's "online identity" is equally, or perhaps even more important, than who they are in real life.

Education is a major contributor as well. When promoting self-esteem to engender achievement — instead of the other way around — became the Holy Grail of the public school system, it was only a matter or time before the self-aggrandizing chickens came home to roost. Ego-driven cluelessness is no longer the socially ostracizing mechanism it once was. In fact, if the aforementioned reality shows are any indication, it is a virtue.

In other words, stupid sells — as any fan of Paris Hilton or any number of other vapid, no-talent "celebrities" can attest.

Letter from JWR publisher

Unfortunately, a lot of these young Americans vote. Any far too many of them are people who haven't the slightest idea, not just about the critical issues currently facing the country, but about the country itself. They know next to nothing about the Constitution, the structure of government or the rule of law. They know they have "rights," but they have no idea how they got them, or who paid for them with blood and treasure. It's truly eye-opening to sit with a 26-year-old woman, one who is by no means unintelligent, and realize the depth of her ignorance. As I know her fairly well, I was not constrained by diplomacy. I told her something that I could say to entire generation of young Americans:

You don't know what you don't know.

Even worse, you don't care. The Distracted Generation is far too busy chasing fame and fortune. A recent survey revealed the career ambitions of today's youth compared to those of twenty-five years ago. The top three choices back then: 1. teacher; 2. banking/finance; 3. medicine.

Today? 1. Sports star; 2. pop star; 3. actor/actress.

Now, there is nothing wrong with "reaching for the moon" as it were. But at some point, reality must bite. Are you good enough to play a sport at a professional level? Can you actually sing and command a stage, or play a part so well people will spend money to see you? Do you have the drive, the talent, the ambition, the patience — and the ability to deal with rejection and failure — in order to get where you want to go?

Perhaps it no longer matters. When "fame" can be achieved by posting something outrageous enough on YouTube that it garners millions of "hits," hope undoubtedly springs eternal. When the entertainment industry enshrines the dark side of the human condition — foul language, overt sexuality, gangsta-ism, misogyny, stupidity, etc. — who's to say some foul-mouthed, know-nothing punk won't be the "next great thing?"

The desire for privacy? For a lot of the younger generation, a celebrity-impeding "character flaw."

Ominously, such a mindset is tailor-made for a political class more than willing to pry into our personal affairs at an historically unprecedented level. One has to wonder if George Orwell's "1984," a world of constant government monitoring, even bothers a generation addicted to techno-exhibitionism. Perhaps they'd even embrace the omnipresent telescreens of that world — as long as they could use one to order a pizza.

One thing is certain: we know very little about the long-term consequences of mass exhibitionism. I have no idea what happens when privacy — or more accurately, the desire for privacy — becomes an anachronism. But I do know that without privacy there is no freedom. There is only a collectivist caterwauling of completing claims on celebrity. Sadly, that just might be a trade-off today's generation of Americans is willing to make: better to be a pseudo-celebrity in a totalitarian nation, than an anonymous nobody in a free one.

I hope not. But I wouldn't bet a nickel against it.

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 Arnold Ahlert's column, by clicking here.


A Light Bulb Moment of Clarity
03/10/10: Little Things Mean A Lot
02/03/10: Budgetary Fork in the Road
02/01/10: Liberal Economic Illiteracy
01/27/10: ‘Roe-ing and Wade-ing’ Back to Reason
01/25/10: Arrogance When Up, Denial When Down
01/20/10: Connecting the Educational Dots
01/19/10: The Next Tea Party?
01/15/10: The Myth That Keeps on Giving
01/13/10: Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport
01/11/10: Secrets and Lies
01/08/10: Embracing Bigotry — or Rejecting Bullying?
01/06/10: Hanging by an Ideological Thread
01/04/10: Our ‘Wonderama’ Bureaucracy
12/30/09: A Day Off
12/28/09: Dangerous Myths
12/25/09: I, Me, Mine
12/23/09: A Very Harry Christmas
12/21/09: My Opinon
12/18/09: The Party of Repeal
12/15/09: Privileged Exemption
11/30/09: ‘Settled’ Science and Unsettled Children
11/30/09: American Sharia Law
11/23/09:The Trial (Travesty) of the Century
11/04/09: American Vampires and Their Political Enablers
11/01/09: ‘Opting Out’ of Insanity?
10/28/09: Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer. Brain Required
10/26/09: Communism: Nazism With Better PR
10/21/09: Just Asking
10/16/09: Cost Projections vs. Actual Costs, or Hope and Change vs. Reality
10/14/09: News you can use …
10/07/09: Incremental Insidiousness
10/05/09: MIA: Common Sense and Common Decency
09/30/09: Iran: Bad Options and Unpreparedness
09/21/09: Crying Racism: the Last Refuge of Scoundrels
09/11/09: 9/11 Cannot Be Sanitized
09/08/09: ‘Truthers’ and Consequences
09/01/09: A ‘Paper Trail’ Challenge for the Mainstream Media
08/31/09: Drowning in Amorality
08/26/09: The Republican Recovery Program

© 2010, Arnold Ahlert