Monday, July 24, 2006

Whats Poppin?

Devotees of a novel, up to date culture with monochromatic attire and programmed language are running amuck spreading their synonymous thought. They are robots, who regurgitate whatever their master spits. Zombies as if they were brainless and have lost focus of independent thought. Or puppets, that have been tangled into a way of life that may be considered immoral and unethical. Like assembly line machines, they follow the laws of what was instructed upon them. These devotees are our future, our children, our sons and our daughters, who have been overexposed to American pop-culture, which is a current common problem. Our future are transforming to an army of clones right in front of our very eyes.

Muslim American youth face a problem that has been ignored. For years, our children have been nourished by the ever-so great television. The television at times may give the youth educational programming. Tending and fostering for feeble minds, minds that still need cherishing and caring. Some parents utilize their precious television sets as an inexpensive babysitter. Not caring that their children enter a deep trance, and who knows what enters their subliminal. Watering our seeds, the television is slowly submerging western ideologies. The television is not alone in the feeding; it is all media output that display these ideas. From teenie bop magazines with anorexic fashion models proudly veiling their modesty at the same time displaying their bodies to radio stations that are controlled by one giant conglomerate playing the same musical track over and over like a broken record; our youth are bombarded like U.S. military strikes by this culture. Billboards, internet pop-ups, e-mail spam, television commercials, and magazine ads; all are nearly impossible to avoid in this day and time. With each step we take, we cannot shun what these vulture-like corporations throw at us.

Like a magnet to a refrigerator, the youth have an unrelenting attraction to American pop-culture. The culture, which glamorizes sex, drugs, violence and money, which can be the overall theme for American pop-culture, has been well absorbed into the minds of our youth. The consumeristic, money hungry society does not care for what is being told as long as their product is being sold.

One does not need a degree in psychology to understand that every child and even adults need to have a feeling of social acceptance. It is viably important that children have a strong connection with the environment that they are raised in. But, where does the child turn to understand his role in society as a youth? The answer lies in the ever-so captivating television. Falling prey to the seduction of western media, the child would mimic characters seen on the small screen. Once attaining a pleasurable societal status within their peers, the child has gained a false nirvana. Electromagnetic waves and sinusoidal transeverse sound waves as dangerous as it sounds may not be as harmful as the affect of countless brain numbing hours consumed by our children, who fall into a hypnotic spell absorbing ideas and thoughts from major corporations. At a young age children, who have been raised by their television parents, only believe the culture they live is the norm.

Pop-culture at its best can taint the moral foundation found in pure innocence. Over exposure can lead to mass programming. The change from educational PBS to raunchy MTV is societal rite of passage into adolescence. From cartoon creatures with slapstick comedy to sexual innuendo, the culture can desensitize their followers. Plain and simple, the culture is purely manipulation of the masses for the purpose of consumerism. The danger is if our future generation learns their ethics from prime time sitcoms and reality shows. Countless endorsements by materialistic pop idols are brainwashing society to purchase certain products.

Self proclaimed king of cool, Jamal Zaghal, was quoted saying, “Pop culture has influenced me in a way that every Saturday a Jordan sneaker drops; I have to be in line.” Appearance, no matter what, is the first aspect to be judged of a person. It is incredibly crucial that the youth follow the trends set up by the media. The culture is nothing but a product of a few huge corporations including those of the fashion industry. Making fashion idols of rap stars and pop divas, children find it hard to fall astray to current trends. Kids are high off Starbucks coffee, while wearing Guess jeans, an Armani shirt, Kenneth Cole shoes, and shopping at local malls to get the next big trend before their peers. I failed to mention shopping gets youngsters tired; and they need to refuel at the food court, preferably a Happy Meal from McDonald’s.

Television has slowly crossing the boundaries within ethics. Reality television, over exaggerated melodramatic soap opera, presents life as a rollercoaster ride. Those shows display a side of human emotions and behavior that should be kept private. Immorality and immodesty now transcends to what used to be innocent cartoons characters. Wise-cracking bunnies and cute puppies have been taken over by the culture.

But alas, all hope is not lost. Like a ray of light piercing within a treacherous storm, there is optimism. Pop culture has not totally engulfed into our children’s sub-conscious. The new generation has made its own culture which is both practical and pragmatic. Muslim American pop culture has been growing the past few years. This culture encourages strong Islamic ethics and morals yet at the same time follows the current trends in America. A new culture has emerged, a culture much different then current pop culture yet at the same time it has it’s similarities, a culture that incorporates Islamic values and traditions to the up to date American culture.

Muslim American youths who have fully supported this culture possess unique qualities when compared to their brainwashed counterparts. These are politically aware students blend ethnic traditions with American culture. This culture encourages our kids to be proud of their religion and seek out knowledge. Spoken word poetry, art, internet website forums, and videos parodying current trends are a few of the activities that our concerned youth perform. Parents need to encourage children to join Islamic youth groups instead of breeding monsters.

Do not blame television alone. TV does have quality programming and critically acclaimed educational shows, which can be beneficial. Proper parenting and supervision of children may not be enough. We need to implant the importance of what Islam can offer. If we do not seek to solve this problem our children can imitate tabloid talk and Hollywood gossip may be more then the Qu’ran and Sunnah. Will our future consist of make-up covered sisters, who do not find beauty within modesty; and brothers who degrade our sisters; and baby sisters, who admire the synthetic plastic Barbie doll as their role model? Do no let our children go pop. And if anything goes pop, let it be bubble gum.


SaadInk. said...

MashaAllah, quite impressed Tariq. Keep it up. Reminds of the slogan "voice of the voiceless..." I am not going to say where its from though ;)

Anonymous said...

"Devotees of a novel, up to date culture with monochromatic attire and programmed language are running amuck spreading their synonymous thought. They are robots, who regurgitate whatever their master spits." WAAAAAAAT ish is fire.

ur killin em softly with ur kamakaze words of wisdom, everytime i read what u write, as my friend loved 2 say....all i wana do cut myself and take a hot bath. ur words/lyrics b cuttin thru.