The "C" Branch

Jaded commentary on random shit, with an extra helping of cynicism, satire and general contempt for society & Western culture, religion, politics, celebrities, technology, business & more.

American Society Deems Affection “Tacky”

Posted by Chris DeMarco on Thursday, December 27th, 2007 at 9:42 am

This is the first of a two-part series.

Or at least it seems so. Last month, a thirteen-year old Middle School student from Illinois received two detentions for hugging her friends while saying goodbye for the weekend. Sam McGowen, the school district’s superintendent, was addressed regarding the issue. He contended that the punishment was in fact fair, referring to the school’s student handbook. So, referring to the handbook, one will find the following clause:

“Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved.�

This is simply appalling. Affection, apparently, is now considered “poor taste,” and “poor judgement.” This handbook does not seem to say that is it bad to show affection only at the school, but appears instead to state that this is true of affection in general. So, remember as you hug your son or daughter before they go to bed tonight, the next time you see your boy/girlfriend, or the next time you see grandma, don’t show affection! Be American and give them a good, cold and impersonal American greeting.

Perhaps this seems outrageous to many, who still believe in the importance of affection, interaction, and human embrace. Unfortunately, however, it truly does reflect changes that are taking place in American society as a whole. Compared to many other countries, the physical interaction between Americans is quite cold. It is not customary in American society for people to embrace each other, show their affection for one another, or even communicate sufficiently with one another. This, not coincidentally, reflects many of the widespread problems that plague American society. Without live communication, affection, and other personal interaction among people, it is simply impossible for a society to exist.

The definition of society simply requires that. Virtually all the definitions I found of society demanded “interaction,” and “similar interest.” My favorite, however, came from a Bioethics dictionary:

1. an enduring and co-operating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another. 2. a community or broad grouping of people having common tradition, institutions and collective activities and interests;

Society implies community. You simply cannot have society without community. A group of people living in the same spot under the same government may be part of the definition of society, but it is not complete. Unfortunately, it seems that America is losing the sense of what community is. This can be demonstrated in basically all aspects of American society, particularly the family – the most basic unit of society.

In a society where we communicate less and less, are so busy that we have less and less time to spend with people, and are discouraged from showing affection to one another, it should be no surprise to us that the divorce rate continues to rise at an alarming rate, that crime and murder rates are rising, that kids are bringing guns and other weapons to schools, that domestic abuse is rampant, that we are running out of space in prisons, and that more and more people are walking the streets at night, homeless and hungry.

How can we expect people to spend the rest of their lives together happily when they simply cannot communicate, and have little time to spend together?

How can we expect children to get along peacefully when their socialization comes more from movies, video games, and television shows filled with violence, conflict, and poor taste more than it comes from us teaching them to love and embrace? Should we really be surprised when they show up at school with guns? I mean, it’s not like they spend more time texting and talking with people on IM than they do in real person. After all, we were too busy to teach them the right way anyways, right?

And of course, how could we possibly address the needs of those around us when we’re clearly so busy? Besides, we can’t possibly afford to give away any of our money, possessions, or resources. We need those for ourselves!

So, in the end, should we really be surprised when we look around at all the problems that face us and our so called “society” or whatever it has become now?

Continue with Part 2: Taking Our Society Back.

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Tagged in:   • affection • American society • community • Culture • embrace • hugs • problems • Society

2 Responses to “American Society Deems Affection “Tacky””

  1. linuxpenguin Says:

    Showing affection is out of date and is reminiscent of the sinful Capitalists, Comrade. . .

  2. problems facing society Says:

    […] place in American society as a whole. Should we really be surprised, though, when we look around Facing Campbell&39s &quotExperimenting Society&quot — Shaver and …Problems facing […]

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