Have Our Standards Sunk This Low, Really???

Keep in mind that this is the place that I share my opinions on all sorts of topics - politically, socially, and personally. I tell the truth based on my experiences and no one else.

Over the past year, I've really begun to question the standards of excellence that our society has in place. What determines a winner, who is really the top of their class, what constitutes a great movie or book, etc. I've come to the conclusion that many of the things that we consider "best" would in fact be mediocre by standards 20 or 30 years ago. Through this time of wondering, I've also thought about how that has affected our education system and the citizens we are generating to run our country in the future. I know, heavy thinking for someone that is on summer vacation.

Case in point - The Twilight Series. I spent a weekend reading the entire series a year ago. Yes, a weekend. One weekend to read 2,516 pages. The books were no doubt entertaining, but a VERY easy read. People around the world have been devouring these books for the last few years and claiming they are the best books they've ever read. And here in lies my problem with that statement - if those are the best books you've ever read, what have you been reading? Stephanie Meyer, author of the series, has written a mediocre set of young adult fiction. Compared to the equally popular Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the Twilight Saga pales. The story line is shallow, there are no complex plot twists or underlying stories, there is no room for critical thinking. The author spells it all out. While enjoyed the mindless reading, and I assure you it was in fact mindless, it left me wanting something a little deeper that actually required me to re-read portions or to read between the lines.

For the past week, Eclipse, the 3rd movie in the recently released series has made records at the box office. I have seen Twilight and New Moon, so naturally I bought my ticket (after opening night) and went with a group of girlfriends to watch the latest craze to sweep a nation. Halfway through the movie, it became painful to watch. My friend and I could not help giggling at the painful acting by many of the characters. It was definitely entertaining, but not Oscar winning by any means. Again, everything was spelled out for us and the best parts had been shown in the previews anyway.

Neither of these two items would have made the Top 100 list of literature and movies twenty years ago. Yet, they do today. When I am looking for a new book to read, I often hit the NY Times best seller list or Barnes and Noble's top 100 list. The last few books that I've read from both of those lists were not in my list of great books. Where are today's classics? Where are the To Kill A Mockingbirds and Gone With the Winds? Where are the Casablanca's of the movies? I'm sure it will be just a matter of time before someone reworks those for modern day.

I am worried that creativity and original thought is quickly becoming a thing of the past.


Shonda said…
I read Twilight and watched the movie, but didn't really get into it that much. I was only interested in it due to the hype and of course, Forks is in WA. I miss the old classics.