A Commentary on the Culture

I think we live in a rather dumb culture. A culture that has lost its roots and its way. Nowhere is this more evident than in colleges. A comedian once said that college is a sitcom in real life in that, thousands of people in their best looking years and the prime of their lives are shoved into a location virtually closed off from the real world and alcohol is thrown into the mix. This is the most insightful and apt observation of what kind of culture the environment breeds. If at the age of 17, you asked me what paradise was, I would have described something indistinguishable from what college is today.

Fortunately, I am no longer a seventeen-year-old and I now live in the culture that quickly snapped me out of that delusion. The college experience is one of two things: alcohol, parties, promiscuity with zero responsibility or loneliness, crippling debt and stress with zero responsibility. The former is more popular. It is immediate gratification at the expense of that which is meaningful. This fact is also heavily laden with irony because colleges exist to help individuals find that which is meaningful to them by pursuing a degree that translates to higher earnings and a more fulfilled life.

Why do we have record numbers of loneliness? I think that, to a certain extent, the dearth of deep interpersonal relationships plays a role. This shortage is one of the most unfortunate consequences facing our generation. We have become less religious, are more inclined to stay in our rooms, stream Netflix, play video games and accumulate Cheeto dust under our nails. I am, sadly, not exempt from this phenomena but I like to think that foregoing interpersonal relationships is a necessary sacrifice to achieve my greater goal. The question that follows from this is, to what god is our generation sacrificing interpersonal relationships?

Empirically, it is obvious to me that the culture that colleges cultivate is only beneficial to a few parties. The first party is the colleges that steal from the future of its students and the second party belongs to the very few whose social status is elevated by the entire college ordeal. The vast majority of the other participants in this game are either bystanders or victims of this system. A system that has bled into the broader society. Many people are to blame for this dysfunctional arrangement but let us narrow down the parameter of blame to romantic relationships.

The entire romantic ordeal these days is essentially a numbers game and I blame scientists and economists for this. Why? well, the presumption that gathering numbers and data as the only means of understanding the entire facet of human wellbeing is not only stupid but harmful as well. Thus, the incentive to play the numbers game distorts the entire equilibrium and motivation behind dating and mating. This incentive spawned one of the more morally reprehensible trends of our day: promiscuity in males and the social status that comes with that. Every social pushback that comes with this practice is well deserved in my opinion. That said, the answer is not the “slut walk.” Contrary to what you think, the slut walk only demeans women further. The answer to men being pigs is not "women should be pigs as well," but it is to emphasize the behaviors and attitudes that we admire in those we call role models. Only then can we begin to change the culture.

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