1. of or pertaining to present and recent time; modern city life.
2. characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete: modern viewpoints.
3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of contemporary styles of art, literature, music, etc., that reject traditionally accepted or sanctioned forms and emphasize individual experimentation and sensibility.
What is “modern”? Media, technology and culture has rapidly changed within the past two decades having a profound effect on today’s views and ideals. The “Melting Pot of Society”, better known as America, has efficiently combined and unified every religion, culture and belief imaginable. However, is it really a positive thing to have individual cultures “non-uniqued” in society, or does it make life easier for everyone to be thought of as “equal”?
“We’re [Asian] and we study a lot, own half the world and make good egg rolls. I’m definitely proud [of the stereotype], almost obnoxiously proud,” said Chau Nguyen,sophomore. Although this stereotype shouldn’t exist, Chau embraces her given stereo type as a typical Asian girl being a straight A student and a Color Guard member. While others would find it insulting to be pointed out as “different”, to Chau, people recognizing her culture is probably the biggest compliment.
“No [people are not usually respected for their cultures], everything is just really modernized. My friend is Jewish and she’s made fun of a lot. One time she was praying before lunch and some students made fun of her. Now she just doesn’t pray in public,”said Tarin Morris,junior. Tarin’s experiences as a 20th century girl gives insight onto how the modernity of today’s society rejects a persons belief system. One would expect that degrading a person based on their traditions is something that ‘we’ as a society would’ve abandoned a long time ago.
The technological aspect of the modern era has influenced (the now popular) subculture of Facebook, text messaging and video chatting. Media and television is a part of everyday life for most Americans. Amy King, Mac Arthur’s French teacher says “Today’s adolescence are all sophisticated technologically. It complicates the relationship between adults and children. Adults are used to knowledge being passed down onto the youth. However, in the postmodern age, knowledge is spread from the bottom up. People are now much more secure sharing their views without being punished. In America, it is good that we consider every man and woman equal with inalienable rights and respect. Although,’Do we encourage cultural diversity?’ No, not in this political climate,”
“We stick to our own knowledge. ‘America’ is all what we know; people wouldn’t and don’t go out of their comfort zone,” explained Alex Saul,junior. As Americans, it’s safe to assume that people accept other cultures to an extent. Our own constitution states that all American citizens have inalienable rights and the freedom of speech. However, there is no way one could eliminate the constant stereotypes that surround us. Punk kids are thought of as “incapable”, foreigners are thought as “dangerous” and rich people are thought of as “snobby”.
All of these stereotypes should be ignored. No one deserves to be put down to such an extent that it harms their way of life or the way they look. The modernists and the abstracts of the world are constantly trying to break the mold of stereotypes, and anyone can contribute to stopping the cycle.
“I admire the majority of cultures. In the near future I want to start participating and experiencing new cultures other than mine. The western hemisphere is usually perceived as ‘The Beacon of Light’ to other countries. Whatever we do is what others follow,it’s greatly emphasized in society. The ‘Melting Pot’ (what America is considered as) is really good. It allows for diversity and for other beliefs to be better respected and understood. The expanding technology is a win/loose situation though. It has enhanced us, but it’s also brought us down. The way media exhibits differences and viewpoints can make fun of other cultures,” said Kyle Argueta,sophomore.
Art, music and poetry all influence the modern era and send a message to the public. The emotion people feel from art brings out the inner persona, helping us understand the modern world.
As Andy Warhol once said, “Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”