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The Culture of The Crude

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    The crowd was thick as I made my way into the electronics and appliances discount warehouse store. People jostled and pushed their way down the aisles. All the while, a radio station blared in the background. I could scarcely hear myself think. The din of the herded masses rose as each person sought to be heard above the putrid dialogue that gushed forth.

    While the station blaring away in the background had been playing music, the DJ had thrown out a question to entertain his listeners. “Ladies, what part of the male anatomy do you look at first when you are attracted to a man?”

    Over the next several minutes, several female callers described what they looked for in a man in the crudest of all possible terms and why they chose that part of the anatomy. Most folks in the store didn’t hear what was being said. It was just irritating noise. Some, however, laughed.

I was shocked!
    Now I’m not prudish nor do I think it is my responsibility to clean the trash on the airwaves. While that may be the worthy crusade of some, I don’t feel that is my calling. But I was shocked at the vulgarity and crudity that spewed forth over this unrestrained ride through radio land. It got me to thinking: “We are the culture of the crude.”

    A quick listen on the radio introduces us to “shock jocks,” advertisements for “gentlemen’s clubs, ” and the pre-adolescent gutter humor of many DJ’s. But it doesn’t end there. Ask any teacher how her/his “kids” talk in class, and you’ll be shocked. Talk show hosts and their guests go out of the way to say borderline vulgar and profane words to the delight of their audiences. The routines at most comedy clubs turn the air blue. Otherwise stellar movie scripts throw in senseless and mindless profanity to “attract an audience.” We are the culture of the crude.

    Now before you right me off as a fuddy duddy or a raving lunatic preacher type, let me surprise you. While I dislike the way much of western culture sinks its way into the sophomoric abyss, there is one thing about today’s cultural climate I do like. A person of character, integrity, manners, kindness, honor, and respect stands out. The sludge is so deep and the darkness so dense that only the lights of character get noticed. The rest is simply the monotonous loud noise of irrelevant drivel crowding into our hearing spaces.

    Before we throw our hands up and quit on the culture of the crude, let’s realize that it provides us an opportunity to be a Christian counter-culture of character, kindness, and couth. Let’s also remind ourselves that light versus darkness, salt versus decay, and leavened versus flat has always been the Christian’s calling. God has called us to be different... to be a blessing... to be redemptive... and not to give up in despair. In the culture of the crude, let's make a point to live the culture of our Christ!

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A full archive of past articles by Phil Ware is maintained. Access recent articles Beyond Agape to God, Thanks, Bert!, and dozens more.
See Also...
Related Heartlight Resources:
Walk Your Talk
Way Too Cheap
A Bucket of Kindness

About the Author...
Phil Ware is minister of the Word at Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. For the past 3 years, he has also been co-editor of HEARTLIGHT Magazine. For more details, click here.

Title: "The Culture of The Crude"
Author: Phil Ware
Publication Date: February 21, 2000



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