Fads Essay, Research Paper
What is American? What defines out American culture? Fads reveal many things about the culture they arise in. The American culture is the product of many cultures forced to mix and coincide. Each race must adopt new behaviors in order to fit in with society, yet traces of their ancestry can still be found. Fads can show up in many different places including major aspects like language and dress, to minor things like entertainment.
A fad is defined as ?a practice or interest followed for a period of time with exaggerated zeal.? Talk shows, legal shows, and real TV have become mainstream in broadcast television within the last five years. Shows like, ?The Jerry Springer Show,? and ?Judge Judy,? have moved to top slots on their broadcast networks. So what does this say about the American culture and society? It exposes the desire to see other people?s problems in real life situations, and relate to them. It also exposes a massive breakdown of television censors in the last five years. Sex, violence, and foul language did not find its way into American homes through television until recently. However, the promotion of violence through entertainment is not an entirely new concept. In Roman times, people would gather in great numbers at large coliseums to see and bet on men being slaughtered. Trial, judgment, and even punishment were commonly carried out in the view of the public.
Clothing and appearance are fads that constantly change yet always seem to repeat themselves. Almost every fashion statement found today can be traced to the past. From bellbottoms and afros, to denim suits and heavy jewelry, each style has manifested repeatedly over time. In the past, gold has dominated the jewelry world, but the latest trend is platinum. Not everyone can afford to purchase platinum, so they settle for white gold or silver. This represents a wish to enhance the outside appearance by looking rich. It is well known that people, especially the opposite sex, are attracted to money, and rich looking things. Therefore if you look rich, you will find it easy to attract the attention of others. As with any other fad, this can also be traced to the past. The ancient Egyptians wore jewelry for decoration as well as to promote good health and well-being. Science teaches that gold is an excellent conductor of the same electricity that beats our hearts. Platinum is an even better conductor than gold. It is also not a coincidence that the pendant or charm on a necklace usually rests near the center of the chest.
Our everyday language is something that defines us, yet it is constantly changing. Slang is the most varying aspect of our language. It is present in all languages and influenced by many things. It can reflect a person?s age, location, or ethnicity. It seems as if the American people of past times spoke a different language than we do now. The basic concepts and grammar are the same, but the slang used to communicate has changed drastically with time. For example, in the past money was often compared to sustenance, which produced words like, ?cheese,? ?dough,? ?bread,? or ?bacon.? Relating money to food shows a desire to harvest and save. It shows appreciation. Today it is referred to as ?cash,? ?green,? ?loot,? ?funds,? or ?ends.? It is looked at in the more physical sense and shows the desire to spend.
Fads are ever changing with time, but it seems to move in revolutions. From the ?old? to the ?new,? and back to the ?old.? History will continue to repeat itself, while changing in shape and form in order to keep up with time. Ancient traditions will continue to manifest as new fads, but can always be traced to the origin.