Re "Triumph of the vulgarians," Opinion, Dec. 10
Jonah Goldberg rightly denounces the relentless coarsening of our society. But he only hints at the primary driving force behind this tawdry trend: In mass entertainment, it's the number of viewers that leads standards to evolve.
Or, alas, to devolve.
Increasingly gratuitous violence, sex and profanity have begotten ever more of the same through impressionable viewers' inevitable imitation; the lowest-common-denominator approach to entertainment has reliably racked up the viewer numbers that advertisers prize. So the capitalistic pursuit of almighty ad dollars has abetted society's coarsening. But leaders who propose to curb this trend — say, by regulatory oversight — are denounced as "nanny staters."
It's enough to make one want to curse.
Cameron Park, Calif.
I was glad to read Goldberg's column, as I've noticed that much of the advertising we see is geared toward the sexual.
I am boycotting Carl's Jr. because of the fast-food chain's suggestive ads involving hamburgers and "buns" on an escalator. Really? Are there no talented ad agencies left in the business?
But then we have Miley Cyrus "twerking," so why bother to put clothes on anyone in the ads?
Jo Ann Michetti
Rancho Palos Verdes
I agree with Goldberg: Vulgarity is par for the course nowadays, especially on cable TV. It is hard to believe that some of this stuff is aired.
But what is really frightening is that these same common-culture folks have driver's licenses and are out there with us on the freeways and roads. Heaven help the guy who cuts off one of these vulgarians.