The other day I was talking to a friend about Spongebob Squarepants. Specifically, we were discussing how sad the character Sandy Cheeks is. For those who don’t know, Sandy is a squirrel from Texas who set up an underwater observatory and the closest thing she has to a love interest is Spongebob. Think about that, isn’t that a little depressing? The closest thing Sandy has to a life-partner is a, by definition, asexual sea sponge?
Well, we were talking about how unfortunate this was for Sandy until we suddenly realized… we were discussing the romantic involvement of a squirrel and a sponge. What did that say about us? Now, what does it say about our culture that you can find forums discussing this same topic – not to mention the vast amounts of user created porn dedicated to this relationship (I imagine, I’m not going to search for that or link to it).
I don’t think it says anything bad about our culture. It is just interesting to consider how weird the things we accept as normal are. So, how could our culture have reached a point where two young adults discussing the intricacies of this relationship is the norm?
Most likely through drugs – specifically, whatever drugs the creators of the show had taken. Now, I’m not saying that every specific triumph of culture has been made because every creative person has done drugs. That is not even close to true; however, it is generally accepted that artists and creative people are more prone to consume drugs and alcohol. It is also true that these people then do much more to shape the overall culture and shape of society.
One only needs to think of the culture of the ’60s to see how much drug use influenced it. Of course, poets and authors are also stereotyped as drug users and long term crafters of the culture we hold around ourselves. It might be hard to believe, but even Francis Crick, the scientist who first theorized the double-helix shape of DNA, was known to have experimented with LSD.
So, what is the point that I am trying to make? Mainly, if so much of our culture has been shaped by people who have done drugs, where does that leave people who stay sober? For instance, if everyone is raised today watching Spongebob, or listening to music, or reading the works of authors inspired by drug use doesn’t that mean everyone is, in some small degree, partaking in intoxicants?
Essentially, everyone is seemingly growing old in a culture shaped by recreational intoxication. Of course, this is not unique to current-day America at all. Drugs have long been part of religious rituals across the world, and so have always shaped culture to some degree.
It just seems interesting that, no matter what people might assert, the societal base-line is always seemingly slightly intoxicated. So, uh, make sure to drive safe.