I love that serial. Its funny, its raunchy, and it has an attitude. Its faster than soaps, and its comedy is more than the Friends no brainers (though nothing beats Seinfeld where comedy is concerned). But I’ve yet to watch a whole lot of its episodes.
Anyways, what got me interested into the serial was its title naturally. And talking of sex and New York reminds me of an article I read in the New York Times magazine a couple of months back. It was about the sexual adventures/experiences of the typical american teen. It was shocking to the say the least, though not as unexpected I guess. For example, the article reported that in some US states by 5th grade most children have had oral sex; across the US this is true for most 8th graders. Similarly, by 10th grade most US kids have had some real good-old sexual encounters.
It scared me a bit to read of the sexual prowesses of american kids. I mean I’m an old fashioned kind of guy, and coming from India my prejudices are perhaps more pronounced. But I still feel that the sexual exposure of American kids is a bit too early on, don’t you think? Then I got thinking about the Indian society and the american society and societies in other cultures for that matter. History tells us that societies keep evolving over time; and that some of the highly preserved societies owed their uniquess, if you will, primarily to geographical separation. Take for example the Japanese Samurai or the Chinese Shaolin or many of the other East asian countries.
However, now that the world has truly become a small place as far as communication and transportation are concerned, I wonder how is it going to impact societies across the globe. The intermingling of ideas and cultures and races is much more pronounced today than it was say 50 years ago. It seems to me then, just as species evolve, societies will also evolve and gradually converge towards the “fittest” model in some sense. What scares me is that it seems to me that the world is convering towards the American society.
Now I must make it clear that I have nothing against the American society. On the contrary I think its one of the most transparent and consistent socities. However, I’m just not used to it, and so its a bit of a shaking news. A few days back The Times of India was carrying a multitude of front page headlines all about oral sex and prostitution in India. Even disregarding the fact that ToI has become more like a super-market tabloid, one cannot ignore the fact that more and more Indian kids and teenagers are experimenting with themselves, and their bodies and sex.
Not to say that increased sexual experience is the only distinguishing characteristic of American society. Its certainly the most prominent one; nevertheless even in other facets of Indian lifestyle one can see the American influence — be it the work culture, the purchasing power, attitude towards traveling and holidaying and in general having fun in life, insurance, financing — its everywhere. I have seen similar influences in other places as well — Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan to name a few.
The question, then, remains — what is going to be the convergent societal model across the globe in the decades to follow? Who will emerge as the winner? And though I’m not excited about admitting this, but to me it seems that the American model has a very very good chance. I’ll emphasize again that I have *nothing*, repeat //nothing// against the US or its culture; I just happen to like India culture better thats all. Like I said, I’m old fashioned :)