Social Culture- Worthless Lazy Pastimes
The O.J. Simpson murder trial, appears throughout the book Tuesdays with Morrie. Author Mitch Albom, uses it to show that people’s lives are dominated by media- the internet, TV, radio, etc. That society is mesmorized by this crime and this trial contradicts Morrie’s beliefs- it pits Morrie’s “good” culture against “bad” social culture- worthless lazy pastimes such as watching television, playing on the computer, and idol gossip. In Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie dislikes how people in modern-day life idolize the media using phones, TV, social media, etc. more than life itself or loved ones but he is willing to use media - being on TV- in order to share his message of living each day of life to the fullest.
In Morrie’s childhood, which was filled with poverty, affection was largely absent.Morrie’s birth mother died when he was 8 years old. Morrie’s father, Charlie, remarried a nice and beautiful woman named Eva, becoming Morrie’s stepmother. This made Morrie a little happier because he had a mother figure in his life . But, Morrie is still upset about Eva because Charlie wants him to pretend that Eva is his real mother and not his stepmother. He wants Morrie to do this for David, Morrie’s little brother. David developed polio when he was younger which caused him to be paralyzed . Morrie believed he was responsible for David’s illness. In Morrie’s later life, his father died from a heart attack after being chased by some muggers. These sad, unfortunate events caused Morrie to become a negative person at a point in his life.
Morrie’s childhood is very different from his adulthood. In his adult years, Morrie is not afraid to show emotion or physical affection. Because Morrie was not given this affection in his childhood, he wants the affection more than ever as an adult. Therefore, this makes him a more positive and good-natured person as opposed to the negative person he had been. Also, Morrie learned at a young age that knowledge is very mighty ;therefore, he thinks it is one of the most important virtues in his life and he proves this by becoming a college professor. Morrie learns in his adulthood to be more positive in his life and other people’s lives and to live each day of his life to the best.
Morrie says at one point in the book, “Take my condition. The things I am supposed to be embarrassed about now — not being able to walk, not being able to wipe my ass, waking up some mornings wanting to cry — there is nothing innately embarrassing or shaming about them. It's the same for women not being thin enough, or men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it.” (155).Morrie speaks this quote of guidance to Mitch during their eleventh Tuesday , when they talk mostly about society and culture in the world. He states that society is wrong to feel that physical differences and/or handicaps are socially embarrassing because he doesn’t believe that his ailments are humiliating.This is one of the things Morrie wants to teach everyone. He wants to share his message with all people. Morrie makes his own set of beliefs, which associate with the physical defects that popular culture finds so shameful. He wants people to know that these kinds of things are not as embarrassing and terrible as everyone thinks.
Morrie may dislike how society seems to be obsessed with media- phones, social media, TV, etc., but he is willing to use media- being on television- in order to share his life lessons- mostly about the things society wants us to believe are true. As Morrie sees it, popular culture is something that the human race follows, as it is a social rule. He thinks he has already suffered enough from disease and does not see why he should seek these common social virtues if it will not make him any happier than he already is. Throughout the book, popular culture is seen as a mind-wiping machine, wiping the minds of people, and replacing the kindness they receive at birth with materialism and money-grubbing. On the fourth Tuesday that Morrie and Mitch meet, Morrie states that “the truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” (82).He means that once people know they are dying, they will go out and do all the things they never did in their life, but it is most likely too late as they are probably too ill to do so. He wants people to know they should go out and experience all of these things in the world before it is too late and they cannot do so. When you know you are dying, you savor every last moment of life. Despite his dislike of the media,he is willing to go on Ted Koppel’s “Nightline”to share his values and life lessons with the public.