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Author Topic: Brain Rotting Qualities  (Read 1440 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Brain Rotting Qualities
« on: January 19, 2022, 02:47:56 PM »

When I was a kid in the 1980s my Mom and Grandparents would often tell me certain things would “rot my brain.”  Typically this adage was stated in relation to some sort of entertainment medium such as; TV (MTV comes to mind), video games and certain kinds of newer music.

When did people stop telling kids things about their brains rotting?  I don’t recall ever being told about brain rot during the 1990s, was this just something people just moved on from?  Were you ever told your brain would rot?  If so, what was the supposed cause of the brain rotting and were you ever afraid it would actually happen akin to real world spongiform encephalopathy?
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Scott5114

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2022, 03:11:20 PM »

It's somewhat ironic that so many of the people who were worried about TV rotting your brain in the 80s are now addicted to Facebook, which rots your brain way more than anything we had in the 80s or 90s. Yes, it probably didn't do much to help you actually learn anything unless you went out of your way to find it, but at least they didn't air total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2022, 11:36:12 PM »

Yeah, TV news and Facebook, radicalizing a generation of retirees, where many of them just scroll FB all day, or leave ___ News on at full volume. Not to pick on a particular news channel (I don't think the problem is confined to them (and let's keep the thread unlocked)); but a 2012 study found out that ___ News watchers were more poorly informed than people who didn't watch any news at all.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2022, 05:59:35 AM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?
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Scott5114

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2022, 09:28:19 PM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?

I haven't the foggiest idea how they got the idea. Apparently there was a good chunk of people congregated on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza for a long period of time because they were expecting the second coming of JFK to occur there. This congregation has only dwindled in recent weeks because, oh yeah, it can actually get cold in Dallas in January.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2022, 09:42:47 PM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?

I haven't the foggiest idea how they got the idea. Apparently there was a good chunk of people congregated on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza for a long period of time because they were expecting the second coming of JFK to occur there. This congregation has only dwindled in recent weeks because, oh yeah, it can actually get cold in Dallas in January.

It’s weirder than that:

https://news.yahoo.com/qanon-supporters-gather-jfk-assassination-065733052.html
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kkt

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2022, 02:30:37 AM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?

Seriously?  I mean, he'd be about 104 if he was alive today.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2022, 02:36:17 AM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?

Seriously?  I mean, he'd be about 104 if he was alive today.
I think it's his son JFK jr that they are talking about.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2022, 02:57:35 AM »

total nonsense like JFK coming back from the dead to run for President again with Tupac as his VP or whatever other garbage you can find on Facebook these days.

This is a thing? More importantly, why?

I haven't the foggiest idea how they got the idea. Apparently there was a good chunk of people congregated on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza for a long period of time because they were expecting the second coming of JFK to occur there. This congregation has only dwindled in recent weeks because, oh yeah, it can actually get cold in Dallas in January.

It’s weirder than that:

https://news.yahoo.com/qanon-supporters-gather-jfk-assassination-065733052.html

I'm shocked to learn that neither JFK nor JFK Jr. appeared...

Brain rot:  I do seem to remember as a kid being told that too much TV would rot my brain.  However we didn't even get a TV until I was about 10.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2022, 09:37:46 AM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.
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formulanone

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2022, 10:05:50 AM »

Moral panic. Each generation does it to the next one.

Many of our parents (or those of us who are parents) didn't have access to TV / video games / computers / Internet from the moment they got home from school. Their parents probably wanted to restrict how TV was bad for them, and the previous generation probably was told they listened to the radio too much. Or that reading too much will make you weak...and so forth. With retirement or careers that allow for more "down time", there's a lot more idle time wasted on the junk we see on the internet...but are we focusing on a small percentage of retirees? Some have nothing to do (and have limited funds), others have plenty to do and want to things that get them accomplishing goals.

But I do get mentally languid on days where I'm on the internet or computer too much, instead of getting more work done. I rarely watch much TV, let alone more than one movie every other weekend, and have limited interest in video games in the last 15 years; I find them all uncreative activities with nothing to really show for after I've consumed them. There's plenty of studies that show that wrapping yourself up in too many daily hours into any passive activity isn't terribly good for you, so hopefully you're making some good money by doing it. Everyone is going to be a little different in that regard, but most people will not accept that they spend too much time on any one (or more) activity because we always justify that "someone else is worse" or "if I spent more time on X, I'll be happier/more fulfilled." And that's a trap we set up for ourselves...especially for an activity that's seemingly never-ending or just ends anticlimactically with only a temporary satisfaction to show for it.

I also came from a household where we only were allowed about one hour of TV per day, not including watching the news as a family. On rainy days/weekends, we were allowed a little more. So between homework, chores, physical activity, creative activities, reading, and other curious endeavors there wasn't a lot of need (or time) to do a lot of so-called "brain rotting" activity. Going back 25-40 years ago, there wasn't much of any way for a teenager to monetize technological endeavors other than software programming; nobody was making a living off video gaming. The internet was mostly supported by donated time and funds because there wasn't much money to be made off of it in the early days.

tl;dr If you want to do or be someone different, and you're spending too much time on something which is holding you back, that's what's rotting you. If not, then carry on...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 02:56:36 PM by formulanone »
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2022, 10:14:10 AM »

When did people stop telling kids things about their brains rotting?  I don’t recall ever being told about brain rot during the 1990s, was this just something people just moved on from?  Were you ever told your brain would rot?  If so, what was the supposed cause of the brain rotting and were you ever afraid it would actually happen akin to real world spongiform encephalopathy?
I wasn't told about brain rot by my parents, but they did tell me "if you do (or eat) [insert something random], you get smarter".
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2022, 10:19:54 AM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2022, 12:38:32 PM »

I'm going to get some candy. I'd rather rot my teeth than rot my brain.
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abefroman329

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2022, 12:44:01 PM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.
Mortal Kombat WAS far more graphic than any video game that came before it, and campy or not, Night Trap was what's now known as "gorn," IIRC.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2022, 01:01:00 PM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.
Mortal Kombat WAS far more graphic than any video game that came before it, and campy or not, Night Trap was what's now known as "gorn," IIRC.

There was some exceptions like the light gun game Chiller which probably had more grotesque violence.  My point with Night Trap that obviously nobody complaining about it actually played the game.  The acting the was probably intentionally camp and some of the deaths were kind of over the top hilarious.  With Doom the negative attention kind of lingered on for numerous years given the association with Columbine High School.
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Scott5114

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2022, 01:17:18 PM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.

Don't forget the huge moral panic over Dungeons & Dragons. Anyone playing D&D was going straight to Hell for fraternizing with demons, or whatever the hell they thought was wrong with it.

Meanwhile, in actual D&D, one time I rolled to see if my gnome sorcerer could use the Fire Bolt spell to make a baked potato. (I rolled a 20 out of 20 so the DM ruled that I torched the potato to a crisp. The gnome was incredibly distraught.) It's just a story-telling game that uses some dice to see if you succeed in what you attempt or not. The story is whatever you want it to be.
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abefroman329

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2022, 03:04:22 PM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.

Don't forget the huge moral panic over Dungeons & Dragons. Anyone playing D&D was going straight to Hell for fraternizing with demons, or whatever the hell they thought was wrong with it.

Meanwhile, in actual D&D, one time I rolled to see if my gnome sorcerer could use the Fire Bolt spell to make a baked potato. (I rolled a 20 out of 20 so the DM ruled that I torched the potato to a crisp. The gnome was incredibly distraught.) It's just a story-telling game that uses some dice to see if you succeed in what you attempt or not. The story is whatever you want it to be.
Oh jeez, you could write a book on the things Christians think constitute Satan-worship/false idolatry (see, e.g., Harry Potter).
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Scott5114

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2022, 03:16:19 PM »

Harry Potter is an interesting case because it started out being rejected by those who objected to the witchcraft/wizardry aspects of it. Then it gained general mass acceptance. Now it's being rejected by its own fan base because J.K. Rowling's personal values run counter to those most of the fan base holds.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2022, 03:16:44 PM »

When did people stop telling kids things about their brains rotting?  I don’t recall ever being told about brain rot during the 1990s, was this just something people just moved on from?  Were you ever told your brain would rot?  If so, what was the supposed cause of the brain rotting and were you ever afraid it would actually happen akin to real world spongiform encephalopathy?

I don't think we stopped talking about "brain rotting" because ash and trash miraculously left our media environment--it manifestly has not, Facebook being a prime example--but rather because the pop understanding of cognition has changed so that decomposition or putrefaction is no longer an appropriate metaphor.  We are now more likely to speak of critical thinking skills that are left unrehearsed, so that they atrophy, or people becoming so invested in belief systems that they become impervious to different perspectives.
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kkt

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2022, 03:18:45 PM »

Harry Potter is an interesting case because it started out being rejected by those who objected to the witchcraft/wizardry aspects of it. Then it gained general mass acceptance. Now it's being rejected by its own fan base because J.K. Rowling's personal values run counter to those most of the fan base holds.

Rowling can't win.
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Scott5114

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2022, 03:23:25 PM »

Harry Potter is an interesting case because it started out being rejected by those who objected to the witchcraft/wizardry aspects of it. Then it gained general mass acceptance. Now it's being rejected by its own fan base because J.K. Rowling's personal values run counter to those most of the fan base holds.

Rowling can't win.


I mean, she could if she would just shut her mouth and her pocketbook rather than doing her best Dan Cathy impression, but she apparently can't stop herself.
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abefroman329

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2022, 03:44:02 PM »

Harry Potter is an interesting case because it started out being rejected by those who objected to the witchcraft/wizardry aspects of it. Then it gained general mass acceptance. Now it's being rejected by its own fan base because J.K. Rowling's personal values run counter to those most of the fan base holds.

Rowling can't win.


I mean, she could if she would just shut her mouth and her pocketbook rather than doing her best Dan Cathy impression, but she apparently can't stop herself.
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0
Yeah.

Also, she made her personal feelings known in the books themselves (however obliquely), so it's really a matter of the fandom overlooking them until she made them crystal-clear.
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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2022, 04:03:30 PM »

I'm going to get some candy. I'd rather rot my teeth than rot my brain.

Bonus points to everyone who recognizes that quote.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Brain Rotting Qualities
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2022, 04:32:06 PM »

I remember the moral panic over violence in video games.  That seemed like a flavor of the 'brain rot' thing old people used to whine about.
I know my parents were on that bandwagon for a while in the 90s.

I remember people getting spun up about Doom, Mortal Kombat and for some reason Night Trap.  The first two I could some extent see why a parent wouldn’t want their kid playing but the third was so campy I don’t know how anyone could have taken it serious.

Don't forget the huge moral panic over Dungeons & Dragons. Anyone playing D&D was going straight to Hell for fraternizing with demons, or whatever the hell they thought was wrong with it.

Meanwhile, in actual D&D, one time I rolled to see if my gnome sorcerer could use the Fire Bolt spell to make a baked potato. (I rolled a 20 out of 20 so the DM ruled that I torched the potato to a crisp. The gnome was incredibly distraught.) It's just a story-telling game that uses some dice to see if you succeed in what you attempt or not. The story is whatever you want it to be.
Oh jeez, you could write a book on the things Christians think constitute Satan-worship/false idolatry (see, e.g., Harry Potter).

The D&D thing was an interesting case observing as an outsider as it was happening.  It ended up with anti-D&D shit like this being produced:

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