Your deep cultural/social conditioning

I see your checkmate, and raise you one:


Your argument is invalid!


But yes, Morgan Freeman. Vincent the Vegetable Vampire is a definite high point of late 20th century culture.


Guys, guys. For shame. Were the lessons these shows laboured to impart all in vain? What would the Friendly Giant say?


He would say pull a chair by the fire and have a sing a long!

You’re so right!

Someone put me in a sock and hang me on the wall!


honestly, the Mr. Rogers/Sesame Street/Electric Company/Zoom/Big Blue Marble/Bugs Bunny conglomeration are all deeply hardwired in me equally.


I gotta say, I grew up mostly on this show, and seeing how “spooky” I turned out I would say it affected me rather a lot.


Big Blue Marble, oh yeah.

And then there were all those weird cartons on TV Ontario, like the history one that had the same characters in different historical periods. That imbued a heavy dose of, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”


“Nae King! Nae quin! Nae Laird! Nae master! We willna’ be fooled agin!” (T. Pratchett)

(OT? Now see this reference:


As a deaf child growing up before digital hearing aids, my cultural references are all literary.


True story: in university I struggled with my first exposure to discussions about post-modernism and self-referentiality. Sometime explained the latter to me in a very po-faced, serious, This Is Hallowed Academia kind of way, and I immediately said, “Oh, like The Muppet Movie!”

They were horrified. But I wasn’t wrong :slight_smile:.


Sure, knowing about the foundation of your morality can be interesting. But much of this is more along the lines of social identity. Morality and creed are often construed as the end-products of socialization, rather than the process itself. What norms did you internalize in forming your models of what a “self”, “society”, or “morality” even are, and how did this occur? When you were exposed to various different models and concepts, some of them became you, while some others did not. Not so much the content of what your values may be, but more the process by which you came to embody them.

For example, people who grew up knowing deep down that a person is a soul, an animal, or a network are going to potentially conceptualize personhood in drastically different ways. A person who grows up knowing that some people have power over others is going to have different models of social interactions that a person who grows up knowing that people do not have power over others. Or, as regards your comment of the equality of humans, that can seem counter-intuitive to a person who grows up knowing that a person can be of any species. Is there a moral imperative for believing humans are exceptional, or is it simply “an obvious truth” that most osmose through interactions with other humans, and then rationalize post hoc?

Since this sort of conditioning is often pre-verbal/non-verbal, and informal - I think that this tension is what surfaces with “hotbutton issues”. Many mature people can openly discuss things which they don’t understand or agree with. But there are certain things which they cannot, without a deep discomfort that something is definitely “not OK”. Yet, how would anybody discuss those issues, if they are so important? Typically through affinity groups, finding people who already are likely to agree with and accept their positions. Membership in the group means internalizing its values, goals, and ideals. It’s why unspoken/unwritten rules continue to proliferate even within groups that strive to formalize and codify such things - because there are some things they are not prepared to deliberately, explicitly discuss and examine. Superficial dogma can be easy to question, while deeper conditioning hardly ever is.

So what happens in one’s brain and social networks when such discomfort manifests itself? Are the defense mechanisms protecting your essential self, or is it merely some cultural meme trying to avoid scrutiny? How does one relentlessly question all of one’s most fundamental preconceptions and cultural baggage while not coming off as some kind of obnoxious edgelord? And what are the risks of projecting my biases upon others if I don’t question these things?

It sounds like I really need to read about this Mr. Dressup person!

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Hey, who ate all the olives!?!


My social conditioning is 80% MAD magazine. Then throw in 70s TV and music and a love of words and writing. Top it off with veganism. That’s me!


This right here is why Sesame Street was the best.

But I did love Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Even if we have very different ideas of what constitutes casual at-home attire.

And yeah, maybe it should go here:


PBS played a big role in my social conditioning, as others noted. Sesame Street, Mr Rogers, Electric Company, Big Blue Marble, and Zoom.

I’d also mention Puff the Magic Dragon, Dr. Seuss, Wind in the Willows, Disney, and a sprinkle of Methodism.

My housemate is about seven years older than I am, and for him, it was all about Free To Be, You And Me. But for whatever reason, that passed me by entirely.


Free to be you and me! OMG!
In the summer of grade six (sixth grade for you yankees) my best friend and I would go to the local video store and rent Free to Be You or Me … and Grease 2. And we would watch them in her basement and sing/act along all day Saturday and Sunday. Ah good times!


Peter, Paul, and Mommy, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, a surprisingly wide variety of cartoons featuring ducks, an increasingly strict Evangelical church, Oz books, Martin Gardner, this weird book, Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey, and Square One (especially MathNet).

I wholly approve the way we’ve subverted this topic from its intended purpose to something more constructive.


I’m here only for the Mr. Dressup Finnegan-pile of Love.

Did you know Judith Lawrence, "Hand"ler for Casey and Finnegan, lives on a small Gulf Island as do Raffi and Arthur Black (showing my CBC age here)? I sometimes wonder if Raffi plays the “Mr. Dressup” theme song for her.


It’s all the same island? Sounds like a CBC nature preserve.

“Oh look, there’s Rusty… he’s hanging out with those Beachcombers again.”


No. Raffi is on Salt Spring Island. Judith is on Hornby Island. I forget where Arthur Black is.

And speaking of “the Beachcombers” my mom spotted Relic when she was shopping in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village, about 30 years ago. She would tell us she was “from there” when we watched “the Beachcombers” and I would see all those trees and water and people in checked flannel getting about on small motorboats and feel so, so sorry for her. When she told us we were moving to B.C. I did NOT want to go.