The youtube video “I Blame Myself”, by Sky Ferriarie, depicts a group of men that innovate some medium to alleviate their pains as poor men living in a California ghetto. The culture of pop and opulence is desired as one of the gangsters is seen driving his car up and down. There may also be a need to become stable and not just live by fancier standards. This is the anomie or strain between cultural goals and institutional means which Merton implies in his essay “Social Structure And Anomie”. Why would one go and sell drugs, could it be that he would want to suffice for a standard living. The singer in the video sings that the young men don’t have a choice and are just getting only, this could imply that their innovation is just a way to get by. They wear gold chains which could also signify that they are going against certain institutions and selling drugs to fit into a culture of fairness and democracy. The young men in the video aren’t conforming to anything by partaking in gangs and committing illegal crimes. There is an old man that seems to be picking up drugs, and he seems to be going against institutionalized means to get want the wants maybe because he has no other choice. On the other hand,the young black men seem to try to fit into pop culture with their jewelry and cars. The fact that the singer sings that she blames herself for her reputation, seemingly speaking for the young black men, signifies that maybe the men feel bad about what they do, when Merton would suggest that they are conditioned to attain fair wealth, and go to many lengths to achieve such wealth. This is where the stain lies or the anomie by Merton. The blame is due to the conditioning of a hypocritical democracy and the available illegal means to obtain some money. The manner in which the young man curses after the man in the car signs to the man outside a death symbol reveals that there lacks a moral sentiment between the men! and as drug dealers! they are open to using violence and threats to attain some cultural fairness. Despite all the bling, the men still have to fight the hounds of hell in world unchanged and unaiding to them; hence they become antisocial and partake in illegal crimes. Nevertheless, this is an inquiry left unquenched. If the men were living in a country that did not jokingly decorate itself with fairness, would they feel the need to go to such extreme violent levels to hypothetically not only survive, but thrive with jewelry and fancy things. “In societies such as our own, then the pressure of prestige-bearing success tend to eliminate the effective social constraint over means employed to this end.” (Merton, 681) The young men practice dealing to alleviate their pains of being poorer. They should blame themselves, but if they live in a culture of democracy, can they be blamed? There are swift and cold calculations as the men meet each other at a street, this anomie or strain is what is wrong with our society. Such an ideology of any ends will justify my means of fairness is indeed detrimental.
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- Nicole Hala