Tuesday, March 29, 2011
WE, THE DUMBASS PEOPLE
What Lies In Store For A Nation That Shuns Intellect In Favor Of Inanity and Chooses Form Over Substance? A Nitwit Nation.
In his 2006 film, Idiocracy, Mike Judge imagined a world where the collective IQ of Americans had fallen into the teens and a man of average intellect was the smartest person in the world. It is a brilliant satire and definitely worth seeing.
It is also fast becoming a reality.
How recently have you said, "Is it me or are people getting stupider?" You've seen these people. Can't make up their mind at McDonald's even when they have reduced the ordering to numbers. They talk, text and drive, endangering everyone. They only read books in school. They don't read newspapers, news blogs or magazines. They can't analyze the simplest issue but have strong opinions on everything. They misuse words-- with authority and they love anything that caters to the lowest common denominator.
I do not offer any scientific research or proof of what follows. It's just my opinion. But see, I'm smart and so my opinion is bolstered by good old fashioned brainpower.
We know the human brain absorbs data and processes it like no other machine on the planet. In fact, man's brain accounts for 100% of civilization. We also know that the brain is a muscle composed of white and gray matter and that like any muscle, it gets stronger when it is stimulated and used. "Learning" is a combination of memory and the collection and processing of data through the brain's binary process, you know, the opposite of TV news.
The best brain exercise of course is reading. In fact, if you've read this far, you are already smarter than you were just a minute ago and fifty times smarter than your average Senate Subcommittee.
The invention of the printing press changed the world more than any other invention because it made books available to masses of formerly unenlightened people. Free to imagine, think and reason, we read the great works of brilliant writers and man moved forward like an unbridled intellectual beast into the modern age by way of the book, the first technological marvel.
The knowledge attained by reading then sparked everything from art to bloody revolution, to a man on the surface of the moon and the splitting of the atom. And we've imagined everything from Bugs Bunny to time travel to the existence of God Himself.
And now we watch Real Housewives.
I could stop right here. I've really made my point. But let me continue to enlighten.
The mind needs stimulation to keep it nimble. For instance if there was no hard "C" and only "Q" no "W" but "R" then Re The People qould still qertainly qonqieve of Rhat I've just Ritten.
When we imagine, we grow smarter and open the door to great discovery. So it stands to reason that anything that does the work for your mind or makes "brainworking" easier, will lend itself to making you dumber. Ironically, the very intellect that lifted us up, gave rise to invention that has help make us idiots.
The first thing that dumbed down people was the radio. The radio helped us to imagine speeches, plays and the news. But our brain didn't have to work as hard and so we grew dependent on it and we tended to believe whatever we heard because it came through this incredible magical machine.
Then came the movies. We could now actually see the images and hear the words and we didn't need to imagine anything at all!. It was a short jump from there to television, the greatest "smart-robber" of all time. Now we had a brain-dimmer in every home and a whole generation of Americans started to allow machines to think and imagine for them.
Suddenly, American IQ's started to drop like the proverbial rock and intellect became not a goal but an assumption of a culture that had grown arrogant. Readership of books for pleasure and enlightenment went down. And because Intellectually-challenged minds cannot appreciate true talent or quality, the iconic representations in pop culture have fallen to our new cerebral low.
We now have singers that can't sing and (reality show) actors that can't act. We have newspapers that are more ads than news and TV media that is filled with pretty people who read from teleprompters and have no idea what journalistic standards are. We had a President who couldn't pronounce "nuclear" and a public who believe that jet fuel can melt steel. We have a business world where the only thing that matters is profit. We have politicians who don't believe in evolution, pander to biases and possess no noble purpose and religious leaders who use God as a weapon and ATM machine.
I know what you're thinking. "I grew up watching TV and movies and I have an iPod and I play video games and I'm pretty smart."
No, you're not.
At least not as smart as you would be if you had more imagining, more critical thinking, more wondering why and less Real Housewives. The sad truth is the baby Boomers are pretty smart. It's the successive generations that have arrived BDOA (brain-dead on arrival) to the world of adulthood. And by the way, the Internet is a combination of audio, video and reading and it's a wash, thank God.
There was a time when we wanted to be smart and we wanted our leaders to be smart. Now we just want to be rich, famous, beautiful and in charge. We now ask our leaders to tell us what we want to hear not what we need to hear. Without exercise, our brains have weakened and we are now fascinated by the nearest shiny object and susceptible to being influenced by our prejudices and greed with minds impervious to reason.
Appropriately, I end this by asking: What do you think?