Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rampant Stupidity In Our Country...

I have been having a lot of conversations lately about the collective stupidity that is taking over our society. How Fox News and other culprits are to blame for spreading ignorance and hate with no facts to back it up. We really have to take a long hard look at ourselves as a whole and wonder where we are going as a nation.

I am reminded of this after reading Ben Smith's blog from Monday. He checked out a Pew poll and found some startling numbers. A small minority of people are clinging to wild theories about a range of topics.

22 percent believe President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance.
30 percent believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
23 percent believe they've been in the presence of a ghost.
18 percent believe the sun revolves around the Earth.

Now these numbers really scare me more than confound. If we as a society in the 21 century still have a significant portion who think the sun revolves around the Earth we are in trouble. 30% still believe the WMD bullshit story?!? They are getting this "information" from somewhere and they are spreading the word to others. Personally if someone tried to argue the sun around the Earth thing to me they would promptly get a swift kick in the groin but that's just me.

Matt Taibbi has a wonderful new book out of this whole phenomenon. It's called "The Great Derangement" and it is all about how large sectors of society on both left and right have taken to believing wild stories out of their displeasure with government and culture. He personally embeds himself in the 9/11 Truth movement as well as joins Hagee's church in San Antonio. The best part about the latter is this was before the election season and not a lot of people knew about Hagee, including Taibbi. I highly recommend the illiterate electorate to go out and buy this book.

These are some very strange times that we are entering. The idea that Obama and his pastor became media fodder for almost 2 full cycles and the still is about 10% of the population that still believe he his Muslim is depressing. I mean the whole uproar was about his CHRISTIAN reverend for christsake! Shouldn't that put the Muslim thing to bed? I guess not. I just try to be optimistic when I think of where we will be as a nation 30 years from now but it's hard to see anything positive on the horizon.


puddy said...

the earth revolves around the sun... PUH-lease...

Bradda said...

I know, where's the proof? Galileo was a pansy.

dguzman said...

I think one of the worst effects of Chimpy's presidency and the corporate media is that "smart" now equals "elitist" and "C student" now equals "president." It's common when you're a kid to pick on the smart geek--but that's children. We are adults; should we all know that it's better to have an intelligent person in charge? I just don't get it. How stupid is our population? Will being smart ever be rewarded?

Randal Graves said...

It's amazing how in a few short decades we've gone from WANTING the smartest in charge to not. Sure, only lunatics want to sit in the Oval Office, but I expect my president to have more brains and wisdom than I do.

Unknown said...

'Murkins phasing in of uber-stupidity started with Raygun's presidency. '81 (ahem, when I graduated HS) was about when many scholars pinpoint the dummying down began in earnest. There is a method behind it, of course. They want a country full of stupid consumers. Voila! They got it. Cutting back on school programs and schools budgets themselves really worked like a charm. The conditions our public schools are in are appalling. Wasn't always that way.

Something I find really interesting about schooling in the U.S. is the lack of geography. I went to a nice, private Catholic H.S. and we didn't even have geography classes there. Not in grade school either (the closest was "social studies" in grade 5). Think about THAT message. The powers that be didn't think it was necessary to learn about other countries!!! I had to make up for it w/my own curiosity but isn't that telling? Did you all have geography classes in high school?

Think about how stupid people are now compared to in my parents' time. It's galling. Art was one of the first things to be tossed when schools were defunded. That's a serious problem because Art actually takes a lot of patience, brains, etc. and is a necessary part of life (sometimes, THE most). Sports were emphasized like never before (brawn over brains... for building aggression and little soldiers, perhaps?). Look at how much time Murkins spend staring at football & the like. It's unbelievable.

Yes, 'Murkins are stupider than ever. Partly their fault, partly our gov'ts attempts at keeping them that way.

And one of my biggest pet peeves: Stupid people that are too stupid to know they are stupid, and walk around bossing smart folks. Sorta like the bumbleshrub does.

alzaido alzaido said...

Great point Hellen. Here in the great state of Florida our ex-governor Jeb Bush implemented the same educational scheme as his bro W. did in Texas. We got ourselves some sweet standardized tests that “prove” that our students are learning better then ever. Social Studies is one of the disciplines that is not on the standardized tests. I used to work at a PreK-8th grade school that had been given permission to drop social studies classes from the curriculum to concentrate more on the tested subjects. Brilliant!

Bradda…There is hope on the horizon. His name is Barrack Obama. I may be naively optimistic, but I hope that he turns out to be a true champion of the people.

Bradda said...

dguzman: It's like "Revenge of the Nerds" all over again in real life. Except we don't have Booger to save us all!

RG: I agree, when did "wanting to have a beer with him" become some parameter to leading our country?? The president should take some kind of SAT before taking office.

Helen: Thanks for chiming in again, your thoughts always make one think. I didn't take geography in school. We had Social Studies but we mostly watched episodes of Cops(sad I know). My Mom was a life long teacher and the "changes" they made to the curiculum basically forced her to quit and retire because she couldn't stand to sit by and watch.

Al: I hope your right my optimistic friend!

Dean Wormer said...

You missed the stat that 85% of people think they get better looking when they're drunk.

I happen to subscribe to that conspiracy.

Bradda said...

Heh, Dean, I would have thought that number was higher.