Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Why are We Becoming a Nation Proud to be Dumb?

When I was growing up, I was always encouraged to do well in school; to learn more; to try to gain knowledge (or know where to find it); to develop wisdom. So why have we become a nation which now seems to embrace being dumb, or idiots, or jackasses? And why do we reward such insipid, sophomoric trash as Jackass: Number Two, or Dumb and Dumber with big box office returns? Why have we made bestsellers out of the "Idiot's Guide to..." and "....for Dummies" series of books? Why have we allowed this level of intelligence in all aspects of our lives? Since when did the desire to be smart become a bad thing? Why do more people watch Dancing with the Stars than care about the national and international crisis around us? Remakes reflect this as well. Almost 100 percent of the time, the original version of a film presumed greater intelligence in its audience than did the remake (The Out of Towners and Miracle on 34th Street are two great examples). There's an easy way to put a stop to films which appeal to our lowest sensibilities: don't pay to see them.

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