Late Night: The Dumbing of America

 

This song by Randy Newman is a parody. Not the funniest parody, not super satirically biting, and minus the images, it looses a lot. But sadly there are a number of commentors on YouTube that just don’t get that.  Is America getting stupider? Both Clint “I figure if somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get” Eastwood and Rick Santorum seem to think a large percentage is.

 

 

22 Responses to "Late Night: The Dumbing of America"
DrDick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:07 pm 1

Lisa!

As H.L. Menken observed almost 90 years ago :

“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:08 pm 2

Howdy!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:09 pm 3

And as P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute!


tammanytiger | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:20 pm 4

I’m not sure people are getting dumber, but their attention spans seem to have gotten shorter and a greater and greater percentage of adults are talking like 15-year-olds.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:22 pm 5

Yes, I concur. And sadly there is hideous loss of vocabulary and grammar. As well as politeness


DrDick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:23 pm 6
In response to tammanytiger @ 4

You really need to read more Mencken, Bierce, and Twain. It has always been thus.


bluewombat | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:24 pm 7

cwaltz | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:24 pm 8

Just because a random bunch of people assert most people are stupid doesn’t make it the truth.

In 2008 I was considered one of the “uneducated masses.” Guess what? I got to say I told you so at least a dozen times to progressives who insisted that I was just a stupid, bitter working class Appalachian way back when.

The problem is less about people being ignorant and more about people that have an economic interest in maintaining the status quo(and a bunch of others too afraid of the OTHER side to actually vote on principles.)


masaccio | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:24 pm 9

If you want a real bath in stupid, try the comment section on any Wall Street Journal column.


tammanytiger | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:26 pm 10
In response to masaccio @ 9

The WSJ is the high end of the comments food chain. Many of the comments on local papers are so ignorant that you have to wonder whether the commenters are allowed out without a minder.


DrDick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:27 pm 11
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 5

True! When was the last time we has actual fisticuffs in the halls of Congress or a good caning!


DrDick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:28 pm 12
In response to masaccio @ 9

Worse, visit any column at NRO.


tammanytiger | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:30 pm 13
In response to DrDick @ 11

The last time I recall things getting physical on Capitol Hill was a wrestling match between Ralph Yarborough and Strom Thurmond, which obviously was a long time ago.


DrDick | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:32 pm 14
In response to tammanytiger @ 13

As late as the 1920s, there were actual fistfights and in the Early Republic brawls were fairly common.


tammanytiger | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:37 pm 15
In response to DrDick @ 14

It’s a good thing metal detectors weren’t invented in the 19th century. Many members of Congress carried weapons into the chamber.


homeroid | Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:39 pm 16
In response to masaccio @ 9

I never thought to try that. I see enough stupid every day don’t think i need to look for it.


elpolacko | Wednesday September 19, 2012 01:22 am 17

what the heck is with newman’s little black sambo fantasy in the middle of that song? is that the way he thinks of black folks…and why is he obsessing so much on race in the first place? i think that most of us can judge a man based on his accomplishments (or lack of them) without any consideration of his skin tone…or whether he can out-run a lion by scrambling up a tree.


berick | Wednesday September 19, 2012 02:08 am 18

The world has always had stupid. There’s a direct parallel here. In the 70s the same Randy Newman had a hit with “Short People”, a song making fun of the petite. I remember the line “got no reason to live” as part of the subtle satire. I also remember angry calls to radio stations, furious letters in newspapers, that anyone should be so prejudiced.


baron von cheddarwurst | Wednesday September 19, 2012 05:18 am 19

The question we need to ask ourselves is; "Is a world wherein every person believes everyone else is 'stupid' sufficiently different so to be distinguishable from a world where people behave in a way this is actually true?"

I would say no.


baron von cheddarwurst | Wednesday September 19, 2012 05:20 am 20

The question we need to ask ourselves is; "Is a world wherein every person believes everyone else is 'stupid' sufficiently different so to be distinguishable from a world where people behave in a way this is actually true?"


Matthew Detroit | Wednesday September 19, 2012 05:49 am 21
In response to masaccio @ 9

But as CWaltz above you points out, this isn’t really about people lacking intelligence, but being manipulated ideologically, and not possessing a framework–based in material reality–with which to think. Obama too is hemmed in by ideology, neoliberal ideology, even as he thinks of himself as a nonideological problem-solving type.

Conservatives have a considerable advantage over deluded liberals in this way–because they just often embrace outright savagery and appropriation of wealth from others, covering it over with the thinnest veneer of virtue. They’re right when they say liberals delude themselves.

Nobody who’s arguing that we just need to be nicer to each other is getting us the change we need, not this election cycle or any election cycle, when a system based in profit rather than human needs is still in place. Sitting around talking about how dumb the other guy is is. . . just a circle jerk.


nonpartisanliberal | Wednesday September 19, 2012 10:28 am 22

As George Carlin explained, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”


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