Monday, September 10, 2007

Society Is Growing Progressively Dumber

Can we really blame Americans for getting dumber with each passing year? Being smart seems like such an easy thing to do. All you have to do is, you know, read and think and be respectful of others, but we're living in a society that teaches us that there isn't enough time to read, thinking makes you an outcast, and people will cave to insults.

No one ever says these things, but the observant will pick up on them, and the crafty will use them to survive. Society rewards negative cognitive habits. How many times has your boss at work told you that "you don't get paid to think," and then turned around and instructed you to "think about what you're doing," a contradiction which in itself indicates the presence of a higher intelligence. If you're too deep or too analytical, people ostracize you like you're a social incompetent simply because you're able to find the fault in a situation and make a more informed decision. It's a defense mechanism, really, because people don't want to be outclassed. If they feel they are in the presence of an even slightly higher intelligence, they do everything in their power to highlight any possible faults so they can boast that they might not be quite as smart but at least they don't... um... wear glasses! Yes, glasses. What a freak.

Society also teaches us that there is no time for reading. Everything demands time from you. Your family, your job, traffic, the fucking incompetents in line in front of you at the grocery store, and the more time you give, the more time they want to take. Your boss wants you to stay overtime because although you've gotten your work done early, they hired the owner's retarded half-brother who has to work late, and it's only fair that everyone stays late with him. It's a salary job, so it's not like the company is losing any money just to reinforce the notion that they own you, lest you forget.

So with all this time being ripped in chunks from your life, who has time to read anything from start to finish? People feel that "being informed" consists of scanning the front page of the newspaper and the comics section and the TV grid. Television has replaced books as the popular form of entertainment, and even television has gotten utterly fucking stupid anymore. Half the shows in prime time don't even have plots. They're all this pseudo-reality Survivor bullshit or American Idol clone game shows. There's no plot, there's not even acting. It's just a bunch of people doing stuff for a few minutes then an interview portion consisting of the involved parties stating their rambling, incoherent interpretations of what just happened. If I wanted to watch uninteresting people who couldn't string together a coherent sentence with a link chain and a welding torch, I'd watch vloggers on YouTube. Could you imagine if this stuff were a book? It would be the most boring book ever, yet people will hurry home so they can turn their brains off and assimilate Big Brother and The Next Pussy Cat Doll and discuss this bullshit the next day at work like it has any sort of social or intellectual relevance.

This is the TV generation, and no one wants to read anymore. Everyone wants to be told shit because that's what they're used to. We have signs all over the place where I work, and people will do things that violate the signs directly in front of them and haughtily state that we should have a sign posted. We have signs all over the place advertising products with the prices listed, and people will literally point directly at the price, put their index fingers ON THE PRICE and ask how much it is. Jesus Christ, it's THREE NUMBERS. GO BACK TO FIRST GRADE!!

Our kids see this and they see this behavior constantly rewarded with patience and understanding and they figure out that stupid gets rewarded. I think it should not be illegal to smack a person who asks a question that fucking stupid straight to the ground. Like when they point to the price and ask how much it is, we should be allowed to give them a full arm swing backhand and shout "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY STORE!! GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND COME BACK WHEN YOU CAN READ!!" If our kids see this happening all the time, then it would place a slightly stronger emphasis on the importance of reading comprehension. Eventually, when enough people figure out that, Jesus Christ, these people mean business so I'd better get my shit together, we'd see a gradual decline in the amount of people getting their glass jaws broken by the open fist of their own idiocy, but until then it would feel great to give stupidity some negative reinforcement, wouldn't it, smart people? Wouldn't you just love to smack the local crack whore's eyeballs out of socket and shout "GET SOME FUCKING SELF-RESPECT!!" Of course you would. You've all thought about it, don't lie to yourselves.

Of course I would never do any of these things. It's probably the inherent flaw of intelligence is that it makes people more meek, or better, respectful. I see the way stupidity makes these mindless cows of society operate and I refuse to descend to their level. A combination of lack of understanding and feelings of entitlement make for some rude motherfuckers, doesn't it? People don't want what they feel like they deserve anymore, but they feel like they deserve what they want, no matter how unreasonable their demands might be. If you make a stand and shout into the gaping maw of the vast void of incompetence that you will not be swallowed up without guns blazing and swords swinging, then you will have to work doubly hard to achieve the same success that the stupid people just have fall on them like a grand piano in an old serial cartoon just for being too stupid to get out of the way. On the plus side, it will also be doubly rewarding because you won't have compromised your integrity to get what you have.

You could argue that I'm dealing with some of the lower ends of the social food chain, but I'm really not. I see just as many people who earn $60 to $100 thousand a year who act just as belligerent as the local crackheads, probably more so. These people who earn upper middle class wages are just as dumb as their impoverished counterparts from across the tracks and it makes me want to yell at them, "HOW ARE YOU MAKING THAT MUCH MONEY WHILE I'M STUCK HERE?? I SHOULD BE DOING YOUR JOB BECAUSE YOU'RE A FUCKING RETARD!!"

Whenever these incompetents realize that they're dealing with someone who is not going to complacently give them whatever they falsely feel they're entitled to, their automatic defense mechanism is to raise their voice and throw out insults. Insults are the defense mechanism of the weak-minded. Instead of peaceably trying to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, throwing a temper tantrum will only guarantee you don't get what you want. Yet society has conditioned us that this is the way to get what you want because the observant will note that most people will cave to get the adult child to shut the fuck up. It's ingrained in us from childhood. When we were toddlers and couldn't comprehend why we couldn't have what we wanted, we'd throw a fit and our parents would cave. Fast forward forty years later, and we see adults who hold respectable jobs and have children of their own who have never grown out of that place in their lives when shouting and begging were the easiest ways to settle a dispute.

Our children are watching this, and they are watching these respectable adults act like toddlers, and they see this behavior rewarded, so they decide that this must be the best way to survive in society, and the wave of stupidity continues to perpetuate through the generations. Teach your children that temper tantrums are not the way to get what you want, to try to understand the bigger picture and work out a mutually respectful agreement. Also teach them that there will be people who have never learned this, but that they hold no power over us outside of publicly humiliating themselves.

We live in a society that constantly reinforces the value of stupidity over education. Our children are growing up now more than ever watching celebrities act like the most backwards of fools and get paid handsomely in both riches and attention for their absurd behavior, and it's only going to get worse. We watch Britney Spears go on a child negligent drinking bender and perform on stage a week later to thousands of adoring fans. We watch rap stars make millions of dollars for butchering the English language while glorifying multiple homicides, and our schoolteachers are one paycheck away from eating dead cats under an interstate bridge. Our society is teaching us that idiocy gets rewarded in spades while intelligence is a liability, yet no one can figure out why we're getting dumber with each subsequent generation.


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