Has American Intelligence Tanked with the American Economy?

Where have our brains gone? It’s true, humans have short memories. Case in point, the re-election of Jerry Brown as the Governor of California. (Quick reference; Village News Jerry Brown’s past performance should not be overlooked.) But when did we become so mindless, making reality television such a large source of our entertainment? Of course it’s not just television and film media, it’s the printed media as well. There are very few places you can go where one of your senses is not assaulted by some sort of reporting about yet another mindless event or story.

Rag magazines have been around for years reporting on UFOs and on things such as assassination attempts or conspiracy theories. Those stories are becoming more of the past, which would be fine if they weren’t being replaced with stories such as the size of Kim Kardashian’s tush. Do we really care, and if so, why? Why is there even a discussion about whether she has had tushie enhancement or not? Honestly, doesn’t that sort of journalism make you feel as if you’re getting a bum deal when spending your money on this magazine or others like it?

It seems to me that as our economy continues to spiral downward, the search for a quick, easy buck has also reached an unenviable low…. reality TV. Forget the game shows. Those garner the contestants one shot at a prize that may or may not include money, and there’s always a catch. The catch here is that you have to win the game to win the prize. If you don’t, too bad, so sad. You’ve wasted a day and have nothing to show for it except possibly a little humiliation.

Ah, but with reality t.v., a person can become famous even when lacking any kind of extraordinary talent or skill. It’s as if today’s television show producers have found a way to bring back the circus sideshows that were banned so many years ago.

How did Honey Boo Boo become America’s darling? The show has been great for the cheese ball industry, but probably not very encouraging to those watching the show and trying to stay on a diet. Is it possible to watch that show without a bag of cheese curls in hand? Watching as Honey Boo Boo’s mom lifts her multiple chins to show the camera the crust that has accumulated under those folds of fat is more nauseating than when she’s feeling sexy and throws kisses to the viewers, yet the number of viewers continue to rise. As a matter of fact, Honey Boo Boo’s August 29th episode drew more adult viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than did the Fox News coverage of the Republican National Convention. Trying hard not to be out done was the September 5th episode which tied in viewership with CNN’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

Honey Boo Boo is just the grease on the pan. The subjects of reality shows go from following a family with problems to exploiting the lives of those who are “different.” At any given time of the day, you can switch on your television to see someone being cut out of their house because they are too large to fit out  of the door, two women fighting over a jobless, toothless man, or a young woman having three different men tested to find out “who’s the baby-daddy” now that she’s sure it isn’t her mother’s boyfriend, who also happens to be her mother’s stepbrother.

If these shows seem too far fetched for you, you can find a group of housewives pretending to have normal lives airing their beefs for all the world to hear. Who cares?! All of these shows masquerade as real news on t.v.,  then spill over into the magazines on every newsstand. Isn’t there anyone out there who finds it as appalling as I that the big stories are about another teen mom going into rehab as soon as she pops out baby number two, or that a celebrity couple is excited to have their fourth child, but see no reason to get married?

As the human race, we worry about what we’ve done to earth by using plastic bags, creating trash and causing pollution. Really? Have our minds become so numb that we’ve stopped caring about the trash and pollution we’re exposing our children to which will most likely be perpetuated to future generations?

Talk about the dumbing down of America.


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