The Dumbing Down of America

I can fondly remember the days, not that long ago really, that I could turn on the History Channel and watch a documentary about some point in history. They would even show the occasional movie and have an august panel of historians discussing the accuracy and importance of the project. Now, you can’t go a half-hour without seeing an episode of Ax Men, UFO Hunters, or Ice Road Truckers. If you haven’t seen Ax Men , it’s pretty much Deadliest Catch with trees. History ? Well, it was filmed several months earlier…

Don’t get me wrong, I would be lying if I said that all I watch are documentaries and programs of some kind of substance. Trust me, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who watches more unadulterated crap than I, but a lot of the time, I think it’s for lack of a better option. Even on my beloved Food Network, they have largely replaced shows that, I don’t know, teach you how to cook things, and replaced them with some muffin or another driving around town eating stuff and giggling…Or, you can watch soccer moms who suddenly think they are gualified to work in a 4-star restaurant. Or think they can dance, sing, etc. These kinds of shows imply that you can replace hard work with a fast track to the top if you have just a smidge of talent and look good on camera.  

It seems more and more people rely on others to spells things out for them, which to me is the equivalent of drawing a picture in crayon. They are not given the space to think for themselves. The media will tell you what to think, don’t sweat it. To make another comparison, CNN used to actually have journalists on it who just reported the news. Now these cranky old men are going to tell you what you should think about the news. That’s when some overly made up woman isn’t looking at you wide-eyed or with reverence (depending on the story), and standing in front of a camera instead of sitting quietly behind a desk so you can be sure to see every inch of her Versace dress as she reads the teleprompter .

It’s a shame. At some point, people just stopped trying if TV is any indication . It is engineered to appeal to the masses, which really doesn’t say a whole lot for the masses now does it ?

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