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srmorgan's avatar

The dumbing down of America: Have an example?

Asked by srmorgan (6740points) February 17th, 2010

We hear about the ‘dumbing-down’ of America: school curriculum, politicians feeding us pap, Zombie movies, kids unable to find places on the map, ...

Got any examples to share with the collective?

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27 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

Our local newscasts will not run features about real local issues but they somehow manage to run a story either about puppies or kittens every single night. Sometimes they outdo themselves and run a puppy story and a kitty story.
I used to scream at the TV screen every night but my wife made me stop.

rangerr's avatar

Yep. Zombies are the cause of everything.
You win.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I saw a menu tonight that explained what a baked potato was. We take an Idaho Potato and wrap it in foil and place in a very hot oven. The results are delicous! Not kidding you.

gailcalled's avatar

Using Fluther as a microcosm, I wonder whether kids learn the difference between a common and proper noun anymore. (I have given up on its and it’s since it’s a hopeless cause.) I wonder also whether kids learn what a sentence is and how to show the beginning, middle and end.

This is shorthand for learning to write with clarity and conciseness. Why use six words when you can use twenty?

Ivy's avatar

Celebrities and their books. Jennifer Love Hewitt has a recently published dating book, and had this to say about it:
“After a breakup, a friend of mine Swarovski-crystalled my precious lady,” she said. “It shined like a disco ball so I have a whole chapter in there on how women should vagazzle their vajayjays.”

gailcalled's avatar

@Dracool : You can’t be serious? Have all the editors been institutionalized?

gailcalled's avatar

@Dracool: I’ll take your word for it. Not worth rereading.

syzygy2600's avatar

the fact that anyone would listen to Jenny Mccarthy over a legion of doctors the world over immedialty comes to mind.

gailcalled's avatar

@syzygy2600: The one mitigating factor is the desperation parents of children on the autistic spectrum feel. They will try anything; the medical profession has not come up with very good answers either, unfortunately. I have a 4 year old great-nephew who has had 40 hrs/week of various therapies. Perhaps they help. It is difficult to tell.

ragingloli's avatar

Believing that Africa is a country. Not knowing the difference between Iran and Iraq. Believing that the Earth is 6000 years old and was made in 6 days.

Parrappa's avatar

How do zombie movies dumb down America any more than other movies do?

As a teenager, I think I speak for my fellow brethren when I say maps are outdated. Why use them when you can use GPS, online direction, etc. things like that. Much easier, much more accurate.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Anything that has a label “do not eat”.

Garry Marshall films.

American Idol.

absalom's avatar

Sarah Palin.

I mean, really. Go away.

Aethelwine's avatar

The fact that these fools are being paid $10,000 per episode for their “reality” show on MTV.

srmorgan's avatar

I used the zombie movies because my sons thought they were terrific and well, they are my sons.

There is nothing dumb about using GPS instead of a map. GPS is easier, more modern and a pleasure to use. Compare that to sitting on the highway shoulder wrestling with a map trying to figure out where you are.

Technology, or improvements in technology, does not represent any kind of dumbing-down. Far from it. The essential objectives of my job are the same as they were in 1980 but doing the job is a lot easier due to technology: the PC, spreadsheet programs, e-mail, voice-mail, word processing, scanners, printers, the Internet.


Berserker's avatar

Romero’s zombie films are usually metaphors for how the modern society has fallen into decadence.


Mamradpivo's avatar

We’re the only industrialized nation with large percentages of citizens who don’t believe in either climate change or evolution. Rather than respecting scientists, we adore movie stars.

Shae's avatar

Death Panels
and Zombies that can run

suncatnin's avatar

The fact that my Master’s level class tried to mutiny against the teacher for assigning 150 pages of reading a week (the books aren’t huge) where you only have to present/lead the discussion one week in pairs plus do an in-class midterm, a final, and a group project?

This is a graduate level class! I had heavier workloads than this in undergrad.

monocle's avatar

I have an example.
Teh fact dat wee typ3 liek dis on purpus.

syzygy2600's avatar

I think the fact that the Wikipedia article on Half-life (the biological concept) is shorter and not as well written as the article on Half-life (the videogame) pretty much sums it up.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sarah Palin bashing fruit fly research. Utah’s “Climate Bill”.

Axemusica's avatar

@Parrappa you should read this thread and see if your opinion changes.

dtportage's avatar

Absolutely, I have examples to share! My son just came home from school yesterday and was told that his research paper would not be acceptable to turn in because there was no way he could have written the paper. He is in 6th grade and has always been exceptional in his writing skills. He can’t spell or print neatly, but his thoughts have always surpassed other students. He was told to come home and rewrite his paper—dumbing it down! I can attest that he did his research, he cited his sources, and he followed through with the instructions he was given. If his teach spent any amount of time speaking with him she would realize that he is educationally mature beyond most of her other pupils. I’m certain that the librarian would even attest to that as she is constantly ordering books to come from the high school library for him to read.

I was appalled! My husband and I have a conference with her tomorrow!

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