Thursday, June 7, 2012

America The Stupid

For the past day or so, I've been listening to people wringing their hands about why Wisconsin voters would have voted to keep Gov. Scott Walker in office in a recall election.

Watch this video, and there should be no more room for doubt. It's the unspoken truth.

Americans are stupid!

Please watch the related videos, too, if you have time. Even the Fox News one is unintentionally funny. (The shopping is fantastic!) -- MJ


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure "stupid" is the correct word.
"Ignorant" might be more accurate. If you subjected the people in any nation to our crummy public schools and lousy news media, they'd also be as ignorant as Americans are.
I've known Rush listeners who were actually pretty smart in many areas. But they were abysmally misinformed on political issues. (Of course, on the other hand, many Rush listeners ARE stupid).
Personally, the thing that bothers me the most about Americans isn't necessarily that we're ignorant and misinformed. It's that we (like George W. Bush) are incurious about the world. We're smug, content and arrogant. Not only are many of us ignorant, but we don't even have the desire to be better informed.

Manifesto Joe said...

I understand your point, but -- been to a commercial Hollywood movie lately, or watched any network TV? People in the contemporary world have more choices about such things than ever before, but when it comes to things that represent better taste, they stay away in droves. I'd say "stupid" is appropriate in a great many cases. The schlock meisters say they're just giving the morons what they seem to want.

Anonymous said...

The best TV these days is on cable, not network. HBO shows like "The Wire," "Boardwalk Empire" and the late, great "Luck" are among the best TV dramas ever made, IMHO.
I don't know if "commercial" Hollywood movies have ever been the pinnacle of film-making. I've seen the likes of "Avatar" and Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" and those films seem to be as good as the big commercial films of yesterday, like "Gone With the Wind", "Giant" and "Ben Hur." ("Avatar" actually had a pretty decent message, which is more than I can say for over-rated critical darlings like Tarantino).

Manifesto Joe said...

Don't have HBO -- already pay a lot, too damn much, for satellite TV.

Saw the box-office blockbuster "Inception" a while back. My comment to the usher: "I dreamed I got my money back."

Hollywood only had certain periods (most notably the '70s) in which consistently good movies were made. But one thing I will say about the old Hollywood system. The studios and the old moguls were actually filmmakers, not boardroom dandies. They had "B" lots where some of the best films were made, and they would take chances on new talent. None of these coke-snorting clowns nowadays take a chance on anything. You're much more likely to see a hired-hack script of "Men in Black 4" than an original screenplay by an unknown writer.

Motivated In Ohio said...

That is the saddest thing I have seen for quite a while. I can't believe that we are that dumb, but it seems we are.

Old Scout said...

Take away the following:
1. This is for the entertainment of people who have the inverse opinion of the US that republican'ts do.
2. It' been edited.
3. We WANT this to be accurate to explain why republican'ts get routinely re-elected.
4. This absolves us of any responsibility for #3, above.
5. I don't deny it's accurate; but I do deny that it's representative, unless and until it's proved that it is representative.
6. In my humble opinion, it only applies, then, to the south, AridZone, Utah, southern California and the governors' mansions of Wisc, Ohio & NJ.

Manifesto Joe said...

Old Scout, I had been seriously thinking of doing "Part 2." Now I'd say I HAVE to do it. There's plenty more where this came from. Editing only makes it more concise, not less shocking.

Manifesto Joe said...

Let me add that in one of the secondary videos here, it was observed that at the time the U.S. invaded Iraq, some 60% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9-11 attacks. I've heard that despite all that's been learned since then, about as many still believe that.

Jack Jodell said...

I am appalled and ashamed at how ignorant and downright stupid the average American citizen can be. If, as so many believe, we are the best country in the world, it doesn't say much for the human race!

Anonymous said...

Americans may be stupid, but personally, I blame the news media.
Here's a good example: polls show that a majority of Americans oppose "Obama-care." However, the same polls show that most Americans are abysmally misinformed about exactly what is in Obama-care. In fact, the polls show that, the more that Americans learn about the specifics of Obama-care, the more they like it.
So why do most Americans oppose it in the first place? Because the news media did a piss-poor job of explaining it to the people. The job of the media should be to educate and inform the people (and no, telling us about Paris Hilton's latest hairstyle, or Lindsay Lohan's latest drunken outburst, doesn't count as "news").

Old Scout said...

Let's see the raw tape and all the correct answers as well.
I didn't think any of the questions difficult.
How many times was any question answered correctly?
This was for entertainment of people who reject 'American Exceptionalism', just as I do. I also admit that - at first I thought it funny, if not absolutely hilarious. But after 2 weeks of reserve duty at the Sgt.Major Acad at Ft. Bliss, my second opinion about editing for outcome rather than to fit a time slot or some other mundane excuse, holds more water than the seive you excused.
I'm willing to be wrong; are you?

Manifesto Joe said...

I've been shown to be wrong about certain things at certain times. This isn't a time in which I can entertain much doubt.

"Part 3" will be coming soon. The American citizenship quiz was administered to hundreds of people. Of native-born Americans, only 38% made 60 or higher out of a possible 100. I took the test honestly and made a 90 (18 out of 20 correct), and having been a career journalist, I should have done even better than that.

I well understand the point that poor public schools and superficial news media are somewhat to blame for this. But Americans are quite regularly regarded as a laughingstock by Europeans, Asians, and others. I'd say there's a bit more to it than our vapid institutions.

I seriously doubt that much editing was necessary for "part 1." Listening to conversations out in public has been enough to convince me of a contemporary epidemic of stupidity. Granted, it's inductive reasoning. But when you hear stupidity often enough ...

Manifesto Joe said...

CORRECTION: MY MISTAKE -- It was 38% of Americans who failed the citizenship quiz, and no distinction was made for native-born. But to put this in more perspective -- that's 62% of all Americans who were able to correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions chosen at random from among 100. The test I took was a sample of 20 questions, and I got 18 right. Most of them weren't hard. So, a 38% failure rate is still pretty damned bad.