Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Shallow And Talentless

I heard some nitwit on the radio today complaining about a proposal to add an essay question to the SAT tests-this person said it could hurt students who have poor penmanship. I didn't hear the entire story, but it seems like another concession to style at the expense of substance.
Shouldn't the students be graded on the content of their essays, rather than the neatness?

No. They shouldn't.

Why even pretend that critical thinking is anything less than obsolete; why ignore the painful truth that it's an actual impediment to success in nearly every field of contemporary human endeavor?

I suggest lowering the SAT standards to the equivalent of producing a really colorful, engaging and fact-free Power Point presentation or being able to "rap" over pre-recorded (by someone else) beats. Doing both simultaneously should be good enough for conscription deferment to a rear-echelon assignment or a cushy "psy-ops" post.

Unless you get deployed somewhere where people shoot at you. Which is fucking everywhere. Or shoot children. Despite my left-leanings, I do not fault our troops.
Children die in war. Everything dies in war. That does not mean I think we don't need a strong military, I just don't think we need it in Iraq.
If you were fighting for your life and you accidently killed a child, or a woman, or a man, or anyone who wasn't trying to kill you, how would you feel?
Can you answer that? I can't.
I'm not a parent.
I'm not a psychiatrist.

What would i tell my child if they were mentally or physically shattered by the war that they came home from?
I don't know.
I grew up watching body count reports from 'Nam.
I couldn't get an adult to simplify our justifcation of that war enough for a second-grader to understand.

Well, I finally got my wish.We went to war because...domino theory? Who chi Minh?red scare? yellow menace? Tonkin? Potemkin? ...oops. Remember the Maine?
WMD, WTC, freedom, peace between Palestine and Israel. Got Osama? Osama who?
This is not a fucking knock -knock joke.
It's a platform for irony.
We are safer now. We've got cameras everywhere, and they can scan your DNA from an orbiting laser satelitte.

I've got DNA samples from 2000 that prove I hate doing laundry.
I don't need a war.
"I don't need no education"
I just need dryer that works without fencing
the swordless stolen stuff

Let's just abolish scholarships and give anyone who can rhyme 'ho' with 'show' while directing a laser pointer at a pie chart what they really want: 15 minutes of shameless fame. Under my system, a high SAT score would open a "doorway of opportunity" for the shallow and sycophantic to obtain the American ideal-a fleeting appearance on a vacuous TV show with startlingly high ratings. Bonus points would be given to attractive children of privilege. Who wants to watch a TV show about a poor high-school kid trying to get a shitty job because it's essential for his family to eat, when they can watch a couple of spoiled rich bitch-persons argue about how to deal with a sinkful of dirty dishes?
It astounds me that people who wouldn't think twice about sucking cock on a web-cam manage to consider taking out the trash to be a task that's beneath them.
We, as a Society, are in a world of shit. Shit-talkers, shit-eaters, it matters not. Eat shit, shit shit, re-eat the same old shit, re-shit and so on... make all the tubular turds you want, but you'll never be able put the corn back on the cob.

But it doesn't matter does it? We've abandoned our embarassing embracement of mediocrity and replaced it with a heartfelt hatred of intelligence. If everything old is new again, I'd strongly advise investing in hemlock futures. Cassandra Inc. is a safe bet. Toss out the globes, pull out the un-refoldable highway maps and join the Flat Earth movement.

Maps are paper. Paper is flat. (Please ignore the coffee-stained crumpled mess in the glove-box.)

Therefore, the world must be flat.
And if it wasn't flat before, it damn sure is now.

That's the kind of straight talk Citizens love.
It's what we watch.
It's what we talk about.
It defines us and it stifles everything good about humanity.
Why do we prefer debasement and ignorance over art and curiosity?

How many Citizens would administer a tongue-bath to a gas-station toilet for a chance to win a million bucks? I'm guessing you could get a fairly accurate estimate from the Nielsen Ratings. Everyday, I hear damncubespeak about who said/did/ate/(implicitly) fucked who on whatever current "reality" show. I'm supposed to know; even worse I'm supposed to care.
Actual recurring workplace greeting: "So, what did you watch last night?"
I don't tell my co-workers that Heather Hooters has yet to surpass her performance in Sorority Sister Clusters #44. ( We used to rent the hell out of that video at the old shop until I traded it for a case of beer)
What else did I watch? Fuck. I don't know. TV is such a homogeneous, omnipresent presence that I can barely tell if it's on or off. You don't even have to own one (I do) to know what's on the tube. If it's something trivial, and/or excruciatingly boring ,someone will give you a semi-coherent ,overly detailed summary of what you missed. If, in the unlikely event, it's something you might want to watch, i.e. , a movie, someone will cut to the chase and go directly to the trick ending. You'll hate them for doing it, but in the long run they've saved you at least 20 dollars that you might have otherwise spent at the cinema.

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