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    Welcome to Idiot America.

    Greetings From Idiot America

    by Charles P. Pierce, as originally published in Esquire Magazine, 11/1/05

    Exerpt:
    LET'S TAKE A TOUR, shall we? For the sake of time, we'll just cover the last year or so. A federally funded abstinence program suggests that HIV can be transmitted through tears. An Alabama legislator proposes a bill to ban all books by gay authors. The Texas House passes a bill banning suggestive cheerleading. And nobody laughs at any of it, or even points out that, in the latter case, having Texas ban suggestive cheerleading is like having Nebraska ban corn. James Dobson, a prominent conservative Christian spokesman, compares the Supreme Court to the Ku Klux Klan. Pat Robertson, another prominent conservative preacher, says that federal judges are a more serious threat to the country than is Al Qaeda and, apparently taking his text from the Book of Gambino, later sermonizes that the United States should get with it and snuff the democratically-elected president of Venezuela.

    The Congress of the United States intervenes to extend into a televised spectacle the prolonged death of a woman in Florida. The majority leader of the Senate, a physician, pronounces a diagnosis based on heavily edited videotape. The majority leader of the House of Representatives argues against cutting-edge research into the use of human stem cells by saying that "an embryo is a person... We were all at one time embryos ourselves. So was Abraham. So was Muhammad. So was Jesus of Nazareth." Nobody laughs at him or points out that the same could be said of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or whoever invented the baby-back rib.

    And, finally, in August, the cover of Time -- for almost a century the dyspeptic voice of the American establishment -- clears its throat, hems and haws and hacks like a headmaster gagging on his sherry, and asks, quite seriously: "Does God have a place in science class?"

    Fights over creationism -- and its faddish new camouflage, intelligent design, a pseudoscience that posits without proof or method that science is inadequate to explain existence and that supernatural causes must be considered -- roil up school districts across the country.

    The president of the United States announces that he believes ID ought to be taught in the public schools on an equal footing with the theory of evolution. And in Dover, Pennsylvania, during one of these many controversies, a pastor named Ray Mummert delivers the line that both ends our tour and, in every real sense, sums it up: "We've been attacked," he says, "by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture."

    And there it is. Idiot America is not the place where people say silly things. It's not the place where people believe in silly things. It is not the place where people go to profit from the fact that people believe in silly things. Idiot America is not even those people who believe that Adam named the dinosaurs. Those people pay attention. They take notes. They take the time and the considerable mental effort to construct a worldview that is round and complete. The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today represents -- for profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power -- the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.
    http://www.aboyandhiscomputer.com/Gr...t_America.html

    A long piece with a lot of interviews with very smart people. But who cares what they think...
    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H.L. Mencken

    #2
    Greetings from DumbFuckistan.
    "You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."

    Comment


      #3
      All of this would be really funny if it weren't terribly true. Idiots were always a special part of the human race but the way they have achieved a certain status in day to day life all around the world is simply mindboggling.

      They are our colegues, our bosses, our priests, our idols and role models, hell, they could be you and me and we have grown to acept the stupid things being said by these particular individuals.

      I wish I could say it's a american thing but I'm easly proven wrong just by opening the portuguese television and listening to the idiocy being played as news and true from the first minute to the "goodbye and good night".

      One of our former prime ministers couldn't even make a simply match calculation on national TV...priests continue to codemn the use of the condom and the right to an abortion and the politicians sing along. Most of our youth can even read or understand a simply text in portuguese...you want them to write one? Forget it!!

      We live in a state of permanent disinformation and it seems we love it! :zicon_ram

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Zendetta
        Greetings from DumbFuckistan.
        Greetings! Perhaps our countries could come to some sort of agreement, we have such similar interests!
        "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H.L. Mencken

        Comment


          #5
          ...the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good (thing).
          This part in particular makes baby Chomsky cry. Given the prevalence of readily available information on the intarweb, I'm dumbfounded by people's ignorance. I know there's quite a bit of misinformation out there, but a little critical thinking goes a long way in discerning facts from wishful thinking.
          Shut the hell up and train.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by kungfujew
            Greetings! Perhaps our countries could come to some sort of agreement, we have such similar interests!
            I'd love to, really, but my Gawd demands that I nuke you until you see the error of your heathen ways.
            "You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Zendetta
              I'd love to, really, but my Gawd demands that I nuke you until you see the error of your heathen ways.
              *cry*
              Well, as soon as my penis stops glowing bright green and falling off, I'll get back to you on the whole error of my ways thing...

              But yeah, this series of articles sums up what I have been too godamned tired and angry to put to paper. I remember back when I was a kid and this was MY country. Sure, maybe there were some bad people with bad ideas but how could anyone reasonably put them into office? The intelligent, reasonable people would come out on top, like they did in the 90s! Right? Right?
              Then I got an education.
              "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H.L. Mencken

              Comment


                #8
                At least we live in an area with a high microbrewery-to-lush ratio. That medical marijuana ain't hurtin' either.
                "You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Zendetta
                  At least we live in an area with a high microbrewery-to-lush ratio. That medical marijuana ain't hurtin' either.
                  LOL sounds like Vancouver. Except our marijuana isn't medical, We abuse the hell out of it.
                  :new_all_c

                  Comment


                    #10
                    For me, we politically crossed into idiot America in the early 80s when Reagan promised that if you cut taxes, the resulting prosperity would more then make up the difference. (Of course he did so without cutting spending, hell we spent more on the military) but this started America's fixation with the concept that one could cut taxes, without having to make painful decisions. Now under Bush we are fighting a war, and the pols are doing the same routine, but now they openly cut taxes and raise spending without giving a shit about the Federal Deficit which is increasingly being serviced by short term loans. AND WE LET THEM DO THIS! And there are no negative consequences for their actions.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Samuel Browning
                      For me, we politically crossed into idiot America in the early 80s when Reagan promised that if you cut taxes, the resulting prosperity would more then make up the difference. (Of course he did so without cutting spending, hell we spent more on the military) but this started America's fixation with the concept that one could cut taxes, without having to make painful decisions. Now under Bush we are fighting a war, and the pols are doing the same routine, but now they openly cut taxes and raise spending without giving a shit about the Federal Deficit which is increasingly being serviced by short term loans. AND WE LET THEM DO THIS! And there are no negative consequences for their actions.
                      America gets the politicians it deserves. Too bad I live there.
                      "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H.L. Mencken

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Incidently I don't think you are dumb if you advocate cutting taxes as long as you cut spending first to balance the budget. Its when you cut Taxes first and somehow expect to then be able to produce matching spending cuts after the fact that you approach doorknob status.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by kungfujew
                          America gets the politicians it deserves. Too bad I live there.
                          We deserve everything that comes to us, it's just the effect is unfortunately broad.
                          Tough is not how you act, tough is how you train.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jnp
                            This part in particular makes baby Chomsky cry. Given the prevalence of readily available information on the intarweb, I'm dumbfounded by people's ignorance. I know there's quite a bit of misinformation out there, but a little critical thinking goes a long way in discerning facts from wishful thinking.
                            Martial Arts is like sex, if you over complicate it with exotic sounding names, theories and principles, you end up fucking yourself in the ass. -Ronin69

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