Friday, July 16, 2010

Dumbing Down

Look about you and see who benefits from the status quo – the dumbing down and constant litanny of fear and hate. Are they compassionate, peace-loving, inclusive souls? Are they seeking a world that works for everyone or only a world that works for them and theirs?

‘Dumbing down’ - to "revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence," first recorded in 1933 as movie slang. The simplification of culture, education, and thought, a decline in creativity and innovation, a degradation of artistic, cultural, and intellectual standards, the undermining of the very idea of a standard, and the trivialisation of cultural, artistic, and academic creations. See, grade inflation.

Media consolidation and monopolies such as Rupert Murdoch’s, are major contributors to dumbing down. By reducing both the breadth and depth of stories covered by mass media as a way to increase profits by reducing costs through eliminating foreign bureaus and correspondents and relying instead on biased so-called ‘news’ releases by political parties or businesses; and by relying on ratings and audience tracking, media consolidations promote the most simplified content with the widest possible interest. This often means celebrity gossip, entertainment marketing, and sensationalism. Complicated argument is made as simple as possible in order to sell it and communicate to the largest number of people as cheaply as possible.
• Pop group The Divine Comedy sing about "mindless fluff" on television in their song "Dumb it Down" from their album Regeneration.
• American hip hop trio Ugly Duckling lambasts the trend in American discourse of "dumbing down", with their song Dumb It Down.
• American rapper Lupe Fiasco attacks dumbing down lyrics on his song "Dumb It Down" saying "They told me I should come down cousin, but I flatly refuse, I ain't dumbin' down nothing."
• American rapper Jay-Z was quoted on the song "Moment of Clarity" off of his "Black Album" saying, "I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars / they criticize me for it; but they all yell 'holla!'"
The dumbing down of America, the methodical destruction and purposeful elimination of the means by which a society educates and enlightens itself is destroying the middle class and ushering in a new dark age. As the American middle class which grew and succeeded on education, merit, skill, community, fairness, and hard work disappears, because the values and systems that built it are disappearing and being dumbed down, we are moving to a third world medieval system with only two classes - serfs and masters, rich and poor.
Dumbing down, the evisceration of a system that extols accountability and dialogue, opens up the gates of opportunity with the keys of ability, questions authority and seeks debate, creates a wealth of knowledge and illuminates talent and that births an informed citizenry by creating free thinking, analytical minds has been slowly but inexorably implemented over the last several decades, continuing unrelenting and unhindered, squashing the middle class and the masses for the benefit of the elite.

Dumbing down, often in the name of the mistaken compassion called political correctness, eliminates, systematically and without remorse, a giant threat to the system of unfettered, dog-eat-dog Capitalism, making America and its citizens yet one more cog in the engine called capitalistic exploitation of humanity. Gluttony and materialism have enveloped all corners of the United States. The principles of consumerism and greed are all-encompassing, and have replaced the virtues of the middle class. Hidden in the joblessness for many, and the ever-longer working hours for others, is a clandestine enslavement.

Legitimate outrage and the ability to question authority have vanished in a haze of indifference, as the American mind drifts into delusions of grandeur. Right before our eyes, government has been transformed, becoming not democracy but corporatism - the marriage between the corporate and government elite. Our freedoms and liberties are in shambles, now a fragile porcelain being decimated by rich, and powerful special interests that are dumbing things down.

I would like to thank Wikipedia and Manuel Valenzuela for many of the idas in this post. To see more of Manuel’s thinking, please go to:

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