I have recently seen three examples of our American societal stupidity that also agree with my theory that societal stupidity started in the ’50’s.
The first was in February in the Frederick News Post. The former head of a county reading council with a masters in education and 11 years as a reading specialist was complaining that the newest method of teaching reading “is a big part of the reason students can’t read.”
I was not taught to read. I went to schools in low income neighborhoods, a different school each year for five years and during that time I was taught the basic fundamentals of the English language while simply being expected to read at the level of my understanding, so that by the time I reached the fifth grade I could read on an adult level and write a 500 word essay on any subject I knew about in less than an hour. I graduated from primary school in 1950. By 1960 we were moaning about our baby boomer children not learning to read; 65 years later we are moaning about our children not learning to read. Societal stupidity at it’s best.
The second was in mid-March, in the Washington post. Dana Milbank, a Gen Xer, reviewed a book by Gen Xer Bruce Gibney, “A Generation of Sociopaths How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America”, where it was well presented that intelligence and stupidity can go hand in hand.
The reviewer and the book brag about my generation (the Greatest) while completely ignoring the generation before mine and blaming all of the destruction that generation caused on the generation after mine that was educated to be stupid consumers. These two Gen Xers are an excellent example of American societal stupidity.
They applaud my generation for surviving the depression and WWII, but then gave us twenty-somethings kudos for managing our economy and world politics after the war, I guess thinking no-one over forty was still alive. The generation before my generation were twenty-somethings in the ‘roaring twenties’ who then caused the great depression and world war that my generation struggled through, then went on to create ‘cookie-cutter’ homes for our generation and decimating the schools we sent our children to, so our children, the baby boomers, could learn only how to consume via TV.
It just goes on and on.
The third demonstration of American societal stupidity came just yesterday in the Frederick News Post, carried over from the Hartford Courant, their editor I assume, saying “For the graduates: Get a job.”
The most telling words come late in the second paragraph: “Your first job is the one that will teach you how to work.” He goes on to say: “Having worked part time through high school and college doesn’t prepare you for what we all know is called “A Real Job.” The reason we all call it that is because you will need to show up at one place, on time, sober and ready to begin your designated and assigned activities for many days in a row.”
When I started in primary school we came in at nine in the morning, worked for about an hour and a half, had a fifteen minute break, worked for another hour and a half or so, took a break for lunch and relaxation, then worked for an hour and a half or so, then another short break and work until three, all of this with steady oversight, then home with homework. Four years of this, day in and day out, and we knew how to work. We had accomplished by the age of ten in the 1940’s and before what the Hartford Courant wants college graduates to learn to do today.
We used to call the rest of them “dumb animals”; they’re probably calling us that now.