Checking my twitter feed last night I came across the most annoying tweet I have ever seen. The author and its contents shall remain nameless, except to say it was the most blatant excuse of bandwagon jumping I think I have ever seen. Said tweet took the most superficial angle of a particular subject, and then gave this angle as a reason for the author’s support of the issue.
This got me thinking:
Do I live in a country full of idiots?
You may think I have my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek, but I am sad to say that I do not. I live in a country full of stupid television personalities. A country where a great portion of the populace get their serious news information from unfunny comedians, and a barbie doll whose best skill is reading an autocue. When was the last time the population of this country had a serious discussion about anything? Yes I think I was nine.
How many people under forty actually read a newspaper on a daily basis? Listen to Radio National? Went to a party where exciting debates were had about serious issues? No I’m not talking about anything to do with this.
Is it too much to ask a person to have independent thoughts based on research and contemplation?
When was the last time you thought about something, did not know the answer and read a BOOK to ease your inquisitive mind?
Yes, I am a cynical old man trapped in a 27 year old body and with good reason. Unless proven otherwise, I don’t think much of my contemporaries. Why should I? The issues of importance to most are C grade celebrities, people who are famous for being famous, and the occasional dumb sport star. With trends like this is it any wonder the cultural and intellectual fabric of society has turn asunder?
So I’ve devised a test for you, which requires answers without the aid of the internet:
- Can you explain how global warming is caused? What are the benefits and drawbacks of a so called carbon tax?
- Name four American authors who published at least three books in the 19th century? Give a brief summary of their most famous works
- Who was the last Australian to win a Nobel Prize? Explain what their achievements were.
- Name an Australian Prime Minister who served in office before you were born? Explain three of their greatest policy achievements and why you chose them.
- Who was Charles Perkins and why was he important?
- Name an Australian playwright (except David Williamson)? Outline a plot of one of their plays.
- What was the most important development in Australian history that has contributed to the way you live? Explain your answer.
Can you think of these answers off the top of your head? If not, what does that tell you about our cultural and intellectual priorities? Now convince me that I do not live in a nation of idiots.