Fashionably Stupid…When Will It End?

The dying era of Conservatism idolized the Fifties. An era in which everyone was white, all went to church on Sunday, understood that what was good for GM or any other Corporation was good for America, we could overthrow Iran or Chile at will and women knew their place….which was firmly under men. For five minutes on Wednesday night after the kids were in bed.

That was the myth that they grew up believing in.

I grew up in the Sixties, when science and brains were idolized and it was thrilling when someone DIDN’T fit in to the mold of the Fifties.

When being smart was a GOOD thing.

Smart people and good, smart ideas were valued and the world improved. Science flourished and knowledge for knowledge’s sake was embraced.

Then the backlash to the  cultural advancement of the 60’s began…with Reagan. Folksy wisdom and gut instincts were put on the same level with science and facts. Then came George “The Torturer

and the full resurgence of the Conservative Ethos of Dumb. Science was disparaged and devalued because of the uncomfortable facts it raised that were in disagreement with the worldview of the Religious Righjt AND Big Business.

It became MORE imprtant to be a ‘regular guy’ than right. As in all Conservative dominated eras in history, superstitions like the earth being 6000 years old were allowed and encouraged to mix with things that could be….proven. Belief and instinct were valued above intelligence. Science, especially science that disagreed with religion or with profit, was suppressed and vilified.

And just as the blades of a fan keep turning for a bit after it is turned off, we are just now starting to realize that

“We can’t afford to be stupid anymore …’  by A Siegel

The life giving monsoon is late in India, California is in perpetual drought, Texas too, Australia is six years into drought, and the water situation in general is NOT good.

Islands are drowning…

As a teenager in the Carteret Islands,a picturesque atoll in the eastern Papua New Guinea archipelago, Ursula Rakova walked to school and church along a sandy road, passing through the center of a thriving community that produced taro, a staple food.

Thirty years on, the taro plantations of Han, Rakova’s home island, are gone – swamped by rising seas. The road, too, is under water. “Where we once walked,” she told GlobalPost, “we now have to paddle a canoe.”

…and weather patterns are changing and food production patterns are changing with them. The Arctic ice no longer reflects heat back into space, methane is being released from the tundra….and rainforests are still being “harvested” at murderous rates.

And still, 30 years on, EVERY model of Climate Change patterns has turned out to be WAY to optimistic. Even as all of the indicators of disasterously logarithmic acceleration are coming true.

And yet still the deniers for profit deny. Still the politicians they have bought vote for quarter measures and delay.

The stupid people are still stupid, and somehow still listened to.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings are just oodles of really smart people. Either languishing or on the verge of being born is a host of the ideas and technology we need.

And behind all of that is…the next generation. A wave of scientists, thinkers, problem solvers and the technology….and ethos…that they will bring.

IF….being dumb is no longer considered a good thing in America, as it has been for the last decade. It is time for smart to become fashionable again.

Just in time.

Because a couple of weeks ago….the temperature was 86 degrees inside the Arctic Circle….and that just ain’t right.


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  1. I just can’t take the stupid anymore.

    Neither can the world

    • Edger on August 10, 2009 at 20:21

    Ain’t you got nuthin’ better to do with yer time?

    If we’re all so stoopid how come Murka is gonna be so much better off than the stoopid rest of the world who will dying by the billions from all this global warmin’ while us good ole boys here in Murka will hardly be sweatin’ at all?

    Hunh?? Answer me that, smart guy!

    Now ‘scuse me – I’m gonna go lay on the beach an drink beer to cool off up in the artic an git a suntan while you sit here complainin’.

    Climate Change Effects Hugely Unequal Globally

    The report presents the two distorted maps shown below – density equalizing cartograms depicting a comparison of undepleted CO2 emissions by country for 1950-2000 versus the regional distribution of four climate sensitive health consequences (malaria, malnutrition, diarrhea, and inland flood-related fatalities).

    (view full size)

    The first image shows the world in terms of carbon emissions. America, for instance, is huge. So is China. And Europe. Africa is hardly visible.

    The second map shows the world in terms of increased mortality — that is to say, deaths — from climate change. Suddenly, America virtually disappears. So does Europe. Africa, however, is grotesquely distended. South Asia inflates.


    “Loss of healthy life years as a result of global environmental change (including climate change) is predicted to be 500 times greater in poor African populations than in European populations,” states the UCL Lancet Commission report bluntly.

    Ya see?!?!? 500 hunnerd times more death over there, and everthangs gonna be jes’ fine here.

    Sheesh, you dfh libruls are sumpin’ else, I’ll tell ya…. ya think yer so smart… ya dunno what’s good fer ya!

  2. anybody want to settle the Artic and make it a progressive paradise?

    We ARE really, really screwed, aren’t we

  3. …Arise!  Perhaps we can still save some portion of this once glorious planet.

    Thanks buhdy for the call to … Arise!

  4. Elvis!

  5. of horrendous proportions.  Awful and frightening facts!

    All these truths, while the energy people and the corporate monsters continue to disseminate mis-information to the public, even so far as denial that any of this is actually happening.  I wonder how these entities can deceive even themselves into believing that they will, somehow, be left unscathed by global warming.

    Each of us must do everything, in our own individual ways and beyond that, to try and get the truth out there, for one thing, and to demonstrate to ourselves and others that we, in our own right, are doing everything that we can to combat global warming.  It is really the responsibility of every single human being.

    Thanks, buhdy!  

  6. Bill Maher

    And I haven’t even brought up America’s religious beliefs. But here’s one fun fact you can take away: did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That’s right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.

    And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls.


    And if you want to call me an elitist for this, I say thank you. Yes, I want decisions made by an elite group of people who know what they’re talking about. That means Obama budget director Peter Orszag, not Sarah Palin.

    Which is the way our founding fathers wanted it. James Madison wrote that “pure democracy” doesn’t work because “there is nothing to check… an obnoxious individual.” Then, in the margins, he doodled a picture of Joe the Plumber.

    • banger on August 10, 2009 at 21:33

    The stupid meme is pushed by the ruling class via corporate “entertainment” or maybe I should say enchantment. Being awake can be rough–but we got to turn off the drugs and the TV and not see the new GI Joe movie etc. Got to build what was aborted 40 years ago or so, i.e., the “counterculture” which never took hold because we had no elders and everyone rushed to grad school and cocaine (or whatever) in the 70’s. The time is right now–this time without drugs and with strength, self-discipline and clarity. It can be done, we have all the tools legal and technical.

  7. Cheezuz.  

    It’s 106 here every day right now, I can’t imagine it getting hotter, but it will, as more people resort to AC, and there’s more pavement storing the heat for night too.  

  8. we are at this point after all were going though cow towing to the stupid. I have compassion for the ignorant and fearful they are working with tainted perceptions. My compassion stops at the power they wield and my anger kicks in towards those that use them to keep us all down. I read somewhere that Obama’s campaign was supported by largely educated intelligent people who were motivated because he didn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator or insult your brain, like Bush. However I see no signs that point to sanity let alone even common sense as far as our national agenda goes. How absurd to decree that the likes of Goldman Sacks or any other too big are too big too fall and deny the fact that they are destroying not only our social fabric but mother natures carefully woven tapestry.    

  9. By that I don’t mean the geriatric Lawrence Welk style conservatism.  Hey, that whole generation had only three lamestream sources of information and thus were far more easily lied to.

    We celebrated Christmas in August during our spiritual retreat in Maine.  If it reached 86 inside the Arctic circle that does lend credibility towards Bill Deagle’s polar reversal/radiation hole in the atmosphere predictions.

    May not have to worry much longer anyway, eugenics does work.

  10. may not be all that recent.  Americans have a long tradition of being weirdly proud of their ignorance.  Look at all of the TV shows, movies, songs, stories, folk tales, and American literary characters who mock education, take smug satisfaction in showing up city slickers, claim that book-larnin’ never scalded no hogs, and generally convey the message that getting an education is a waste of time.  I know of no other country which has produced as broad a cultural theme of pride in stupidity as the USA has.  It’s something which has always perplexed me.

  11. If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?

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