As I have mentioned before, I do not watch television. I do not feel that I missing anything by not doing so. I was wondering today… is the decline of modern television programs a symptom of the declining intelligence of Americans, or is it part of the cause? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, more specifically in this case, what came first… reality TV or people dumb enough to base their schedules around when the new “Dancing with the Stars” comes on tonight?
I try to imagine a world where everyone watched the same things I used to watch growing up. I watched a few children’s shows in my youth (Power Rangers, Sailor Moon, He-Man, etc) but I got addicted to the Discovery Channel by the age of 7. I also loved to stay up late watching Nick at Nite. I watched countless episodes of I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Tarzan in black and white. When I stayed over at my Grandmother’s house, which was often, we watched Gone With The Wind, North and South, and lots of other Civil War movies. She was obsessed with that time period and owned lots of movies based in the time.
I grew up on a diet of old black and white TV, Discovery Channel, and Civil War movies. I also loved reading. My older brother taught me to read when I was four years old, and I was reading adult novels by eight. I grew up to be a driven, successful man with a good idea of the way adults are supposed to behave. How much differently might I have turned out if I had grown up watching Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, Honey Boo Boo and 16 and Pregnant? Might I have thought that the behaviour betrayed in these programs is acceptable adult behaviour? Would I have dressed like a jackass and strutted around shouting “Come at me, bro!”?
Americans are growing less intelligent. Anyone who spends any time out in society is aware of this. Not only are we getting dumber, we are losing our ambition and drive. Creativity is clearly lacking as well, which is made obvious by looking at the movies coming out of Hollywood lately. How many of them are original films? How many are sequels, re-makes, or movies based on comic books? When every comic book, video game, and Nicholas Sparks novel has been turned into a movie, what will they have left? How many more groups of rednecks are left to exploit for reality shows?
New music is getting worse, as well. I have a 45 minute trip to work every day. I listen to pretty much everything, aside from rap. With 3 country stations, 1 rock station, and 2 Top 40 stations, I still hear the same 10 songs every day. I’m getting close to smashing the radio every time I hear Taylor Swift crying about another boyfriend. I may be the only guy on the planet who hasn’t banged that slut yet. And new music is mind numbingly repetitious. I’ve heard so many songs lately that seem to be 4 lines repeated for 5 minutes.
How much of a difference might it make in this country if someone pulled the plug on cable/satellite television? If parents were forced to deal with their kids instead of sitting them in front of the picture box? If children had to play outside and read books instead of watching this neuron murdering drivel?
My question remains…the chicken or the egg? Cause or effect?
On a side note, I’ve had a blast these past two weeks talking with other bloggers. My three hour drunken conversation with Bill Powell was like a Manosphere induction ceremony. There was so much I didn’t know about the history of this little group, and probably more I am yet to learn. Delicious Tacos was fun to bullshit with. Leap of a Beta is a really cool guy and we had a blast. And everyone knows Ace and I are close. Knowing there are other intelligent, like minded fellows out there gives me a little more hope for this country.