17 June 2010

We are clearly sinking.

I love America, but I'm not so sure I like Americans. Or let me put it another way: I am not very comfortable identifying as American the vindictive, fearful, xenophobic, half-literate, and ignorant comments that seem to proliferate on this supposed messianic medium called teh internets.

I am very close to agreeing with the Right on the proposition that the United States education system has failed. Here's a headline from cnn.com:
Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audience
Apparently, the issue is that Obama's speech was written at a -- gasp -- 9.8 grade level. So speaking at a high school sophomore level (let's round up to 10th grade) is too "professorial." Great. Let's just chuck it all right now and go back to the tough decisions, like paper or plastic. Here's another brilliant quote from the article:
"A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary," Payack recommended. "That's the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch."
So Obama should follow his predecessor's example and speak in a series of grunts and monosyllabic meaningless feel-good phrases.

Look, we all know the United States is an anti-intellectual nation. However, this minute analysis of exactly how stupid we are as a nation goes a long way to explaining the continued existence of an audience for the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter. In fact, it explains the continued existence of both the Republican and Democratic Parties in their current forms, and it sure as hell explains completely the Tea Party movement.

So America can't handle being talked to at a high school graduate level? I wasn't aware we were a nation of dropouts, but if that's the bar that we as a society have agreed to accept, then lots of luck to us in the future bagging lunches and making beds for whichever nation or culture actually takes education and progress seriously and decides to buy us up.

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