In my second installment of Evolving Into Stupid I have apparently attracted the ire of one or two individuals, though I suspect it’s just one particular person, that took considerable offence to my calling Americans “fucking idiots” (we are), and suggesting overly superstitious people are crazy or otherwise defective, and they are in my opinion. The person (or persons) I oh-so offended took the time to comment on the diary, and then took extra special time to devote a blog entry to it.
Thank you, by the way, for all of the comments, positive and negative.
The person (persons) said I’m arrogant and condescending. They also lifted my picture from Facebook and posted it in their blog without my permission, which is kind of creepy. And in regard to my bit about people using something with as highly questionable historical and scientific accuracy as the bible (and other like nonsense) as a means by which to make an informed conclusion as to “jumping to conclusions,” and suggesting those folks are “cranks;” they said I can’t “distinguish differences in interpretation.” Differences in interpretation? Are you fucking kidding me?
Firstly, I find it interesting (and in a strange way self-gratifying) that the person (persons) completely ignored the facts I’ve presented in the diary but instead went straight for the ad hominem attack. Nice touch and I’m sure Jesus would be pleased. Secondly, was I arrogant in Evolving Into Stupid Pt 2? I suppose I could have been, though arrogance really was not the intent. I don’t think I was arrogant, but my opinion is obviously biased, so take that for whatever it’s worth. Was I condescending? Yes. That was actually the intent. In fact I strongly believe that anyone who takes a literal view (AKA a “difference in interpretation”) of the bible, or other similar bullshit, deserves condescension and mockery. It is becoming apparent that the only way to bring attention to the fact that 40% of Americans believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old is to openly mock them for their willful ignorance. Why? Because it’s fucking ridiculous! Duh.
Allow me to try to illustrate my point: Imagine one day you come upon a person who believes very strongly that the world is flat, despite all of the evidence to the contrary and in despite there isn’t a single shred of evidence that supports their assertion. Not one shred. The only thing they can point to that supports their radical view is a collection of ancient documents written by acutely primitive people thousands of years ago, and we have to give “respect” to these views because it’s part of their religion, even though their views are provably incorrect. And as it turns out this person isn’t alone, they’ve started clumping together and forming little groups and wearing funny hats. Even though they are a minority of the population they are well-financed, well-organized, and extremely vocal and they have been able to gain a great deal of attention to their cause and gain political influence. Now imagine this same group of cranks have infiltrated school boards in a very large state, and have actually been able to expunge any mention of a spherical earth from science textbooks. They then propose an “alternative theory” that isn’t based on science, or evidence, or anything remotely scientific, and they justify it by demanding schools “teach the controversy” and give “equal time,” and because the state in which this travesty has occurred is so large other school boards in other states have to follow along because they have to use the same textbooks.
How would you feel if something like my above analogy were happening to yourself or someone you know? Well, news flash, it is happening all over the US, except it isn’t a small group of willfully ignorant cranks demanding schools teach a flat-earth world view, instead it’s a smallish (and growing) group of willfully ignorant cranks demanding schools not teach actual science but instead teach creation as described in religious texts. This is simply horrifying. And, yes, these crack pots deserve every bit of derision and condescension coming to them.
Now, in regard to Americans being fucking idiots: The results are in; we are! This is a sad truth. I cannot more emphatically impress upon you, dear reader, how much I wish this were not a fact. The statistical evidence is unfortunately compelling and backs up my assertion:
According to the Broad Foundation (http://broadeducation.org/...), 70% of American eighth graders cannot read proficiently and they will most likely never catch up. Our scholastic standards are remarkably low compared to other nations, and as a result American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science. The Broad Foundation found that by the end of the eighth grade, American students are two years behind their peers from other nations in mathematics.
If the conservatives were half as concerned about lost productivity and increased national debt as they say then they would do something about the following problems: We have a very high dropout rate; 1.2 million American students drop out every year, and of those kids under 24 years old, 44% of them are jobless. This translates into financial consequences for the entire nation: From the Class of 2007 alone the dropouts will cost us over $300 billion in lost wages, tax revenue and productivity.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s just from one source. A simple Google search produces a multitude of sources with similarly dire statistics. Unfortunately we are a nation of idiots. We do very little (including myself) to fix this issue except pay it a little lip service. Conservatives are even less interested in fixing these problems because as long as our education system churns out mediocre results they can continue to make their case to their constituents that the federal government is inept at educating their children, and therefore those duties should be taken away from government and gladly handed to private, for-profit businesses, which, I am sure, are even less interested in educating their kids.
So, it’s fine if you don’t like me, or my diary, or the things I say, or the way I choose to say them. That’s perfectly fine. But unfortunately what I have to say is grounded in reality. I wish we weren’t a nation perfectly satisfied with mediocrity. I wish we didn’t have superstitious people taking kids away from science and other subjects of learning and instead force long-disproved religious crap down their throats. I wish for a lot of things; I am but one person. All I have is my voice and my vote.
As always, even if never blatantly stated, I appreciate you for reading. Thank you.