Saturday, October 13, 2007


A good Friend recently sent me an ever-evolving e-mail called “Idiot Sightings” that features examples of the ever downward spiraling idiotic things that people say and do – everyday.

They recently included a technician who insisted that a customer purchase a greater powered motor for his garage door opener - ¼ vs. ½ horsepower – four is greater than two?, the Dallas County deputy who plugged her power strip back on itself and was absolutely confounded when her computer wouldn’t start and the dimwit who wrote his state DOT admonishing them to relocate a deer crossing sign as too many deer were being killed there. There’s lots more and while I eagerly anticipate learning about my fellow human beings’(?) foibles I realized the other day that I have another avenue to experience these same deficiencies.

It’s a popular FOX TV program called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Hosted by ex IBMer and Redneck comic Jeff Foxworthy who seems to be perfect foil for the idiots they pick as contestants. This Southerner likes the seemingly appropriate lashings that Foxworthy dishes out to the mostly Yankee erudite wannabes that include many honor graduates who obviously don’t have a clue. At the other end of the spectrum, FOX did entertain one contestant, a standout Mensa member who walked away with $500,000.00. Again, he appears to be the exception.

This week a very attractive young lady didn’t make it past the second round when she misspelled vowel as “voul”. Her mood ring didn’t help her as she obviously has a major case of the dumbs. Another contestant earned high school honors, damned near aced his SATs and is a business major in his junior year at the University of Southern California where he is also president of his fraternity. Among other “obvious” answers he didn’t know that a ton was two thousand pounds or that Bavaria is in Germany. He had to cheat from the get-go to get the right answers and then jumped and pranced around when one after another of the fifth graders bailed him out of basic and incredibly mundane questions. He struggled with all the answers and the euphoric antics of he and his fraternity brothers when he cheated and peeked his way throughout the show casts a long shadow on the academics of the University of Southern California. In short it wasn’t entertaining any more - only embarrassing - though he walked away with $175,000.00 in prize money and the admission that he wasn’t smarter than a fifth grader!

I googled to a kid’s forum that featured comments on the show and the quality of their contestants. Most intelligently labeled the players on the show as “stupid” and the, “weirdest is when they order help on first grade questions.” to remarks that “these people are quite clearly idiots.”

There is no doubt that FOX producers interview and choose over-the-top eccentric folks, most of whom will not be able to perform well on the show and then after having failed in the game, don’t know the difference. It’s entrapment of the first order with the tragedy being that there appears to be an endless list of willing and qualified candidates out there.

I believe that it all points out to the very real overall failure and dumbing down of our educational system and the penchant of national TV in their reality craze to shamelessly exploit and open the sores of our compromised system for all the world to see. Maybe that’s a great service. Anybody listening?


Ned Buxton

No comments: