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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Dumb & Dumber Society

Sometimes its fun after a long day of doing whatever to sit back, relax and watch a truly stupid movie..

So last night I did just that, renting 'Dumb & Dumber To' the sequel to 'Dumb & Dumber' starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels..

Some interesting lil trivia tidbits that won't ruin the film for anyone:

Bill Murray has an extremely brief appearance in the film toward the very beginning, playing a Meth maker with one line of dialogue.

I didn't know this at first but he was in end credits so I went back to the beginning and fast-forwarded until I found him..  He was wearing a mask and hazmat suit
Jennifer Lawrence also makes a cameo of sorts...  Turned out she chose not to be in the film after seeing the preview so in this one scene she's in with Jim Carrey in a van, you see her back but never her face.

A third interesting trivia tidbit --  It took 6 writers to come up with the script for this stupid, sophomoric film..

Talk about dumb and dumber-- put 6 heads together in a room and Voila~  American ingenuity...

We like to think we're smart and well-educated (more people in college and receiving Bachelor's degrees than ever before, etc..)
But.. we Americans are collectively not..

According to a study recently compiled by USA Today:

*  After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change

 *  Students spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago

 *  35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone
 *  50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages

 *  32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week

In addition, according to the Educational Testing Service, based on a comparison of 22 modern industrialized nations,  Americans were dead last in tech proficiency.

We were also dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency.
The ETS also found that American Millennials that have obtained a four year college degree are essentially on the same intellectual level as young adults in Japan, Finland and the Netherlands which only possess a high school degree…

Dumb and Dumber indeed..

Below is an 8th Grade Examination for students attending school in Bullett County, KY schools back in November 1912 i.e. about 103 years ago..

Hopefully the font is not so small that you are able to read it..

Glance and ask yourself how many questions could you answer correct?
America's public schools and colleges are not producing thinkers..

Rather the goal is for each person to know just enough to do their jobs and yet keep them academically and intellectually docile; the emphasis of task-completion over thinking 'outside the box'

The purpose of education is to create one generation after the next of people who can fully support themselves in the workforce and by extension keep paying taxes, while obeying and being respectful/fearful of law and authority and finding recreation in consumption-based consumerism.

This was not the purpose of education 100+ years ago...
~ PA Military College class of 1902

Back then there were no such thing as shopping malls or personal credit cards.   Perhaps certain vendors would extend private credit or a 'tab' based on one's reputation and status but overall, if you wanted to buy something, you paid cash and if you didn't have enough, well tough-titties!

The goal back then was obviously the same in terms of people having the knowledge necessary to find gainful employment and thus pay taxes, but America was a far, far more literate society.

There was no television.. no Internet.. no video games..  Sports idolatry and listening to the radio were just in its mere infancy,,,

So to be entertained one read.. and read.. and read..
~ Penn State graduates with major in History, Class of 1915

To be multi-lingual today means you can speak English and Spanish or perhaps German, French or Italian..

To be multi-lingual back throughout most of this nation's history meant being able to speak Greek and Latin as well as French and of course English..

Education has suffered over time because there are less intellectual demands upon people than ever before..

What were once challenging and thought-consuming jobs are now heavily computerized and require only a few repetitive taps on a keyboard or buttons pushed on a panel..
~ Yale School of Forestry, class of 1904

Cable channels like A&E, Bravo and History Channel which used to show the arts and culture such as theater, dance, classical music and presented history without carnival bells and whistles are now bottom-feeder info-tainment crap

Few to none really need to know anything intellectual to function and advance in most jobs

Simply come to work on time, obey your superiors, do not steal and keep a positive, perky attitude as you do your repetitive tasks, and that's enough to be hired and ultimately grow with an employer..

We are a Dumb and Dumber society that takes a perverse pride in the not-knowing more than the satisfaction of the knowing and all the attitude does is further mask the insecurities.
~ Yale graduates, class of 2014

To really think.. to grow..  It takes work...   Real work!

It takes a desire to learn both sides of an argument and then think for oneself without trying to 'fit in'..

To take the time and energy to thoroughly research an issue or debate talking point so whatever positions you side on are informed ones..

It takes a motivation to sincerely better oneself and expand their intellectual horizons beyond whatever is work-related; devote the necessary energies to a topic that sparks interest and is not going to result in a raise or career advancement and you will become a more Whole person.

Nothing better in this world than seeking and obtaining knowledge for knowledge sake.