We Are Too Stupid To Do Anything About It
Guest Rant by Tom Pappas
Pogo was right.
"We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Well, not me, because I don't go to movies, watch commercial television, vote for candidates of either Major Political Party, or do anything considered even vaguely hip by the popular culture. I don't even have a lifestyle. Never have. Wouldn't know where to park it if I did.
But if you think Hollywood is to blame(check out Tommy's Hollywood Manifesto), or TV is to blame , or rap music is to blame, or our Congress is to blame, think again. The media (I include our political institutions here) are multibillion dollar industries that have absolutely no choice but to march in lock step with the pulse of the public (while you're mixing metaphors, would you get me a refill?).
My point is, those dweebs in Hollywood, USA, Washington DC, and Big City, NY aren't making society. They're making what society wants. They are way, way too conservative to do anything else, because there is way, way too much money at stake for them to try anything even resembling new, cutting-edge, out of the mainstream, or avant-garde. The only safe bet? What every successful seller of goods and services does: just find out what your customers want, and give it to them. And what the people want, the last time I checked, is strongly influenced by the fact that most of them inhabit the middle third of the intelligence curve (Integration for the area under a curve lost in transmission); you know, that big bell-shaped hump centered at an IQ of 100, the equivalent of an emotional age of 13.
Not only that, but the Very Smart People who manipulate the means of distributing all this propaganda have figured out how to tap into their customers' most primal wants. Which makes it certainly no accident that sex and violence sells--because without them, we wouldn't be here. We would never have survived the long and dangerous journey from Olduvai Gorge to downtown Houston. In another age, the very smart people made themselves lords of the manors, and got the rest of the poor dolts to live nasty, brutish, and short lives to their benefit. Today, it's the image makers who manipulate the great unwashed, with analogous results. Remember the Cold War? Remember the Vietnam War? Remember the Drug War?
And don't think there's any hope. There is none.
Because in a democratic republic, all questions of political economy are ultimately decided by an aggregate IQ of one hundred. We do not possess, collectively, the wisdom to govern ourselves in a way that will ensure our long-term viability as a species. This inability is reflected in our social institutions, our political institutions, and in the utterly abominable fact that Ronald Reagan, who acquired his skill in statecraft at the Screen Actors' Guild, got himself anointed, not once, but twice, the Most Powerful Man in the World.
The government always has had, and always will have, its way with us, BECAUSE WE ARE TOO STUPID TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.