The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dumbasses, or just my opinion...

I’ve heard that Presidentialmania (not the President but an incredible imitation, and if you remember this bit of Broadway puffery then you are older than you say you are) opened in Los Angeles the other night with a performance on the Tonight Show, said performance coming with all the smoke and mirrors that the low information voters have come to expect from the star of the show.  This, in turn, brings up an interesting question, or at least I think it’s interesting; you may take an entirely different view of the matter, which is only right, I think, it being a free country and all.  The question is this: when did dumbasses become so significant a voting bloc here in this our Great Republic that the non-somnambulatory portion of the body politic must endure the former junior senator from Illinois’ constant televised catering to their ignorance?  

That the dumbasses have been with us always is a fact of American political life; one need only remember the turn of the last century philosopher George Ade’s comment that “…the Plain People are worth dying for until you bunch them and give them the cold Once-Over, and then they impress the impartial Observer as being slightly Bovine, with a large Percentage of Vegetable Tissue. “  It seems that not much has changed since then. The only difference between then and now, as far as I can see, is that then almost everyone was a low information voter—they had no choice in the matter. Radio hadn’t gotten much beyond the Morse Code stage of broadcasting, the big city newspapers didn’t make much of a splash outside their own municipal ponds, and the small town papers were largely pastiches of wire service reports, the farm report, the church page, and the news that the town’s last surviving Civil War veteran had just died, the passage of time succeeding where Robert E. Lee had failed. People knew what was going on in their local little burgs, but getting the big picture was much harder to do.  Today, of course, there is no excuse for not getting the big picture.  We have gone from suffering from a dearth of information to being able to gorge ourselves on a surfeit of the stuff.  Given that, you have to wonder how and why there are still low information voters in this country. 

Actually, you don’t have to wonder too much.  The fact is that democracy, as a form of government, requires the citizenry to pay attention to what is going on around them and most people don’t want to bother.  Why bother keeping yourself informed when you can while away the hours chatting with friends on the social media sites or playing Angry Birds or getting the scoop on which Hollywood starlet is checking herself into rehab this month?  Thinking is hard, dammit, and a good many people would just as soon avoid it if they possibly can.  So why not get your news from late night comedy shows?  They’re on television, just like the news is, and they don’t make you think too hard, the way the news does, or rather, the way the news used to, because that might hurt your brain, which is not a good thing, no two ways about it, and they’re a lot funnier than the news ever was, no two ways about that, either. And that’s the way the Republic ends, folks, not with a bang but with a chuckle.

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  • At 7:31 AM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    Well, the hordes of Canucks on their small horses are just waiting for that last chuckle, I guess. But we can be certain, that in 100-300 years they will settle down, invent the two-party system and restore the New York Times to its former glory.

    At least future is predictable that way.

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    I do buy the "who cares?" definition of the low-info voter. I have seen it in action. Most people treat a newspaper like a cafeteria. They take a little of this (the comics, usually) and a little of that (Dear Abby, for one) and then put it back on the coffee table in the dentist's office. They move on. And they watch the Rube because all it takes is one click (or flick of the clicker) instead of two or three to move the mouse and its illuminated pointer to the Favorites page to bring up Politico, Fox News, National Review or whatever other contrarian outlet is there in abundance nowadays. So they no longer have the excuse of no outlets, as you say, or only one-sided ones, as in pre-Internet days when avuncular Walter was telling it "the way it is" ha, ha. So that all that remains is the why bother? attitude. It is tempting when the only solution to political corruption is to vote for Tweedle-Dee or march in the street and get all sweaty, and be ignored by the old Democrat media if you're not singing their song.

  • At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Tia said…



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