Dumb Culture, Dumb Schools, Dumb People

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If you can’t keep up the culture, you can’t keep anything. You can’t have a republic of dummies. Know-nothings are not able to maintain a modern economy.

But Scholastic Books seems intent on applying the art of bonsai to the human mind. The bonsai artist creates little tiny trees. The cultural bonsai artist creates little tiny minds.

You know you’re getting there when adult crossword puzzles have to be taken off the market because nobody out there is able to do them.

I’ve been reading the first two books in Scholastic’s Wings of Fire series. These fantasy novels, pitched to Young Readers, are all about dragons. Dragons are, we would think, very different from human beings. But the dragons in these books say things like:

“Ew, that’s gross!” “Awwwwww, how cute!” “You guys.” A sadistic monster character is described as “mean.” And here’s an immortal line of dialogue from Book #2, The Lost Heir: “Would you like me to spell out ‘DRAGONETS WUZ HERE’ in giant rocks?”

WUZ? In all caps? Say it ain’t so. Any moment now, I’m going to wake up and find out none of this has happened, it was just a bad dream… Nope, the book’s still there in front of me. Still packed to the brim with stupid, cliche-choked dialogue guaranteed to keep a child’s mind perpetually locked into its 11th year, unable to grow, unable to develop. A mind subjected to the art of cultural bonsai.

And it goes on for as long as its victims live. The dumbing-down of this generation never stops. Whether it’s high schools handing out diplomas to students who can barely sign their own names, or colleges sucking up five or six years’ worth of tuition to give poor, debt-saddled “graduates” degrees in thumb-sucking, Star Wars Studies, Women’s Studies, or Licking Chalk off the Blackboard, our pop culture and our schools never stop binding the roots, pruning back the branches, stunting the trunk–to produce adults who think like 11-year-olds, support Obama, and can’t do crossword puzzles because they’re just too hard.

People who watch the Kardashians.

God help us. Deliver us. Save us.