Proof That America is Getting Dumber

One of the things we like to do around here, by way of relaxation, is crossword puzzles. We have subscribed to a certain crossword magazine, from a publisher whose various puzzle magazines we’ve been regularly buying for almost 40 years. The next issue seemed inordinately delayed, so today I phoned the publisher to ask about it.

Well, guess what? They’re wiping out practically their whole line of magazines, saving only those devoted to Sudoku and really easy crossword puzzles. Self-esteem crossword puzzles: “Three-letter word for domestic animal that goes ‘Meow’ and is not a dog or a goldfish.”

“We had to do it,” said the customer service rep. “No one is buying anything but easy puzzles and Sudoku. They just can’t do the harder puzzles.”

So that little avenue of pleasure is being sealed off. Neither of us is the least bit interested in Sudoku, and who wants to do a crossword puzzle that a five-year-old can do? And no more cryptograms for Patty.

This in the country that spends more on public education than anyone has dared to calculate.

The great thinkers who created and shaped public education in the 19th and early 20th centuries were not bashful about stating their long-range goal to train up an American populace that was tractable, ignorant, easily herded by their glorious leaders… and incapable of doing adult crossword puzzles.

Looks like they’ve succeeded.