David Brooks, who normally writes OP-ED pieces lovingly heaping praise on what has termed bobos (a hybrid of Bourgeois and Bohemians), today laments their nitwittery. Oh, are the self-absorbed exurban fools that you hail as the new ruling class not culturally literate enough for you? Maybe your feeling is driven by the fact that 80% of them haven’t a clue who the fuck you are.
I honestly believe television is mostly to blame for this phenomenon. I know this is an old argument, but the level of nitwittery on television today is by far worse than any other era of the medium. According to realitytv.com, there are currently thirty-four reality shows on television. I caught part of one of them, Baby Hit Me One More Time, at a bar the other night. It was, of course, terrible, but one of the things that struck me about the show was the fact that beautiful women singularly populated the front row. The camera frequently ran down this row showing these women. Sex definitely still sells. In other words, look, pretty people watch this shit, you should too.
You can argue that television has always been a vast wasteland, but that is not totally true. One example I will give you is this. Although I never sought it out, I recognize most of the more famous pieces of classical music. Why? I heard them on television, and not on PBS, but on Saturday mornings while watching cartoons as a child. Cartoons eventually went away from having classical music as backdrop to more of a reality feel to them. Most teenagers today have never heard any classical music. Is that important? I don’t know.
Combine the nitwitification of TV with a thirty year assault on public education and what do you expect? You get a land full of dolts who have no appreciation for arts and literature.