Ed. here (again) with an absolute must-read for you! "America dumbs down" is from the current edition of Maclean's magazine, a Canadian publication. I can already hear some of our American readers whining (again) that Walt seems to give a lot of space to Canadians mocking America and Americans. This article, by Jonathon Gatehouse, is not mockery. Rather, the author describes the "advance of ignorance and irrationalism in the USA".
Dear American friends, Gatehouse is just holding up a mirror, so you can see what your country looks like these days. "The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking," he writes. "Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?" If foreigners are distressed about what the USA is becoming, you should be even more so!
"The term 'elitist' has become one of the most used, and feared, insults in American life," Gatehouse writes, as a preface to this quote from Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique "There’s a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization.... We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs."
And who's to blame? The baby boomers -- "so triumphalist in promoting pop culture and demoting the canon", according to Liu -- and the lamestream media and politicians who pander to them. And the Internet -- the lamest medium of all -- just makes it worse!
Gatehouse argues that "The digital revolution, which has brought boundless access to information and entertainment choices, has somehow only enhanced the lowest common denominators—LOL cat videos and the Kardashians. Instead of educating themselves via the Internet, most people simply use it to validate what they already suspect, wish or believe to be true."
Another scathing critique of the deep and abiding stupidity into which the West has fallen. Read it. You're welcome.