There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual and just overall ignorance in American culture. It’s the dismissal of logic, common sense and humanity and their replacement by entertainment, sedation, ignorance and deliberate gullibility. There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. The rise of idiot America today represents for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power. There’s a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization. The very mission of universities has changed. We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs.
We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation. Rational thought is now the enemy. Critical thinking is the devil’s tool. The herd mentality has taken over, the anti-intellectuals become the metaphorical equivalent of an angry lynch mob when anyone either challenges one of the mob beliefs or says anything outside the mob’s self-limiting set of values.
People accept without questioning, believe without weighing the choices, join the pack because in a culture where convenience rules, real individualism is too hard work. Thinking takes too much time…it gets in the way of trying to fit in.
Reality TV and pop culture presented in magazines and online sites claim to provide useful information about the importance of The Housewives of (you name the city) that can somehow enrich our lives. After all, how else can one explain the insipid and pointless stories that tout divorces, cheating and weight gain? How else can we explain how the Kardashians, or Paris Hilton are known for being famous without actually contributing anything worth discussion? The artificial events of their lives become the mainstay of populist media to distract people from the real issues and concerns facing us.
Being mindful and aware of what is really happening is both a blessing and a burden. It is frustrating to know that there is very little that is in my control but there is no way I would surrender to a life of conforming and ignorance, giving into the consumer culture that has been portrayed as the illusion of freedom when really, we are only creating more suffering for ourselves because we all know intuitively that materialism, drugs, alcohol, toxic pharmaceuticals etc…are temporary void fillers that keep us dis-empowered and vulnerable to mind control.
The proof is in the pudding when you simply look at the lifestyle habits of many and the way success is measured by so many. Get the sexy body by starving yourself and weight loss pills that simply dehydrate you and contain toxic chemicals, go to college and become a corporate robot that is too far programmed with bullshit and a false sense of pride, build the half a million dollar dream home, buy a brand new audi or bmw, spend a week at an Americanized resort in the Caribbean for the sole purpose of temporarily escaping the apathy and suffering we put ourselves through instead of traveling somewhere exotic that actually inspires positive change and spiritual growth, and then become a debt slave and watch your freedom go out the window because you couldn’t afford that lifestyle to begin with. So then you blame your kids, you resent your wife or your husband, you become disconnected with what is true, and love has become so void of meaning that the word “unconditional” needs to be added in front of it to give it some kind of significance, and the cycle of lies and denial repeats until you’re on your death bed looking back with regrets.
I truly do believe no matter how brainwashed a person becomes, the dying process brings about a truth that makes you realize you either lived a life of love, selflessness, integrity and that you passed the test or you lived in fear, selfishness and contributed nothing to help yourself or others and therefore failed the test.