I read this post last week and it got me thinking so much I’mma write my own post about it.
The author laments the dumbing down of our culture as evidenced by ridiculous shows like “Honey Boo Boo.” Have you heard of it? I hadn’t until I saw it getting a bunch of attention on Twitter last week (yuup, Twitter is my CNN). It’s an offshoot of Toddlers & Tiaras, which I have only ever seen 10 minutes of, and that was enough. Those fake flipper teeth freak. me. out.
As I read the post, I nodded my head in agreement. How can you not admit that we celebrate and obsess over some pretty stupid shit in our society. As part of this “cesspool of inanity” she mentions Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers & Tiaras, Snooki and Sarah Palin – check, check, check, CHECK.
She points out that among other negative implications, giving attention to these nutjobs can take away opportunities from others more deserving.
And then I found myself making some pretty fuzzy distinctions.
Damn right – I do NOT watch Toddlers & Tiaras. I do however partake in other TLC fare on occasion like Hoarders or Storage Wars. But that’s totally different…right?
I did NOT watch Jersey Shore. At least not the last few seasons. I did however watch the first two, but the cast was unknown, and it was still so new that I watched out of fascination, disbelief and novelty. It’s not like I bought The Situation’s cologne or anything. So that’s different too.
I did NOT support Sarah Palin’s endeavors in any way. No doubt on this one.
Huh. I thought about my other media consumption habits.
I do NOT watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Yet somehow I know that Kourtney had another baby, Kim is dating Kanye and Khloe wants a baby…so I guess I’m keeping up with them somehow.
I do NOT watch Big Brother. But I loves me some Survivor, and I have been known to watch a few episodes of Amazing Race. But the people on those shows are put to the test mentally and physically. Big Brother contestants just sit in a house, eat chips and make out/fight. Very very different.
I did NOT enjoy the last season of The Bachelor. I’m still pissed that he picked that bitch Courtney. But I did enjoy The Bachelorette.
Ahem. So maybe I do feed the beast of inanity a wee bit.
However my pop culture indulgences are far fewer than before I had kids. And I think it’s OK and downright necessary to give yourself a break from reality with some mind-numbing trash every once in a while.
But I realize that since quitting my job, I’m not balancing the scales like I used to. My consumption and knowledge of ‘real’ news has declined almost as quickly as my hygiene.
My job required me to know what was happening in the world. Every morning I read a summary of global headlines. I listened to NPR on the way to the office and I read the news online with regularity.
These days the only thing anyone expects of me is to know what channel the Backyardigans is on, and how to download a new episode of Dora (NOT the Snow Princess one – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHE’S ALREADY SEEN IT!).
But just because no one is paying me to stay informed, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. I do like knowing what the hell is going on in the world and being able to hold a conversation with adults about things other than how my baby’s sleeping or pooping (don’t get me started on the latter – I won’t stop).
So my goal starting today is to wake a tad earlier each morning and ensure I consume some news – and not just via the abyss known as Twitter.
My favorite quote in the post is this one:
- The only way to revive the American Dream, and resuscitate the intelligence of America, is to stop providing oxygen to the stupid.
OK OK I GET IT. I will also cancel our cable TV like I’ve been promising to do. Sheesh.