What is stupid is thinking that liking movies is a worthwhile way to be smart.
I believe that this gets to the root of the rot that is eating away at our meritocracy. We have this belief that watching things makes one smarter. However, as recently attested to in this important piece in the Times covering refunds offered by Disney for its Baby Einstein videos, this is not ever so:
“We see it as an acknowledgment by the leading baby video company that baby videos are not educational, and we hope other baby media companies will follow suit by offering refunds,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
You know what they say: What doesn’t work at ten months, doesn’t work any better at thirty years! I think this is a massive concession that media consumption is a poor substitute for actual smarts. Lucky for us, actual smarts is measured by attending an awesome undergraduate institution of higher education — whether small liberal arts college or Ivy League.
This criteria is really what counts as far as whether your bound copy of other people’s To Do Lists gets published or thrown in the trash. This is what counts when editors go looking for strippers — er, burlesque dancers — to write memoirs about the seedy underbelly of something or other. It lets you wear hats that would otherwise be offensively garish, and, most importantly, it really pushes you over that tenuous line between saying something stupid and saying something ironic.
The great thing about the undergraduate degree is that, once procured, it can never be taken away. Thus, no matter how few movies or — yes, pjs — Eagles games you watch, you are always entitled to be heard out and respected. If not, what would be the point of us blogging? So, no Dave. Your smart card will never be revoked. Not now, not ever. So cancel the Netflix account and get to work on those sweaters!
[NDLR: In the interest of other pressing obligations, many hyperlinks have been temporarily left out, feel free to imagine them.]