It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Friday, June 01, 2007

"Hitler, North Dakota?"

Some people will tell you that the gravest threat to our national security is terrorism. Others might say that it's global warming. It occurs to me that a threat far more insidious is the way we Americans have been broadcasting our ignorance across the planet.

Last night I wept for my country when I came across the show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? on...surprise: Fox Network (hey, they know their demographics). The show is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, who comes off as a slightly more charming and articulate George W. Bush; and it is a nightmare.

First of all, it is slow: it took ten minutes to get through three questions designed for second- and third-graders. I don't know who the person was who came up with the whole "How do you keep a Polack in suspense?" angle that shows such as this one, Deal or No Deal, and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? are modeled on, but he needs to be Guantanamoed.

Second, it is frustrating and sad. Watching grown men and women expend and enormous amount of mental energy trying to divine the answer to questions such as "What ocean touches the coast of France?" and "What man was Commander-in-Chief of the Army during the U.S. Revolutionary War?" was, to be frank, depressing.

And in times such as these, do we really need another recruiting tool for al Queda?...what would you think if you were some poor schlub in a mud hut in Afghanistan witnessing Americans getting paid more money that you'll see in a lifetime merely for possessing the intellect of a ten year old?

It's enough to make poor old Frank Grimes spin in his paupers grave. I just have one question: when are they going to start giving me money for locking my keys in the car, talking on my phone while driving, or forgetting the password for my email account?

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