The Dumbest Generation


There was this rant the other day on NPR from some snot nosed kid whining about what a bunch of losers Baby Boomers are and how they dropped the ball. Nothing new, the same old Your Day is Over and Our Day is Just Beginning crap that every generation delivers at some point to the generation preceding it. The world will be a perfect place when all these old bastards are dead. But a funny thing happens, a whole new crop of old bastards shows up and takes their place. Only to be told by the new kids how much they suck and how much better the world will be when they are dead.

The Dumbest Generation takes the other view of things. It’s not the old bastards you have to worry about, its the idiot kids under thirty. The Dumbest Generation tells the story of kids who never want to grown up. They live at home until they are thirty, have multiple sex partners and multiple jobs, and they spend their spare time on Myspace and Facebook-that is they waste their time on social networks.

The real problem isn’t that these kids are all idiots, which most of them seem to be judging from the mountains of data recounted in The Dumbest Generation, but that all previous generations look at them and say gee, how did we miss out? No one wants to work for a living. No one wants to have settle for a dull life when one of endless adventure is there for the taking. So instead of being told to get off their lazy asses-we all try to figure out how to do the same things ourselves. Ok, not totally true. The Dumbest Generation is not about slacker envy. It’s about a world where morons hold the keys and run the shop-if they can it. A world just a few years down the road from now.

In standard blogger fashion I didn’t actually read The Dumbest Generation. The countless statistics and studies quoted left my head spinning. Suffice to say they all point to the fact kids are dumber and more determined to remain dumb than they have ever been before. Anyone who spends any time on a high school campus could have told you that without having to do a study. Again, there is not so much a feeling of kids today get away with murder, as there is a feeling of why did I have to wear shoes and long pants? Kids wear whatever they want and do whatever they want. And when someone tries to impose even the smallest dress code there are literal riots in the streets. As long they’re fighting for something important like studded belts.

Does fashion have anything to do with intelligence? Hard to say, but you sure look less intelligent with a shaved head and tattoos on all visible skin. Before I am lynched by erudite conclaves of the Pierced and Tattooed Mensa-ites of America, I tend to like tattoos and piercings. I also tend to think that most scientists are more old school like Ducky and less like punk rock like Abby on NCIS.

In my own totally unscientific survey I have found that most people don’t know the significance of 1066 or what animals Hannibal took over the Alps-let alone what battles where involved. The Dumbest Generation says that most kids can’t name the Three Branches of Government-and it has been a while since Schoolhouse Rock was on all the time.

The interesting bit is not people under under thirty are stupid, implying they can’t learn, but they are ignorant, meaning they don’t want to learn. More to the point, they don’t want to learn stuff that they don’t think is important-such as the three branches of Government or who the Secretary of State is. I don’t spell well myself, but I have a spell checking that works pretty well most of the time. I tend to Google just about anything I have a question about, so why should I carry around any more useless info in my head? The Dumbest Generation addresses this issue, but still maintains that real learning that involves using the brain and not the internet is more important.

I was never a big fan of school and did a lot of serious learning on my own once I graduated. But I had all the basic stuff already in place-my public school education was a pretty solid one. There was a lot of total crap as well, but you never know what you will actually use in life until you need it. Hence that whole idea of a well rounded education.

But Modern Education has followed the long tail down to it’s logical conclusion that each student should study what they want to study. After all the kid who made Facebook is bleeding rich even if the people using it are all idiots. And yes, I do have a Facebook account, but I’m not under thirty.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in book review, book smarts, dumbest generation, intelligence
6 comments on “The Dumbest Generation
  1. OUTOFTHEPINKSKY says:

    And likewise, this book sounds like same old crap that every older generation delivers at some point to the generation succeeding it. Interestingly, my parents have stated that it was their generation that did, in fact, drop the ball…and they’re in their 60s.

  2. DESCARTES says:

    I think we safely lay all the blame for all the world’s problems on the Victorians-if we hadn’t had that pesky industrial revolution everything would be fine.

  3. JJJPPP43 says:

    Ultimately, the spoiled brats will have to compete.

    My daughter gets a 3.3 in high school but I knew more historical facts than she does when I was 8.
    She squeaks a B in hard classes because slackers don’t do homework, and they hand her A’s like candy in the easy (non-college prep) classes.

    Going back to grade school, I told her that she’ll not only be competing against the lazy asses in her school, but against diligent students in other countries if she wants a profession, but she didn’t listen.

    So when she didn’t do her work, I took her freedoms (phone, computer, TV, visiting friends, etc), she cried, I ridiculed her spoiled sense of entitlement, her mother defended her, called me a crazy tyrant, I called her an appeaser and an emotionalist, and after a few years of that, we got sick of each other’s opposite parenting philosophies and got divorced over that alone.

    Now when I take custody, I still demand she study or work a reasonable amount of time on my watch, or she can sign a transfer over to her mother for that day, as long as her mother agrees and that she explicitly explains the reason, which is that she refuses to do required work. Sometimes she signs out, sometimes she does the work.

    I told her that I will not help her one cent for college unless she earns passing grades in a challenging program. She is finally seeing that she will have to compete, without my help, so recently her work has improved.

    This is the kind of tough love parents must deliver to get the message across. You have to demand accountability and performance, and remove freedoms if they do not do the work, and do not support them if they do not challenge themselves in college. I chose parenting over appeasement, and I hope she appreciates that someday.

  4. DESCARTES says:

    Not all parents are bad and not all kids are slackers. It is good hear that you want your child to grow up and take the job of parenting seriously.

  5. FANNY PRICE says:

    As a 24-year-old who is a product of the U.S. public school system, I can safely say I learned crap in high school. Most of the days consisted of teachers putting on a somewhat educational movie (Apollo 13, anyone?) or have us read magazine articles. If I wanted to learn anything substantial, I had to do it on my own. It sucked! And I went to a pretty nice upper-middle class high school.

    And because of it, I feel most of my fellow h.s. graduates have become plastic idiots. Since they didn’t learn anything in school, they focused their attention on other things: celebrity gossip, partying, etc. They could tell you the exact birth dates of Brangelina’s children but they couldn’t tell you when the Civil War happened.

    So while I sadly agree most of my generation (and the ones after me) are lacking in knowledge or desire to learn, maybe it has something to do with the school system as well…just a thought.

  6. DESCARTES says:

    It seems that there was a good deal about how it is mostly the School System that is at fault. The Dumbest Generation talked about many topics and key among them was that schools are letting people graduate without an education.

    Teachers can’t force anyone to learn if they don’t want to-and how smart were they? They ended up being teachers.

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