Brain over brawn preferable
I had a conversation with a fellow swimmer at the Y about the Live Wire. Yes, that much-maligned Corydon Democrat staple that is right over there, on the facing page. He loved it and thought the anonymous people who call in are funny with their ridiculous ‘ sometimes ‘ comments and often poor grammar. ‘That’s the first thing I read,’ is a typical comment when discussing The Corydon Democrat. This is usually followed by the same head shake and chuckle you get when someone says, ‘Those kids … ‘ I hear that enough to make me wonder about all of us and not just those few who rant recorded messages over the phone.
As you might suspect, I am not a proponent of the Live Wire. It is tacky and counterproductive to what I consider good journalism. It’s easy to venture forward with an opinion when your name is not attached. However, if I continue this attack on our beloved Live Wire ‘ with my picture along for the ride, too ‘ I run the risk of being called something a lot worse than liberal. I may venture into the deepest dark of oblivion that is the locale of that suspect group now being pilloried. I may be labeled an elitist.
The word elite ‘ I hope I am not being elitist by discussing a definition ‘ used to mean the following: a select group of people with personally outstanding abilities, intellect, wealth, experience or other distinctive attributes. However, in today’s jargon, the word elite has come to connotate anyone who acts as if they are looking down from a highly educated pedestal. At least that’s the meaning as seen from the base of that pedestal looking up. An intellectual snob, so to speak. Ouch.
In case you haven’t noticed, it is not cool to be knowledgeable or well read while in the public eye. Make any statement along the lines of ‘We need to have honest dialogues with rogue countries before we bomb them to kingdom come’ and you are labeled craven and a fool with your head in clouds of denial. If you can’t join ’em, then call ’em names and make fun of them. When did brawn over brain become the accepted norm? Ever since we decided that understanding our enemies was just too much trouble. Diplomacy takes some thought, even real contemplation coupled with background info that is, like, you know, uh, hard.
Our television shows celebrate, laugh at and promote the uneducated. It’s good to be uninformed. During the primary Iditarod, we all heard these kind of comments. ‘Who’s Ron Paul?’ (The most popular candidate on the Internet whom the media ignores.) ‘Who’s Bill Richardson?’ (My first choice on the early Democratic side.) ‘What’s a superdelegate?’ (It took me weeks to sort that one out.)
No embarrassment ever follows an announcement of ignorance these days. We are all so used to being patted on the back about our failures and soothingly placated while hearing, ‘It’s OK. We know you don’t mean to be completely out of it.’ There was a three tour of duty soldier in Iraq who couldn’t find it on the map, and he didn’t seem to think that was odd.
Take George W. Bush, for example. Please do. A president with no oratorical skills. The supreme politician of our land who can’t express himself adequately. I find that embarrassing. McCain and Clinton are pandering to that same constituency with condescending rhetoric and getting kudos, while Obama’s oratory is belittled as his only talent. Sure, he can talk but where does that get you? Maybe head of the Harvard Law Review, thank you very much.
This war of the knowing and the unknowing, or the haves and have nots, is aided and abetted by the media. As I began above citing our own local pandering, the Live Wire, clear up to the top headline on Reuters concerning Angelina Jolie being pregnant with twins, we are not being served by those who read and write. We should expect more from them and ourselves.
Here is what an Aztec codex (book) circa 1524 Vatican Archives, had to say about all this:
Those who read, those who tell us what they read,
Those who noisily turn the pages of their books,
Those who have power over red and black ink,
And over pictures,
Those are the ones who lead us, guide us, show us the way.