Have we become a civilization of idiots?
Recently, whenever I’ve started up a conversation with someone on the financial disaster or the Gulf oil volcano, in an attempt to determine if they have any coherent thoughts on these current situations, I usually get a rather wishy-washy, half-hearted response. Quite often this response sounds more like a worn out cheerleader rooting for a losing team. If I dig a little deeper and try to see if they actually have any independent thought other than some verbatim quote from the mainstream media, the inevitable answer is you know, I don’t know.
This ridiculous phrase has become a staple in the American English language. It is as if our brains have become numb and lazy. Television obviously has a lot to do with it, but there is more, this type of speaking has been with us for years. Yet, now it seems to be getting worse. We are barely able to put together a sentence without using I mean, just, like, or you know. Add I don’t know to it and you have a fully inane conversation. We are hardly even aware of the absurdity as we nod in agreement to someone else spewing out the same babble. I mean it’s just like, you know, I don’t know.
This is the same response I get if I ask about the housing crisis, or climate change, or any of the thousand other issues that now seem to face us like an epic tsunami. It seems that we have reached a stage where we are unable to compute the myriad of conflicting data so our brains seize up and we spew out you know, I don’t know. Perhaps we though that Prince Obama, riding his horse of hope to the rescue, was going to save us. That delusion has all but dried up now, and we are faced with a reality we don’t want to look at.
Time to wake up!
Change has arrived at our doorstep and Upheaval may not be far behind. The question we need to be asking ourselves has to do with how we are going to react and adapt to these changes. Are we going to remain distracted by our cute little technological gizmos? Are we going to continue to eat chemically laden, processed food? Are we going to sit back and watch everything unfold in slow motion on our plasma screens?
Or are we going to wake up, unplug and start getting ourselves together, learning sustainable skills, growing our own food, and building communities that can weather the difficulties ahead?
The answer, inevitably, is just like, I mean, you know, I don’t know.