In seeking out what's responsible for the degeneration of American culture over the last 70 years, one finds many culprits to choose from. Pro wrestling, Joe McCarthy, cage fighting, Richard Nixon, Ayn Rand, country music, Milton Friedman, Texas, charter schools, Donald Trump, punk rock, Henry Kissinger, a congress of anti-social misfits, Clint Eastwood, Richard Nixon, and Dick Cheney all come readily to mind, among many other things! But of all the insults of an essentially injurious age, perhaps the worst is our vast array of "TV personalities."
Like many people I only use television to watch movies now, and have for decades. The reason is primarily these supposed human beings who are thrust on us by television networks night and day, week after week, year after year - people who in a sane world could only appear before the public in mug-shots, or in the case notes of baffled psychiatrists. Yet they are, to a very great degree, the people who set the tone of the era. American culture used to be created by the people themselves, but in our media obsessed age, through their incessant domination of communication, TV personalities largely create our culture - if you could still call it a culture.
I'll start with a single example, Joan Rivers! How in God's name did such an obnoxious, caterwauling, pea-brained, tattling, twit find her way onto national television? Did her agent make some station manager an offer he couldn't refuse?
It would be one thing, of course, if she was an exception, but just FORGETABOUTIT!!!
Let's have a look at a few of the wonderful people who've graced our public stage over the last half century. (I'm in my mid-fifties now, so some of these luminaries may be unfamiliar to younger people. If so, they should be deeply grateful!
Let's take another, Willard Scott! Where in hell did they find this simpering, jello-brained, hayseed? Or the film, and theater, critic Gene Shalit! Who lifted the rock? I guess they thought his absurd mutton-chop mustache and his mangrove swamp of hair made him resemble a circus clown, but without the charisma, and that that was a good thing! I can't see any other explanation, because he knew less about film, or any other art form for that matter, than Pavlov's dog! He wasn't a film critic. Like that other odious cream puff, Roger Ebert, he was a cheerleader! Neither of them ever saw a movie they didn't like!
JACKASS 14. . . "A stellar cast give scintillating performances in this never to be forgotten Hollywood classic, blah, blah, blah. . ."
Or take that vain, preening, beetle brained, closet Nazi, Geraldo Rivera. How could he have been hired to clean the bathrooms of television stations, much less to host his own show? And what kind of a society are we likely to have if we let people like that have a national podium from which to confound us with their addled babble? Then there's Regis Philbin, who should have been named, Egregious Filbin, it would have been so much more appropriate!
Even a partial list of such people would be shocking - and no, you can't tell me that someone like Geraldo Rivera is there because of insatiable public demand! I'm not buying it. He's there to facilitate a collective American IQ drop of another five points, because an educated public isn't in the interests of the ultra-rich, who now own this country.
So just for the hell of it let's go ahead and have a look at that partial list: Joan Rivers, Geraldo Rivera, Regis Philbin, Gene Shalit, Willard Scott, Pat Boone, Kaitie Couric, Bob Barker, Ed McMahon, Laurence Welk, Matt Lauer, Maury Povitch, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Al Roker, Andy Williams, Anita Bryant, Kim Kardashian, Howard Stern, Bill O’Reilly, Jay Leno, Barbara Walters, Martha Stewart, Paris Hilton, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Roger Ebert, Jerry Springer, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Sajak. . .
You'd have to hunt far and wide to find people who could cast such a blight on the intelligence and sensibilities of the public! And of course we all know this, we all complain about it. It's a truism. Yet for all the uproarious farce, it's not funny. These people, combined with a relentless attack on public education, have contributed greatly to the decline of American intelligence and moral character in our lifetime. Why do we tolerate it? The excuse, of course, is ratings, and by extension that holy of hollies, profits. But I'm sorry, there simply is no excuse. There is no excuse for allowing such people to turn us into a nation of morons. If we continue to give clowns the podium, they will eventually turn us all into clowns.
Copyright 2018 Brent Hightower