Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Common Sense

Oprah recently went off the air but in her wake she left a few cancerous nodules on the lower intestine of television programming. The four horsemen of the apocalypse Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray and that dolt who does interior design. These four aren't the entirety of all of the problems on planet earth but they represent a great portion of them.  Worse, they appeal to an ever growing segment of the community known as idiots.

When did common sense become a commodity? When did we as a people need guidance on how to perform the basic and obvious in our lives? Your instinct may be to defend these people but Stop! that is your idiot self talking. The idiot self enjoys the appearance of thinking without actually doing it. The idiot self likes to nod its head in recognition. The idiot likes a happy, moral ending. The idiot is paranoid, frightened and awaiting instruction.  The idiot trusts every nugget of "wisdom" that gets dropped into their ear holes.

You dear reader are not an idiot. In fact, you have made the intelligent choice to read this and you have proved your intelligence by understanding what I am saying.  There is no sane reason to toss your money toward the mediocre. Even Oprah's "Favorite Things" is not an excuse to delve into the sea of stupidity. When was the last time you watched a  t.v. show that taught you how to make instant coffee? When was the last time you took instruction on how to comb your hair, peel an orange or pick up dog excrement from a curbside clump of crab grass?

The continent is being served common sense masquerading as intelligent, useful information.  By stating the obvious people can easily agree with you and feel good about themselves. Stating the obvious helps others feel capable and knowing. It reassures people, it makes them feel like they are making the right decisions about their lives.

The problem that arises from all of this is that it over inflates what our perception of intelligence actually is. Knowing what to do should not be regarded as a skill.  Moreover, the ability to accurately view a situation does not make you a "life expert."  Indulging these people no matter how innocent the indulgence may seem is to elevate them to a position of authority which they clearly have not earned. Once people have the spotlight and begin to make money we start to admire them. We begin to adopt their behaviors and recommendations because we want to be rich and admired too.

This vicious pattern spirals out into a multitude of small claims court shows and swift justice with Nancy Grace. Maury Povich has reignited his career from spouting a few platitudes in between reading DNA results. The entire human experience cannot be rendered down to "Is it working for you?" The ability to recognize yourself in any situation is your primary objective not a level of awareness to aspire to. The subtleties of life and relationships cannot always be solved by taking a "long hard look in the mirror." Sometimes effort is required. Every once in a while a dedicated, conscious attempt to recognize and change your behavior over time is necessary. Everything in life does not have an easy answer  and if you think it does, you probably aren't really living.


  1. If I listen to you, will I be rich and admired? 'Cause I'd like that.
    Well said. (You, not me).

  2. very well said. if dr. phil is a fucking doctor, then i'm captain america.

  3. Great post. Not only did I enjoy the content it gave me a great idea to write Nancy Grace letter.

  4. Oprah's gone? Seriously? Oh how will the general public breathe? Did she ever talk about that? How will people live without her winsome smile, daunting, hairy and audacious give-aways, and her freaking, filthy wealth? She's gone? for good?
    Maybe this time, she'll be gone to give her viewing public enough time to grow a brain. Great post!