Adrift in Editorials
As a dedicated reader of editorials and the Viewpoints page I often become quite envious of these more learned writers who always seem to have information available that allows them to come up with new thoughts and ideas that make interesting reading and cause the reader to think.
Some time ago a reading of these pages made me aware of the “uninvited guest” who eats every meal in our homes. It is not unusual to have invited kin eat with us on occasion but to have an uncle who demands a place be set for him at each meal is pushing “kinfolkism” a little too far.
The pushy guy I have reference to here is our dear Uncle Sam who through import restriction as well as his subsidies to dairy and farming industries has his finger on the scales every time we check out at the grocery store.
While I was scandalized by the fact that the major portion of a $12 billion a year farm subsidies goes to the large farmer I cooled off a bit when I learned that this equates to a $60 per year tax increase per family. AND, after thinking it over and doing a little calculation I found that the $12 billion price tag does not seem so outrageous when figuring 3 meals per day for 365 days.
This extra cost amounts to less than three cents per meal for my family and if this is all it takes to keep us living in the best country on earth ....I’ll quit bitching about farm subsidies...I’ll pay the added price and be happy.
I had no sooner written the above when I received the following letter from my old friend Boliver Shagnasty:
Like you I am a chronic reader of the Editorial page of my newspaper, and, just in case it was not carried in your Dallas Morning News I want to tell you about a recent editorial carried in our local paper.
It was written by a fellow who is inclined to believe that many Americans “are drowning in an ocean of stupidity”. Illustrations of stupidity given in the article lends support to his argument that we are, to a large extent, a nation of nitwits.
Checking with Daniel Webster I draw the conclusion that the writer finds many of us to be lacking normal intelligence or understanding and that we are slow-witted, dull and boring.
If, at first thought, this criticism seems far too harsh for we Americans to swallow then one must, in all honesty, consider the evidence presented. And, in doing so one might well agree that to a great extent he is right. Should you think this statement to be farfetched the following statistics gathered in different polls clearly indicate that we appear to be adrift in a deep sea of feeblemindedness here in this country of ours where:
60% of Americans cannot name the president who ordered the nuclear bomb dropped on Japan;
35% didn’t know where the first bomb was dropped;
and 22% knew little or nothing about an atomic bomb attack.
Where television and motion picture executives have practically put pornographers out of business by stealing their product and showing it in living rooms and movie houses.
Radio talk-show hosts, contemptuous of facts and caring less about the truth, spew venom, and are cheered by mindless listeners all across the country.
Where tens of millions tune in each day to television shows to watch such things as: “Teen age boys who claim to have slept with many girls”; “Virgins tell about the men who they hope will take their virginity”and “People who embarrass their spouses in public”. The sad part of this is that the networks are selling this type of mishmash to unthinking people who look upon it as entertainment!
The writer then exposes the fact that some African-American students cannot pull themselves from the quicksand of self-defense, and, unable to see the real world, further express their ignorance by ridiculing fellow blacks who take study seriously. Accusing those having the desire to study and acquire knowledge of “acting white”.
The writer ends this article by saying: “Americans who willingly swim in a sea of ignorance can blame themselves when the quality of their lives deteriorates - and, if ignorance is bliss, we must be a deliriously happy lot.”
I thought perhaps you would enjoy this one and would appreciate the fact that it was written by an Afro-American who writes for the New York Times.
Funny isn’t it how often things happen in threes, for after finishing with Shag’s letter an article written by Ann Melvin in the Dallas Morning News some years ago came to mind. In this article she tells how we, as a nation, are “fouling our nests with talk shows”.
Ann didn’t pull any punches. She calls a spade a spade and says that those who “sleep with pigs get up dirty.” She then agrees with the writer in Shag’s letter by saying “every day millions of Americans rise, soiled in mind and spirit, from the great American wallow known as the talk show.”
She warns that chronic TV watching soils the mind and therefore we should be aware of the fact that we could be sleeping with pigs. Taking the entire entertainment industry as a whole she says it “shows us an increasingly violent and morally bankrupt picture of America”.
She ends her article by asking “Are you surprised at this picture?” Then adds that we should not be because “A pig wallow is a pig wallow. Always has been. Always will be.”
I am sending Shagnasty a copy of this editorial...he will love it.
I want to express my thanks to the two people who have enjoyed reading “Mostly Memories” enough to tell me so by e-mail. Hardly seems worth going to all that trouble to write for just two people, and, if it wasn‘t for that third person who enjoys reading my writing I would quit writing altogether. Now who is that person who says if you were to quit writing I would have nothing to read? None other than myself—you see I forget so quickly what I have written that when my article finally does appear in the paper it is like a new article to me—thus I like to read my own writing.
But hey wait just a dang minute, a fourth reader has just written in response to my column about Eddie.Arnold’s song “I wish I had a nickel”.This writer says Bode, don’t forget another line to that same song that goes like this:
If you were a horse fly and I an old gray mare
I’d stand and let you bite me and never move a hair.