I woke up this morning, shaved the fur off my tongue and prepared for another exciting day of dealing with the enlightened and educated masses. That would be you, just in case you missed the memo. Fortunately for you, the rest of the world still provides me with plenty of raw material. For example, the nice people at Pawn Stars have put an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile up for sale and, according to AOL News, have found a retired Israeli officer who wants to buy it. It seems he has a collection he shows to kids.
“Look Mommy! Arye has a new weapon! Can we go play!”
“Okay, sure, but stay away from the arming mechanisms.”
Yeah. What could possibly go wrong?
In other news, the town of Bennington, Vermont is being terrorized by a squirrel. Just one. It’s gray. People live in fear.
Memo to self, avoid contact with anyone from Bennington, Vermont.
But, the article that struck fear into my heart and sent shivers down my spine was the one that proved, finally and for all time, that the bar has been set so low for education that children have no hope. And since children are our future, the future is doomed.
Ben Muessig has the whole, sad, story.
Students who blew off studying for the SAT may have Snooki to thank when their acceptance letters arrive this spring.
On the March 12 college admissions exam, students were asked to write an essay about reality TV and the concept of authenticity, leaving nervous teens to wonder whether Lauren Conrad is as good of a source as Joseph Conrad.
“Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled,” the prompt begins, according to The New York Times.
The question alludes to shows like “American Idol” and “The Biggest Loser” before asking, “How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?”
After the exam, concerned students took to the Internet to discuss the nuances of the question in a lengthy thread on the website CollegeConfidential.com.
“I’ve never gotten such a ridiculous essay question. Hope they are lenient about it?” wrote one commenter. “Nothing would go through my head since I don’t watch reality shows. … I only vaguely know ‘Jersey Shore’ and its controversy with Italian-Americans so I chose that.”
Many students were surprised to find themselves citing TV stars like Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi or Kim Kardashian instead of writers and historical figures.
“I never thought the Kardashians would play a role in my SAT essay, but I wrote how the Kardashians create the impression that one can be rewarded financially for doing nothing, whereas some of the most successful Americans came to this country with nothing and only saw results after years of hard work,” another student wrote.
Others seemed relieved to be answering a question that was seemingly tailored for their TV diet.
“Dude, I thought the essay prompt was beauuuutiful,” another commenter noted. “But I didn’t write about ‘Jersey Shore’ because I don’t have anything bad to say about that show. Yes, you did read that correctly. … I bashed ‘The Real World’ instead. Overall, I’m not sure how my essay went, but I did use nice vocabulary and structure.”
Angela Garcia, executive director of the SAT program, told the Times the question was designed to be relevant and engaging for high school students.
“The primary goal of the essay prompt is to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their writing skills,” she said. “It’s really about pop culture as a reference point that they would certainly have an opinion on.”
When I was a kid TV time was very limited. There’s no way in h e double toothpicks that I’d ever have been allowed to watch something so vacuous. Another thing that catches my attention is that all reality TV shows, except for Real Housewives of Wherever, are geared towards very white audiences.
I’m talking painfully pale here. How kids who haven’t grown up in a traditionally dysfunctional suburban family are supposed to know about these shows is beyond me.
Of course, the fact that the SATs are racist has been known for years. When I was a kid there were questions yanked off that had to do with Thanksgiving preparations. Why? Because fully 1/3 of the nation didn’t celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving. They had no clue how to answer those questions and their scores reflected it.
But, even given all their previous foibles, they never sunk as low as they have now.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!