By Alexander Chuckworth Davis III
There is nothing more telling of our moment in history than the popular entertainment and media that is consumed by the people. Future generations of Americans will look back on our era and judge us by what is on TV. And what is on TV these days? Pure idiocy, that’s what.
Society’s fascination with absurd and superficial Television Programs such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Big Bang Theory accurately represents the cultural dumbing down of America. We are no longer a nation that questions the status quo and pursues greater meanings in life. Instead, we shut off our brains and watch vapid women yell at each other and take selfies on Bravo.
Nowhere more apparent is this empty-headed worshipping of lifeless television apparent than on our own campuses. Many a time have I heard my classmates, who I incorrectly assumed were intellectually curious, talk solely about some mindless television programs for hours on end. Students at the Claremont Colleges would rather watch the “idiot box” than expand their minds by reading a book. Gone are the days when America’s bright students questioned the world they lived in, engaged in intellectual discussions, and knew something other than how many Instagram followers the Kardashians have.
Some of the worst cultural offenders on these campuses are those organizations sponsoring and putting on events surrounding television and film viewing. The student leaders in charge of these organizations are viewed as role models for the student body, and yet, they promote and spread cultural idiocy through their organizations. This disgusts me.
Furthermore, it is horrific to me that our colleges offer a major in Media Studies. I have long thought about what these students could possibly be learning in their degree that would contribute in a meaningful way to our society, and have found no answers. What do media studies students do all day? Watch media that is absent of any shred of culture or intellectual thought? How can one honestly believe that these students learn anything useful in their time here? At one point in time, The Claremont Colleges were considered among the best in the nation. I don’t know if we can still say that, considering the fact that students are allowed to major in a field that is directly increasing our levels of cultural idiocy.
It is an outrage that we as a culture have forgotten what exists beyond the world of television and that our campuses are no different. We are devoid of any sense of cultural importance, tradition, or intellectualism. I encourage my peers to begin to reverse this dangerous value system we place on television by turning their noses up at those who partake in its idiocy. Perhaps we can change this disgusting state of affairs together. And to all those who enjoy the “idiot box”, may I suggest that you read a book?
Alexander Chuckworth Davis III is a first-year philosophy major at Pomona College. He has not watched television in four years and detests the idea of pop-culture. He will, however, make an exception for French cinema, which is the only form of media that has any cultural importance or meaning, in his opinion.