Sunday, September 17, 2006

The dumbing down of America

This is a topic of huge debate among my collegues in the field of education. Many of the veteran teachers are always decrying the "dumbing down" of our classes. Many feel that we have lessened our requirements, made it somehow "easier" for students to pass classes or prepare for standardized tests. This process has made our students less competitive with students from other countries, especially those from Asia - or so the argument goes.

I have seen this weekend that "dumbing down" is bleeding over into other facets of American life. I've watched a LOT of baseball this weekend. The Sox have played four games in two days - two doubleheaders. And I've watched it over a variety of channels - ESPN, YES (the Yankees network), FOX and NESN. I've come to realize that 90% of their broadcasts are geared toward the casual baseball fan, the guy sitting at home on Saturday afternoon surfing the channels. I think that's why those of us who take the game more seriously find these broadcasts so frustrating. We already know all the stories they tell us. We already know about the MVP controversies of the past two years, we already know about the RS injury problems, we already know about what an awesome piece of work Jeter is. We don't need to hear about it yet again.

This became really clear to me last year, my first with satellite tv. I heard all the same stories - most directly out of the RS media guide - by all the announcers throughout the league. It got so irritating that I often would listen to WEEI on gameday audio and watch the video - although that was often crazy, because the radio lags behind the tv. But even though you run the danger of being "truped," you didn't have to listen to another repeat of a story.

My two cents...back to the 4th game!


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