Straight No Chaser: These United States

By Desi Cortez, BASN Columnist
Updated: June 3, 2010

Normal 0 //

DENVER (BASN) — So next time you find yourself in the middle of a conversation, be it chewing-the-fat with the butcher, baker or computer-chip maker and somebody goes down the “Dumbass Street” – comments are made along the lines of “the masses are asses, or, “this is a nation of dumbasses,” or “the dumb-downed masses . . . ” don’t nobody even think about trying to debate this accusation , because, it is a fact.

Almost two-thirds of Americans cannot name any members of the U.S. Supreme Court . . . only 35 percent of Americans can name even one member of the nation’s highest court.

Clarence Thomas is the most well known justice but could be named by only 19 percent of Americans.

Justice John Roberts was named by 16 percent of people. Sonia Sotomayor, Chief the newest justice, could be named by only 15 percent of Americans following a highly visible nomination and confirmation process last year . . . end of the debate

This is, according to a new national survey by, regarded by the media gods as the most popular legal information website.

I’d wager more Americans can name at least one player who participated in the last Super Bowl or the current NBA Finals . . . Might I suggest – this is the seldom played flip-side of the long playing album called These United States of America . . . all this freedom n’ liberty appears to be horrifically wasted on dumb-asses. US citizens, of all shapes, sizes n’ colors, who don’t know enough – to give a damn.

America . . . a nation composed of individuals critically lacking in both common sense and intellectual curiosity.

No, the vast over-whelming majority of this nation’s citizenry can’t name any judges on the Supreme Court, but, alas these asses can name one of the three original “Supremes” – Motown that is, Hitsville USA. They can also tell you who was the New York Jets quarterback in 1968, and at least one or two members of the original Temptations and Beatles, the Jackson 5, the Stones and the Osmonds.

Crap that matters.

I can’t say with conviction this lack of critical knowledge is because we are inherently a dumb, uneducated country, but clearly, we’re not interested in the important issues discussed at the “big table” this Fourth of July. Many argue, and I’m one, this is not by happenstance, but by strategic design.

Dumb people are easier to pimp and exploit. Smart, enlightened, educated, curious-minded people are harder to manipulate then dumb people. Dumb folks are content with circus n’ bread . . .

NFL and Hot-Wings, throw in a little beer, malt liquor, pharmaceutical nurse-clad Mary Jane, wine, women, songs, sex, drugs . . . hillbilly heroin, crack, rock n’roll, gangsta/pimp rap – yeah, it’s easier to steal.

The 77 grand question; why are we, as US citizen, not as concerned about the people who ultimately rule over us . . . as we are those who merely entertain us?

My thought – most folks calculate that they completely understand sports, dancing, singing . . . we “get” what the rules are, the standards and values – we know who can sing n’ dance. Almost everyone can have an opinion in regards to who should get kicked off the island or out of the penthouse.

We know what it takes to be all-pro, all-league, all-state. We can quickly compare/contrast one athletic/dance performance from another. . . .

However, we don’t understand economics – business strategy, Wall Street or the politics inter-woven throughout it all.

Most Americans can’t decipher the business section of USA Today – we don’t, as individuals, have the wide-spread interest to gain a solid knowledge of the social sciences – to grasp the simplicities of broad-ranging, all-encompassing politics . . . and I’d argue . . . we’re not suppose to.

That type of knowledge would make it difficult for the top 5% to fleece the bottom 95% via such simplistic financial tools as home and auto loans.

Yet somehow, being academic underachievers, unable to pass a 300 level psychology or sociology course – we Americans believe we’ve amassed a ton of “in-life” expertise, surely enough to determine if a young brainless bimbo ought marry bachelor No. 7 or Bachelor No. 22 . . .

This comes from a nation where more then half of all marriages end in divorce, and over half of all marriages endure an affair . . . known or unknown . . . so I question our yearning to sit in front of the TV and weigh n’ measure other folks short-comings and offer expert advice to one another on life.

I bet you – 65% of Americans can’t name the planets in our solar system, let-alone in order, hell, 65% don’t know we live in the Milky Way – they think it’s a ride at Disneyland they named the candy bar after . . . . 65% of US citizens.

I know, can’t tell you what state the Grand Canyon is located in, or where Death Valley is located. 2/3rds don’t know who Teddy’s Rough Riders were or what Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airman or Rosey’s Riveters were.

Well over half this nation, 65% at least I bet – couldn’t tell you a damn thing about the RMS Titanic or Malcolm X . . . until the movies came out.

That says it all, no? We are a nation of “Know-not-a-damn-thing” people. And, if n’ when we do know something – it ain’t about nothin’.

Apparently, obviously our parents and grand parents did not plant enough seeds of curiosity. Perhaps our imaginations were denied over the last few decades, and instead the focus became about “practicability,” financial realities – “get yours”, get all you can, screw the whole Nobel idea of living a noble life, having a job or career which is regarded as a noble endeavor – just sell widgets for a greater profit year after year after year, after . . . .

This ” go-along to get along” climate, the current US landscape – is as the aristocrats, fat-cats and elites – the investor/ownership class would have it. It’s simply easier to steal, to loot n’ pillage, to maximize profits by employing any and all means on-hand . . .

when the people are permanently distracted by the Greatest Loser.

People so, so distracted . . . they can’t see their country is crumbling, their elected civil servants are waging war – around the globe .

. . in the name of every Earl n’ Pearl Everyday-American.

The average Wilma n’ Betty aren’t bright enough to recognize unbridled capitalism when it’s bending them over, repeatedly, without a viable lubricant. . . . and that’s by design.

Ponder this baby, our individual ignorance, our willingness to “not know” allowed Little Dick Cheney to loosen already loose laws regarding the Texas Tea industry . . . we didn’t care enough to ask this six-time draft-dodging Baron of Haliberton, exactly whom was he pow-wowing with behind closed White House doors . . . setting the price of petrol, coal, wind, air, water, black gold . . . . allowing these wanna be Jed Clampetts to deepen their already deep pockets and wells – even deeper beneath the ocean floor . . . despite not knowing they didn’t really know what-in-the-aquatic-hell they were doing.

We, as the little people allowed our elected officials to “look the other way,” the exact way corporatist were paying them to look. We accepted the corporate press betraying our own best interest, the interest of 95% of this country’s population – to appease and please their corporate owners.

The press, the eye’s n’ ears of the people, turned a deaf- ear and a blind-eye to Big George W.’s bloody little war, his dad’s role in Iran-Contra-Compton-Crack-Gate, as they did to ll of the Ronnie “666” Ray-Gun” era

End of story. The so-called United States of America only works, if everyday people participate – vote, intelligently, check n’ balance the audacious powers that be, and weld that type of people power in an enlighten responsible manner.

Let’s take this to it’s roots; America is a nation where most of it’s population does not value a formal education. Now, they do value money. Money is God, God is money.

In America, from Main Street, to Back Street to Wall Street . .

. life ain’t nothin’ but bitches n’ money. Few go to college in search of personal enlightenment, expanding horizons, acquiring more knowledge, discovering the more you know . . . the more you really know – you don’t know . . . .

No, far, far too many Americans go to medical school, grad and law school in-order to live in a certain type of neighborhood, wheel a certain type of over-sized SUV, done name brand clothes and gear, vacation in all the “right places.”

Seeking knowledge, finishing high school, completing college – is not about academic achievement – fueled by intellectual curiosity. It’s about making money, living a certain life style.

Personal enlightenment was once prised; from the creators of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, to Fredrick Douglass and Malcolm X – most were self-educated men . . .

While some of your biggest fools are your educated ones. The ones who can turn a profit via cu throat tactics but can’t tell you if the Loch Ness Monster lives in Scotland, Africa, Scottsdale Arizona or Mississippi.

Get rich, like Paris Hilton , Jesse James or P.Diddy . . . or die trying. This is the American Way.

History, Political Science, geography, literature, acquiring a broad, vast understanding of the complex world around you – sadly, tragically are viewed today as “not needed, wanted nor valued” by most.

This ignorance of who sits on the highest court in all-the-land indicates an disinterest in thoughts bigger then one’s self – which is, in part the result of . . . a deliberate, diabolical dumbing down of citizens – seen in all classes of US society, spanning the working class, middle class and upper middle classes, the very people who should understand they’ve a vested interest in what goes on in boardrooms from New York To Washington DC. . . . don’t.