15
   

Anti-intellectualism in Middle America.

 
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 09:51 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
People in the cave will use a bunch of big words as if to say to the other people in the cave ;

"I am out of the cave, can't you hear the way I talk. You can't understand my big words bacause you are stuck in the cave but i'm not, I know big words."

When in reality Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn passed them up and out of the cave a long time ago.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 09:55 am
@Amigo,
good to see you posting again
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 09:56 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Yes, that's the author. I had the Bill but couldn't remember the Bryson, and wasn't in a mood to google.
I remember liking his Appalachian Trail book, but was near enraged at the Iowa one.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 09:59 am
@Setanta,
Really?
Maybe England just isn't that interesting Very Happy
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:00 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I remember liking his Appalachian Trail book, but was near enraged at the Iowa o


What enraged you so much? x
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:01 am
@Amigo,
Quote:
People in the cave will use a bunch of big words as if to say to the other people in the cave ;

"I am out of the cave, can't you hear the way I talk. You can't understand my big words bacause you are stuck in the cave but i'm not, I know big words."

When in reality Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn passed them up and out of the cave a long time ago.


Yeah, I get it.
Although I know nothing of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. In what respects were they 'out the cave?'
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:03 am
@H2O MAN,
Quote:

The path to Socialism in America's heartland, as well as the rest of this country has been paved by government schools.

This "dumbing down" of America's youth over the past few decades has resulted in the "Dumbmasses" we deal with today.
The Dumbmasses voted for and blindly support Obama and without thought, just as they were taught to do in government schools.
When it comes to making real life decisions in... few young Americans are capable of using common sense and logic.


That's still not much of an explanation.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:03 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Well, the seedier side of driving around England wasn't that interesting to me. I think it was one of those "you had to be there" kind of things--to those familiar with the country, all the jokes about bad directions, impossible road interchanges and shabby accommodations might have resonated. I think the equivalent in terms of driving on state highways in the U.S., staying a cheap motels and eating in diners might be just about as thrilling for the English.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:08 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Quote:

The path to Socialism in America's heartland, as well as the rest of this country has been paved by government schools.

This "dumbing down" of America's youth over the past few decades has resulted in the "Dumbmasses" we deal with today.
The Dumbmasses voted for and blindly support Obama and without thought, just as they were taught to do in government schools.
When it comes to making real life decisions in... few young Americans are capable of using common sense and logic.


That's still not much of an explanation.


You seem pretty sharp... I'm sure that you figure it out eventually.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:15 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
It's been a while since I read it and my memory tends to wane, but I'd say a combination of that his trip was a very quick, even slapdash one, filled with what I took to be descriptions of locals written to make them fools and himself, with his distain, somehow funny, and make money from that. Enraged is not quite true, which is why I said near enraged, not so enraged. To use a term I don't know the derivation of but might be midwestern in origin, the book got my goat.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:20 am
@ossobuco,
Adds: I've read a great many travel writers, with a lot of variety in their styles, some very idiosycratic, but this is the only book I remember taking such an issue to.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:40 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I suppose there are many roots for whatever anti intellectualism does exist, anywhere in the world. (Was it Uganda where people who wore glasses were among the first killed? Attacks against the intelligentsia in Russia in the early twentieth century..)


Anyway, what I didn't express here is that even if there is a so called middle america in concept, any anti intellectualism can have complex origins, even for individuals, and among individuals... anything from a need to gain control over "intellectuals" to accrue power, to status resentment, to simple boredom at high falutin' twaddle, and probably many other situations.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:42 am
I think that the most common place for the anti-intellectual meme is in the dialog on religion and public policy.

T
K
O
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:47 am
@Diest TKO,
I see your point/take it, but I think anti-intellectualism can also exist in folks with no religious or political agenda per se, my point being that anti-i'ism isn't monolithic.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:49 am
@Setanta,
I tried as well. Tedious.
I can't understand what people see in him as an author.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:50 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
Well no doubt I shall be touring the USA at some point within the next 10 years, and yes I would want to see all of America.


got 40 or 50 years to book?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:51 am
@georgeob1,
Interesting post from someone I see as a prototypical American intellectual (particularly when he posts about political and social issues).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:51 am
@ehBeth,
Maybe she just means the lower 48 . . .
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:53 am
To jump back a page or so....,

I believe the ideas and impressi0ns associated with "Middle America" go back much farther than Reagan or Nixon. Certainly the novels of Sinclair Lewis, written mostly in the 1920s and 1930s clearly evoke most of the contemptuous attitudes of the self-appointed intellectual establishment towards the largely self-taught and commercially oriented farmers and business people mostly in the (then booming) midwest. The title character from his novel "Babbit" was an icon for the type. Lewis himself was from the midwest, but he identified himself with the "Progressive" political movement in American politics - something that began very early in the century (or before). Such things become conflated and entangled in the real world. Indeed the character George Babbit in the novel imagined himself to be thoroughly progressive figure, though Lewis is careful to illustrate his misguided inadequacies.

I agree with Setanta as to the generally superficial harmlessness of many academic types. However, I'm sure he will agree that the university establishment in this country exerts huge influences on the country - most good and beneficial. However, despite enormous contributions in the areas of science and mathematics, its track record in other areas, particularly politics and the social "sciences" is decidedly mixed, and remains controversial.

There are statistically detectable political, economic and other distinctions between the eastern & western coastal regions and the interior of this country. Like all the other factors noted here, references to them are, at best, sweeping and often inaccurate generalities.
Diest TKO
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:54 am
@ossobuco,
I'm just saying it's common there, not unique.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
 

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