Stupid is as stupid does
(In response to Boomer With Attitude: "Run, Pat, Run!" by John Grooms, Jan. 9) Sorry, Grooms set me off today. He called Kelly Pickler stupid because she claimed she thought Europe was a country.
Point one: she was on a show titled Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? There is a certain amount of play-acting that goes along with being a contestant that's all in good fun to make the show more humorous and entertaining. It's like the Miami Dolphin who told the media that he was relieved to learn he wouldn't need a translator for the NFL game played in London. They are playing to a stereotype, yet liberal elites are eager to credulously accept them at face value because it reinforces their own desires to feel intellectually superior to the unwashed masses.
Point two: Does Grooms appreciate the subtle difference between "intelligence" and "knowledge"? Intelligence is the ability to learn and retain information or solve puzzles and problems. Knowledge is specific information. Quick, how do you drive to Kelly Pickler's house? What do you mean you don't know. Kelly Pickler knows how to drive to her house and you don't. How does it feel to be more stupid than Kelly Pickler? Oh, that's right. Her house's location is a piece of information that you've never had any need or desire to learn. So lacking it doesn't prove you're stupid. European geography is a subject Kelly has never had any need or desire to learn. So lacking it doesn't prove she's stupid, just not interested.
Point three: You think Kelly Pickler is stupid because she's not interested in European geography, and you think she should be interested in it. You think everybody should have a desire to learn about Europe and travel to meet its people. After all, every intelligent person you know is interested in European geography. Here's where you are a hypocrite. You talk a good game about valuing diversity, but when it comes to people's opinions and values, you believe the God of reason has helped you to acquire all of the correct opinions and values, and anyone who disagrees does so because they are just too stupid to realize how superior your opinions and values are. Get over yourself.
Here's a news flash. Six out of 10 people who enter high school do not go to college. They are going to support their families by getting jobs as mechanics, waitresses, truck drivers, cleaners, plumbers and bus drivers, and most of them will never in their lifetimes have the financial means to travel to Europe.
Final point: the latest research says intelligence is 50 to 80 percent hereditary. Further, it doesn't change after adolescence. High schools cannot change or improve a person's intelligence. It just provides the opportunity to learn specific knowledge (English, math, American history, civics) for navigating life in America. High schools used to teach farming when 90 percent of Americans were farmers. There is a perfectly rational reason why they don't waste a lot of time teaching European geography. Over 90 percent of the students will never use it. I'm not saying Europe isn't important. It is. But calculus is important too, and over 90 percent of high school students will never ever use it even if the engineers who build our bridges do.
-- Darin Zimmerman, Charlotte