Monday, February 26, 2007

Grade 5 Intelligence

This is a hit & run blog, but it's just too good to pass up.
On Tuesday, will start a new game show. "Are You Smarter than a Grade 5?" or something like this. I know I haven't got it right, nor do I care.  The show, as the title describes in earnest, will be about grown people being asked questions straight out of a grade-5 text book.
Laughs at general populace ignorance will surely abound. Although it probably won’t be quite as asinine as the screening interviews for the next American Idol. In any case, it promises to make one feel much better about him or her-self, at watching someone of, obviously, dubious intelligence.

But is it really quite so obvious?

I’m not going out of my way to watch this new show. The reason is simple: it will be depressing. There’s just no way around it.

Let’s say our contestant knows none of the answers and merits the dunce cap and 10 minutes of humiliation. What does this mean?

I want to break it down an extra level to illustrate the point: let’s assume for a minute that our contestant isn’t some rube but is, in fact, a nuclear scientist - fat chance, but let’s just say – this means one thing: that grade-5 subject matter is, in effect, totally useless to our scientist type.

Let’s take the rube now: would having grade-5 knowledge change anything to his or her life? Maybe, but if the nuclear scientist is anything to go off of, I doubt it. Go figure.

Now let’s see, if the contestant does answer all or a majority of the questions correctly: This demonstrates great memory on the part of our contestant, or maybe it just so happens that this grade-5 knowledge is used daily life, or at least often enough to warrant remembering.

This is almost hopeful, inasmuch as our current grade-5 educational programming is not totally useless to life at hand. Almost.

Our contestant will then proceed to win gagillions* of dollars and the respect of a nation of Nielsen viewers.

And for what? For the grasp of grade-5 subject matter?  

High praise indeed!

Like I said, depressing.

*gagillions: pronounced “gag” …


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