Pop Lyrics at a grade 2 level and falling

The rise of idiot America has been mainly for profit.

…Ten years ago, the most popular songs read between a third and fourth grade level, but the inanity only increased with time, and after a five-year downward tumble ending in 2014 (the last year of the study), chart-topping hits had a reading level equivalent to second or third grade. Broken into genres, the levels measured just 2.6 for Hip-hop/R&B, a tie of 2.9 for Rock and Pop, and faring best was Country at 3.3 — though declaring a winner in this insipid race to the bottom seems somewhat defeatist. Even further to that point, the most intellectually stimulating song, Blake Shelton’s Country hit “All About Tonight”, measured just 5.8, while wading deeply into the ludicrous was Three Days Grace’s “The Good Life”, at a level equivalent to 0.8 — begging the question, did they have to try to craft lyrics a kindergartner could easily read?…

Source: How Popular Music’s Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy


Michael Bay’s 13 Hours promotes some of the worst Benghazi conspiracy theories – Vox

Comment: A great longish article about Hollywood once again turning a “True Story” into an action adventure flic that plays fast and loose with the facts. There is a difference between a “True Story” and a “Based on a True Story” designation. “True Story” is better for marketing, especially to Americans who see their republic crumbling and are looking for any excuse to wave the flag. -PG.

The movie rewrites the Benghazi attack as a macho fairy tale — and does violence to the truth in the process.

Source: Michael Bay’s 13 Hours promotes some of the worst Benghazi conspiracy theories – Vox

EXCLUSIVE: Rula Jebreal speaks out against Bill Maher and Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “The world is proving you wrong, my friends” – Salon.com


“Bill Maher and Ayaan and I would include Sam Harris, they all do one thing intentionally– and I’m saying intentionally in big letters — they don’t connect radicalization process with policies,” Jebreal continued. “They are literalists devoid of history. There’s no connection to policies, whether it’s local policies, regional policies or international policies. This is one of their biggest flaws.”

Jebreal explained that radical Islamist sects generally arise from bad policies — notably the U.S. invasion of Iraq during the Iraq War. “These people not only don’t see the connection, they are endorsing these kinds of policies,” she said. “Invasions, occupations, torture. Sam Harris said he doesn’t mind that the West would torture in order to extract information. I am horrified by that. Which liberal in the world would endorse torture? I’ve never heard of a liberal that endorsed torture. He thinks that because he’s white and he was born in the West, he is liberal? Then he takes the moral high ground when it comes to Islamist abuse and Islamist killing. I don’t understand.”

“A liberal person is somebody that challenges policies and sees the connection between policies and radicalization. You can’t endorse invasion, you can’t endorse tyrant like [Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi], you can’t endorse torture or occupation, like Bill Maher does and we saw last summer with Gaza and what happened. He would cheer up the killing. Either these people are delusional at a certain point, or they have a washed up version of what liberal means.”

“He’s a tyrant when it comes to this… don’t agree with me, you’re shunned aside and you’re the enemy. I find that horrifying,” Jebreal continued. “It’s not personal because his ideology is becoming as extremist as ever. And it’s so disappointing because he inspired many of us around the world during Iraq because we understood that that war was based on a lie before everybody else and there’s no weapons of mass destruction. We understood that they will destroy Iraq and absolutely the destruction of today is the byproduct of the lies, the deception, manipulation of the media, but above all, of the incompetence that they left behind. Bill understood that and he was an inspiration during that. He was one of the few voices absolutely speaking truth. I don’t know what happened to him. I really don’t know.”

via EXCLUSIVE: Rula Jebreal speaks out against Bill Maher and Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “The world is proving you wrong, my friends” – Salon.com.

Salon’s Patton Oswalt peace summit – Salon.com

Story Link: Salon’s Patton Oswalt peace summit – Salon.com.

Isn’t calling someone a “scold and shusher” being a scold and shusher? Reminds me of that old Woody Allen (or was it Monty Python?) skit where the new secret weapon to destroy the enemy is the world’s funniest joke. It works for awhile but eventually blows back and kills the friendlies – friendly fire. Eventually the joke teller becomes the victim of his own jokes and just looks like a buffoon, or worse. I never heard of Patton Oswalt before reading this. Interesting discussion but I kinda think he overplays the ‘comedy can solve all bullshit eventually’ meme. It’s the “eventually” that bothers me. It’s kind of like saying, “don’t worry if you are lynched by skinheads who don’t like the colour of your skin, we’ll kill them with ridicule as revenge.”

It’s not about being PC, I hate that as much as anyone. Don’t ban words. But, like the racist Oklahoma fraternity school bus chanters, sometimes you have to pay for being assholes with more than just having your ego smashed by a good joke. I don’t know that you can ridicule away that kind of generational racism.

I mean who the hell knew what Bill Cosby was up to all those years? I laughed along with him for decades. Did he tell rape jokes? I don’t remember. Did I laugh? Probably.

Yea parody can be a powerful weapon but it’s not the be-all and end-all in the progressive arsenal. Bill O’Reilly has been ridiculed for more than a decade and his followers are just as stupid and loyal and even more numerous than ever. He also has to be judged by standards of journalistic integrity. Not shushed, but sanctioned. Not scolded, but punished, financially and professionally for disseminating hate, bigotry and violence. It didn’t cost him anything for his Tiller the Killer campaign because, like Patton Oswalt, he defended himself by claiming he was taken out of context…..

Peter Guenther

Continue to article: Salon’s Patton Oswalt peace summit – Salon.com.

David Foster Wallace was right: Irony is ruining our culture

While browsing my archive to review past posts, I came across this and thought It was worth reposting… Peter Guenther

Don't Worry, Be Happy

David Foster Wallace long ago warned about the cultural snark that now defines popular culture. It’s time to listen

David Foster Wallace was right: Irony is ruining our culture David Foster Wallace (Credit: Hachette Book Group)

Percy Shelley famously wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” For Shelley, great art had the potential to make a new world through the depth of its vision and the properties of its creation. Today, Shelley would be laughed out of the room. Lazy cynicism has replaced thoughtful conviction as the mark of an educated worldview. Indeed, cynicism saturates popular culture, and it has afflicted contemporary art by way of postmodernism and irony. Perhaps no recent figure dealt with this problem more explicitly than David Foster Wallace. One of his central artistic projects remains a vital question for artists today: How does art progress from irony…

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