For years now American TV audiences been constantly accosted with the overblown drama, feelings, and theatrics of people we don't care about. It is given the exalted genera title of "reality TV." Now Salon.com brings that drama queen sensationalism to journalism! Oh, joy.
Enter Julie Limbaugh whining and complaining in the pages of Salon.com that her life is just oh, so hard because her cousin is famed radio yacker Rush Limbaugh.
Commiserate as she wails about the many times her ultra rich cousin flew the whole family to a resort for Thanksgiving and bought her Chanel sunglasses. Life is so hard. Feel her pain as she is introduced to famous people like Ann Coulter. Gosh what a trial. Assume her sadness as she reveals mistreatment by ignoramuses on the left that call her names because of what Rush has said merely because she carries the same last name. Oh, the humanity.
And yet, after reading this whole long lament over her last name, one wonders... why? Why should we care? Why should anyone care? What reason is there that the whole world should be treated to the hard feelings that some silly little girl from Missouri harbors because she has a famous family member? After reading the screed one can't help but to have a desire to grab this little twerp by the shoulders and yell, "suck it up, kid."
The whole sorry episode, though, is an indicator of the trivialization of American culture. When the bleatings of people with nothing to add to the culture are elevated to places of prominence we know we have arrived at a time when priorities have been lost.
Aside from the petty warbling of young Miss Limbaugh, another recent example of this cultural foolishness was seen during Bill Mahr's TV show. Recently on Whatevertheheck With Bill Mahr the empty headed actor Mos Def -- not his real name, surprise, surprise -- was teamed with Salman Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens for a discussion about the evils of al Qaeda, of all things.
Rushdie, a man for decades intimately involved with exposing Islamic extremism and a world renowned intellectual, and Hitchens, also one of the world's smartest notables and detractors of radical Islam, were trying to inform Mr. Def about the political goals of al Qaeda. Apparently, Def wasn't having any of it.
Def began his humiliation by asking what that political "manifesto" of al Qaeda might be? While asking he interchangeably used the words Taliban and al Qaeda, apparently unaware that, while they work together, the two are distinctly different groups. This revealed a basic ignorance right off, not that said ignorance would prove to humble Def.
Hitchens and Rushdie were flabbergasted. Apparently, after all the world has gone through with radical Islam since 9/11, Mr. Def was completely uninformed about the radical's political goals. Hitchens and Rushdie began to wonder if Mr. Def had an Internet connection and if he'd ever bothered to try and find out?
Then Def went off into uncharted territory seeming to imagine that radical Islam was some movie-lot conspiracy created by the white folk to keep him down. Essentially, Def proved he thought the world was flat despite recent scientific advances from the last several hundred years.
Then Def began to proudly proclaim that he is secure enough in his self-esteem to hold an "unpopular idea." I would suggest that thinking the world is flat might be unpopular, and Mr. Def might have enough self-esteem to believe such a theory, but it still makes him an idiot and does not speak well for his perspicacity and intellectual curiosity.
There is an old saying: "don't sit quietly by and let people think you are a fool. Open your mouth and prove them right." Def proved it quite handily that night.
Anyway, the whole point is, we have trivialized intellectual efforts to the lowest point imaginable when we team some of the most intellectual men in the world today with a dolt like Mos Def and treat Def as if he is their equal on an intellectual level.
Mr. Def may very well be smarter than Christopher Hitchens about the names of street drugs or the ins and outs of the rap music scene in L.A. Mr. Def may even be an affecting actor that brings enjoyable film experiences to audiences everywhere. But let's not be so foolish as to imagine his opinion is on par with some of the smartest men in the world.
As with half wit Def, there is no reason whatever that the world should have the whiny Miss Limbaugh foisted upon it. A culture that raises up the inane and commonplace above its most accomplished citizens is a foolish culture, indeed.
And what does Salon get out of this display of "reductio ad cultura," if you will? Can anyone think it is anything other than a way to poke Rush Limbaugh in the eye? Can anyone seriously believe that Salon imagined that Miss Limbaugh had something prescient and interesting to say? I don't see how anyone could.
So, I ask Miss Limbaugh to continue her studies. Maybe some day she'll have something of note to offer the world. But as of right now, being miffed that her last name is Limbaugh is not a worthy offering.
So, suck it up, kid.