It’s something that’s completely obvious: America, and American politics, are getting dumber and dumber. To disturbingly large amounts of people, not believing in things like science, evolution, and rights to basic things like health care are badges of honor.
And as much as you and I know this, sometimes it takes an outside perspective to show just how bad it’s gotten. My buddy Pearlman pointed out to me on Twitter this fantastic, but utterly depressing, article from Maclean’s, a terrific Canadian publication, that was published recently.
It was basically an overview of just how far America has fallen, and why. Some of the eye-popping statistics, and I’m not even including the lead anecdote of the story, about an 8-year-old girl in South Carolina who suggested they have a state fossil, which of course became controversial:
— According to an AP poll, 42 percent (42!) of Americans are not confident life started with evolution.
–Only 53 percent of respondents were very confident childhood vaccines are safe and effective.
— In 1978, 42 percent of Americans reported that they had read 11 or more books in the past year. In 2014, just 28 percent say that, and 23 percent admit to not having read even one.
Understand: This is not just a “lunatic fringe,” or some obscure people in what Easterners dismissively call “fly-over states.” These are huge amounts of citizens who intentionally try to stay uniformed, and ignorant, and these are the people who are voting and driving cars and contributing to the stupidity of America.
It scares the hell out of me, I gotta be honest. It really does.
The most truthful line in the whole article? “If ignorance is contagious, it’s high time to put the United States in quarantine.”
I strongly recommend reading the whole piece here, but then watch some dogs playing or children laughing to cheer you up.
**And now, a 6-year-old named Kazuya Murata, who is way better than you and I will ever be at yo-yo tricks. I got dizzy just watching this kid.
**And finally, a few words about the New York Rangers. You know, every year as a sports fan, before your team’s season begins, you do a mental inventory and make a prediction.
You say, “OK, we lost these guys in free agency, gained these guys, here’s what the division looks like,” and so on, and you set a bar for where an acceptable finish for your team would be.
This year, for example I thought the Nets were good enough to get to the second round, and so they did, so I can’t be disappointed.
With the Rangers this year, I thought 2nd round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was as far as they could go. They were inconsistent, didn’t have enough scoring, had some injuries, so you know, 2nd round.
But holy shishkebob, look at them now. I look up and see that they won again Monday night, 3-1, behind some amazing goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, goals from their top players (McDonagh, St. Louis and Nash), and a fantastic all-around team effort.
And I sit there thinking, holy crap, they’re six wins from the Stanley Cup. This could actually, truly happen. It’s so close I can taste it.
And I’m completely, utterly gobsmacked that it’s happening. Every year, one team gets hot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, gets some breaks (the Canadiens have to play with their backup goalie now since star Carey Price is hurt), has some bad things happen to the other team, and suddenly is skating around the ice in mid-June with the most beautiful trophy in sports.
Never, ever did I think this Rangers team could play for the Cup this year. But they’re two wins away, and now I find myself in a strange position:
I’ve got a ticket for Game 6, so I’d love to go to MSG and see them clinch the series that night, but I also would rather see them sweep and get ready for the Finals and not have to sweat it out.
Six wins away from winning a Cup. Amazing.