Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Modern Day Village Idiots: The Eloi

Wilder: The Kids Aren't Alright: Mental Health

 Sorry JW, but you're looking through the wrong end of the telescope here.

"44% of high school students feel persistent sadness or hopelessness"

So, have you talked with current high school students?

That only 44% feel persistent sadness or hopelessness tells me that at least another 40% have a vastly inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities.

They can't read (or write) a note in cursive. They can't tell time on a dial-face timepiece. They don't know their own phone number. They can't make exact change for a $10 order without taking off their shoes, and calling two of their lifelines.

For F--K SAKE man, I see this Every. Single. Day!

This is simple sh*t we were taught to do by first grade, and these are high school juniors and seniors. Or for that matter, freshmen and sophomores in college, AKA 13th and 14th grade.

They can't write a book report, can't construct a coherent paragraph, can't multiply to 12x12 without a TI-84 and seven lectures on higher mathematics, and they treat the ability to sit through a 90-minute movie without talking or checking their phones like it's a freaking Jedi Masterclass.

They can tell you what Taylor Swift wore to the Video Music Awards, but they couldn't pick Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, or the Parthenon out of a line-up.

They can't put any three basic major historical events in order, find any city, state, or country on a globe (even if you spot them a hint of which continent it's on), or in most cases, find their own asses with both hands, an anatomical chart, and a rear-view mirror.

If you stranded them 5 miles into the desert between a rotary dial phonebooth and a stack of change, and a gassed-up car with a stick shift and the key in the ignition, 99% of them would die right there of starvation and exposure.

They should all be flunked back to kindergarten at their high school graduations, and then retry each level until they attain mastery at an 80% score. About 1% would be done in a week. For the rest, they'd be there seven days a week from 6AM to noon. Then they'd be given not a diploma, but a pair of stout leather work gloves, to dig ditches, shovel shit, and sort garbage at the dump from noon until 8PM, to earn room and board - in a tent, fed the same menu prison inmates get - to take them permanently out of mommy and daddy's tender embraces. No cell phones. No calculators. For anyone not advancing any grade level after two tries, the daily beatings would commence. Every fall they'd replace migrant workers picking vegetables in the fields until they graduated fair and square. In the winter they'd shovel snow on the roads by hand, and in summer they'd be spreading tar and filling potholes, until they finally graduated. Then and only then would they be granted the full privileges of citizenship. They could escape only upon graduation, or by enlistment in the military (the Air Force wouldn't count, and they don't take non-h.s. grads anyways). Those choosing the military option would not be allowed out of the military until they'd earned at least a GED.

When they finally graduated from one or the other for real, they'd have something about which to feel happy and proud, probably for the first time in their lives. Universities and community colleges would cease to offer remedial primary and secondary school education, and go back to teaching actual college subjects full-time.

Until something close to that happens, most high school students should be told they're the exact idiots they are 24/7/365 until they can disprove it, with a properly-footnoted 20-page hand-written research paper, and deliver a defense of that thesis before the faculty of the local high school.

The numbers you speak of come from the most mollycoddled bunch of unskilled lackwits in the history of the world. (We can talk about the mass floggings and/or tar-and-featherings of the teachers and administrators who helped create them at some point in the future.)

Fans of science fiction know these kids as H.G. Wells' Eloi.

Anything which makes them feel like exactly the oxygen thieves they are is a good thing.

Anything which whips and beats them towards the finish line of improving that situation and becoming functional human beings is even better. 

Dept. Of We Told You So: RTWT It isn't hard to be less of a frothing lunatic than Ann Barnhardt (the bulging eyes should be a cluebat there) but there's not a single thing in what she says in this piece we can disagree with.


T-Rav said...

Can't multiply 12x12, you say?

Oh, it's worse than that.

My co-worker teaches math (at a community college to remain nameless) and one of his students, no joke, subtracted 5 from 24 and got 21. Another added 48 and 64 to make 82.

We are doomed.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens after the village claims ownership of our most precious resource and deny them a usable education. Evil is making sure humans are smart enough to do as they are told and stupid enough to never question their authority.

Simon said...

I understand you, but I feel you are exaggerating just a tiny, tiny bit.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. My step-granddaughter (22) is an example of your post. The commies have gotten their way.
Bear in Indy

Anonymous said...

Granddaughter, 24, can't read or write cursive, can't read a map,yet is pulling close to sixty grand a year from a government job. she's reasonably intelligent, but has no interest in national or international affairs. Frankly a waste of oxygen.

Rhea said...

It's isn't just the teachers and administrators, Aesop, it's the parents who refused to make their children actually sit down and do anything. Whether a parent cares if their child gets educated or not tends to have a lot more influence on whether or not the child actually learns anything.

In the midst of all the weeping and gnashing of teeth that children had fallen behind during Kung Flu was forgotten the simple fact that no one asked parents to prepare classwork, teach, or grade anything. All parents had to do was make sure kids attended video classes - taught by actual teachers! - and do their homework.

If kids "fell behind" during COVID, it's time to lay the blame for that right where it belongs: to the parents of those kids.

I'm not saying FedGov is doing anything great with schools, but until parents start being parents, that's not gonna get fixed. And that doesn't mean "screaming at the school board" either. That's the easy part. Making time to go to the parent-teacher conference or make sure the child gets the homework done is by all accounts, the pretty hard part for a lot of parents these days.


Anonymous said...

Your keyboard to God's eyes, Brother
Nothing less than what you've outlined will serve...
Boat Guy

Anonymous said...


Nice and concise!

What you say is spot on and I am glad that FINALLY someone is pointing out part of the obvious decline that is all around us.

I especially liked the part with a rotary dial phone booth, stack of change, gassed up car with a stick shift and a key in the ignition. Nearly lost my drink on the screen with that paragraph.

tweell said...

Aesop, if we're talking generations, then there's blame to go around. The dumbing down of school has been going on for at least 90 years, from what I've seen. Reading, writing and arithmetic has been steadily diluted, while the methods to work out problems have been obscured. What was junior high school material in the Depresssion was high school material for us, and is now college material for present day.

Writing is a good example, I'll use that too. As a teenager taking 'advanced' English classes in high school in the '70's, I ran into trouble understanding parts of sentences. Neither the teacher nor the textbook helped. My dad handed me his 8th grade english textbook from the '30's. It explained how to diagram sentences and sentence structure, along with other grammar information I was looking for. With that knowledge, I went from a 510 to a 780 out of 800 in my English SAT score. That primer, once what an 8th grader should know, put me at the top of college entrance examinees 40 years later.

As a young adult and then parent, I didn't pay much attention to the continued reduction in education standards and knowledge. In my defense, my children went to parochial and charter schools that tried to use older textbooks, so the decline wasn't as noticeable. It hit home when my oldest granddaughter asked me for help with algebra. I looked at her homework, then at her textbook, which did a terrible job of explaining. She was very happy after I showed her the way I was taught to solve the equations, and whipped through it in no time. The next day, she came back with a red ZERO - her answers were correct, but it was solved the wrong way.

I actually got to talk to that self-righteous arrogant math teacher later. She had the gall to tell me that the method she was 'teaching' was the best, and that what I knew wasn't applicable to real life. I was a Navy nuke, a reactor operator, so I had to perform advanced algebra and calculus quickly and accurately. I shook my head and left, her stupidity was invincible.

The Education department in colleges has one of the lowest average IQ's of any department, sitting at 100. 'Those that can, do, those that can't, teach' is a reality. We live in Orwell's 1984, and you blame the folks that have known nothing else?

The Internet is a great tool, but it's even better at entertainment and distraction. In any group of humans, you have 10% who are self-starters. Point them at the information and step out of the way, they'll take it from there. Then there are the 10% bottom-feeders, folks that won't learn, aren't interested, and problem-makers. The other 80% are usable, but need direction and help to reach their potential. They haven't been getting that. No Child Left Behind meant that the 10% dragged the 80% down with them, and that was just the finishing touches on the train wreck that is education in the USA.

Sneer at the Eloi if you will, but know that our generation helped make them what they are, God forgive us. Direct your real ire at our Morlock overlords who would herd and feed off of them, and try to teach if and when you can. They have been indoctrinated thoroughly, but it is still possible to ignite curiosity and the love of learning.

Aesop said...


Read the replies from the commentariat, and multiply them times 1000.

If I'm guilty of exaggeration on this topic, it's because I gave the current generations too much credit.

Aesop said...


At the end of the day, substituting "My parents* ate my homework" for "the dog ate my homework" is a poor substitute for competence.

Of course effort to overcome their shortcomings must be made, and enstupidization has many authors.
But everyone is ultimately responsible for their own lot. The later gens show almost zero desire to overcome their handicap, or even recognize that they have one, and it's for this shortcoming most of all that I heartily damn them. They literally have the sum of human knowledge at their fingertips for the asking, and yet cannot be bothered to learn from it. They own their failure most resolutely.

*(When they even have two, which 60% do not, yet another sociopathology to lay squarely at the feet of "no-fault" divorce.)

John Wilder said...

Yes, certainly part of the cause. Kids are ignorant (and some flat out stupid). I knew one kid (IQ 85 if his ACT score correlated) and he thought he was smart. Dunning Kruger in action.

But when I watch a high school football team lose, I rarely blame the kids - randomly, most schools (here around Modern Mayberry) all have the same sorts of kids. Winning or losing rarely involves the kids, it's the coaching. Our school system is broken because it isn't teaching, and it's telling kids that are dumb that they are special snowflakes because they tried.

Actual accomplishment is, 100%, a cure for feeling down. It's not found on Instagram or on a video game . . . or in the lying platitudes of teachers that don't teach.

That Guy said...

“If kids "fell behind" during COVID”
Wuflu just put a magnifying glass on the blatant mis-management of schools and kids education.
I don’t disagree with many of the points you made but it ain’t just the parents.
Could parents have picked up some of the slack during the shutdown? Absolutely!
One problem is, when both parents are working just to keep the lights on, the “teaching” often takes a back seat to providing a place to live and eat.
Many of those same parents may not be worth a damn at teaching.
It would be great if one parent made good bucks and the other was a good teacher that stayed home. I know of exactly one household where that is the case.

The “teachers” have turned the last 2 generations into semi-functional idiots.
Only personal drive and the desire to know more has kept our society at the level it is now.
It WILL get worse.

Tucanae Services said...

For years now I wanted to see "SAW 22: The UnWinding". The plot:

As usual someone, a millenial, is locked in. The room contains an analog clock on the wall. A rotary phone on a night stand with a phone book next to it. To get out the prisoner must call at a precise time to a particular individual in the phone book. They must give the person a definition of a rational number and who was the first President of America. Failure turns the room into a gas chamber.

Bonus: George Washington is not a correct answer.

Tucanae Services said...


You are not far off the mark on the ability scale of students. I teach at a tech school and we use a means, to simplify it, "We could teach it to you, but we can't learn it for you." Our technique is mentoring more than teaching. We give them the tools, the equipment, books, videos, testing etc with a eye to competency.

In a given class -- 1/3rd are self starters, 1/3rd are self sufficient with some coaching, 1/3rd have not a clue why they are even there. It results in a fair amount of drop out. But those that make it through know the topic and can perform the craft.

The COVID episode did have one positive effect in my book. It opened a lot of eyes to just how bad our K-12 system is broken. Hell of a way to find out, but we did.

Rhea said...

That's my point. During COVID, parents didn't have to teach. They had to make sure the kids showed up to video school and did their homework. If that didn't happen, it's the parents fault.

I was, in my past life, a news reporter whose beat included school boards and I can count on one hand the number of times parents showed up to meetings, beyond the first ten minutes where Johnny got his good attendance award. Parents need to be actually get involved in their child's life. Public schools are a mere symptom of a much larger problem.


Anonymous said...

Okay, that’s a fair point about parents making the kids tune in.
Trouble is, once they went off to work at the car parts store or the supermarket, the kids were stuck trying to learn from a computer screen and not in person. (There are some folks that can learn effectively by that method and some who can’t.)

I will give kudos to the teachers unions for “protecting” their tribe members. It gave hundreds of thousands of parents insight into the bullshit being shoved down the throats of grade schoolers.

Plague Monk said...

One other thing to note is the number of parents who regard the pubic school system as a free daycare service. They hate it when the kids have a day off during the school year. The amount of whining from the parents when the schools were closed because there was a trace of snow the night before was gargantuan in scope; thankfully I had headphones and could play Sabaton to drown out the din while working.
I wondered then, and do now, if the parents of these kids really love them in any way, shape or form? Then again, I guess that I don't want to know.

Plague Monk said...

At the first church my wife attended once she accepted Christ, Childrens' Ministries was huge, with over 100 kids attending every Sunday, rain, snow or sun. It cost the church a lot of money to run the four buses needed to pick up these kids, bring them to Sunday School, and take them back home. Add in the parents who would drop off the kids around 6 am and not pick them back up until after 2 or 3 in the afternoon(some parents didn't want to get the kids until evening). These kids were from varying economic levels, ranging from poor to upper middle class, and most of them had no interest in the gospel message.(I can't blame them there...).

A new pastor was assigned, in large part to apply a fiscal tourniquet to the skyrocketing tab for accommodating these kids. Soon after, he sent a letter to the parents of each child in CM whose family did not have at least one parent as either an actual member or was tithing on a regular basis. It was a well thought out letter, explaining that the kids were not learning, the costs involved, and that the church was not a free day care center. The church had started providing free lunches for the kids in the last days of the former pastor. Missions and evangelism had been dropped to pay for this. He concluded the letter by stating that as of a certain date, every child attending would have to have at least one parent regularly attending services, becoming a paying member, or paying $5/Sunday.
Howls of outrage ensued in the community, but the pastor stood firm on this, and was backed up by the district leadership.

On the first Sunday with the new policy, the buses made their rounds, and returned empty for the most part. Those few on board had no money, just notes saying that the parents needed more time(and similar excuses). The drivers returned these kids with notes saying that the free ride was over. This also applied to the kids whose parents dropped them off. CM dropped from roughly 150 kids to around 30 in one week, and within a month dropped even further.

TL;DR Parents are to blame for a lot of the problems with the kids. My parents were blue collar, but they insisted on education for me at least(my brother, the Good Son, not so much).

Will said...

The schools were trash by the late-60's. The highschool teachers were bad, the textbooks were full of lies, and most parents seemed to think the schools were good, generally. The history textbooks didn't agree with the history books in their own library. The fact that I read books (all kinds) puzzled and frightened most of the teachers, I think. The fact that I did math in my head, and got it right, didn't matter to them. I had to show all work to get the numbers. Eventually, most teachers learned to position my desk so the other students couldn't copy my tests.
Parents were in school in the 30's/40's, and the schools then were still fairly decent. Mom didn't finish school, but she seemed well educated. Not sure dad finished either, but when he semi-retired, he got his teaching credential and taught at a local vocational school, and when politics got him tossed out of the local school, RCA hired him to help set up a school in Egypt! (mid 80's)