Best New Problem in the Role of a Solution

We are certainly and historically renown for this in every realm, which now to the massive surprise of absolutely nobody positively includes I Would Like to Thank the Academy:

Over the past several years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that votes on the Oscars, has made tremendous strides in diversifying its membership. In 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that 91 percent of AMPAS’s 6,000-plus members were white and 76 percent were male, a barely perceptible change from the figures the LAT first reported in 2012. But that year, the academy invited a record new 683 members, a record it went on to break in 2017, and again in 2018, increasing AMPAS’s overall membership by nearly half in a three-year span and doubling the percentage of members who are people of color.

This has represented a tremendous effort to bring sweeping change to one of the world’s most prominent cultural arbiters. And, Wednesday, in one fell swoop, the academy undid it all.

The announcement that the Oscars would be adding an as-yet-unnamed category for “achievement in popular film” was met with near-universal derision, and for good reason.

Hmmm… because we certainly can’t have that ‘Moonlight’ thing happening again, Nosiree. The Oscars of course are just a self-promotional artifact for the movie industry, but come on. They might reserve a little, teeny tiny bit of artistic pretension. What is all the marketing preening video mantage for anyway? Wait, don’t answer that.

Movin’ on Down

As an unplanned follow-up on yesterday, apparently the young’uns think the William of Rights used to be Bill Somebody. Or they think bill is a verb. Either way, #civicsfail:

Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights on the most recent national civics examination, and only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, according to test results released on Wednesday.

At the same time, three-quarters of high school seniors who took the test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, were unable to demonstrate civic skills like identifying the effect of United States foreign policy on other nations or naming a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

The Department of Education administered the tests, known as the nation’s report card, to 27,000 4th-, 8th- and 12th-grade students last year. Questions cover themes including how government is financed, what rights are protected by the Constitution and how laws are passed.

As I slowly drew my finger to wag in the direction of our young citizens of tomorrow, I remembered some of my own schoolin’ and put it back in the hypocrisy holster. Sure it’s easy to blame them – except that they didn’t create an education system more concerned with turning them into workers and consumers than into citizens. I didn’t either. But they hear all the time that they are consumers and should address every single thing as such. Civil liberties? Unless that’s some kind of all-night sale at Failmart, how would they come into contact with the concept? Shorter me: How can they be expected to know things they are not being taught? Hmm?

These kids have a problem, in that many of them are largely ignorant of important issues and hence are ill-equipped to make decisions about them and double-hence, more likely to be manipulated. But they are not the problem. It’s their elite overlords, who think there are two sides to deathpanelsbirthcertificatedeficitsocialism!, that are the problem.