Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Proof Things Aren’t Bad Like You’ve Been Told

I’ve been pointing out for some time now that things aren’t so bad as you’ve been led to believe. Basically, if you listen to Talk Radio and the hysterical MSM, the world has gone to hell. Education is indoctrination. The military is almost disbanded. Gasoline is banned. Blacks and whites are killing each other in the streets. And Millennial are all bisexual morons who can’t find America on the map, who think Kim Kardashian is President, and who... well, you get the picture. Anyhoo, this is all crap. And now we have one more bit of telling evidence.

This week, it was reported that Harris did a poll (which I sadly cannot find to see their data). Anyways, what the poll found was that 74% of respondents age 18-34 “were irked by” bad spelling and bad grammar on social media.

Interesting, no?

No?! Well consider this... we’ve been told that modern generations since mine (Xers) have been taught that things like spelling and getting math answers right don’t matter so long as we stroke up some self-esteem in trying, right? I’ve heard this crap for decades now treated as gospel by Talk Radio. In fact, this little claim has been the Alpha and Omega of Talk Radio’s attack on education in America. And their counterparts on the left seem to celebrate it.

But do you know what? I’ve never seen any evidence of this. Sure, sometimes, you get a moron liberal administrator who will say this line, but I’ve never seen parents or students or even teachers accept it. Now we get this poll.

This poll tells us not only that at least 74% of the public never bought into this argument, but 74% are actively bothered when other people can’t spell or use proper grammar. That is super telling. Why? Because that means that this issue is so important to supposedly brainwashed Millennials that even though they aren't supposed to care about grammar anymore, seven in ten actually get pissed off when they run across someone who does it wrong. So much for the brainwashing. Even better, we’re talking about social media which is notorious for mouthbreathers saying things like: “he done loosed the game when there qb thru the ballz their’re.” In other words, in the land where we’ve been told people are most tolerant of the idiotic misuse of language, more than seven in ten people get pissed off about the misuse of the language!

Why is this important? Because it means that those 7 in 10 people get angry when people fail to conform to a societal normal that we’ve been told has been wiped out by liberals. That is damning for the idea pimped by Talk Radio that society is going to hell because no one respects the rules anymore and it shows how little progress the self-esteem types have made.

Further, keep in mind, those 7.4 in 10 are the ones who get upset. They aren’t the only ones to whom good grammar matters. In fact, the other 2.6 should break down into three groups: (1) the anything goes crowd, (2) those who didn’t express an opinion, and (3) those who don’t like people being wrong, but who don’t get angry about it. That means that we are probably looking at 8 or 9 people in 10 who respect grammar and spelling rules.

So much for the collapse of society.

Now let me add some anecdotal evidence to this. In the 1980s, when it was becoming clear that a significant chunk of black kids couldn’t speak English because black culture had adopted 1970’s pimp speak, the black establishment tried to hide this by declaring “ebonics” a real language and saying it should be accepted as being the equivalent of English. At the same time, the left was pushing the idea of educating Hispanic kids in Spanish, with English only as an extra field of study.

Both of those ideas have all but vanished these days because black and Hispanic parents didn’t want their kids being handicapped. As proof of the difference, look at the NFL and compare the black players who joined the league in the 1990s and who needed to be translated by reporters into English, see e.g. Mike Vick, with amazingly well-spoken guys like Russell Wilson, Colin Kapernick, and RG3 today. Watch Hard Knocks on HBO, which is following the Texans this year or the Falcons last year, and you will see a group of black athletes whose English is excellent and whose interests are stunningly erudite: painting, classical piano, visiting museums, nerd pursuits. None of these guys is a ghetto gangbanger. Ditto for the black characters you see on television, black actors and even black entertainers... where nerds and businessmen are becoming the new “in” thing for black characters. And show me a single news agency who has hired people who don't speak excellent English. Even ESPN and the NFL Network are drifting away from the gibberishers and replacing them with guys like Eric Davis, who speak clearly and intelligently.

This is not the world we were told was coming in the 1990s when we were assured that black kids would be taught ebonics, Mexican kids would never be taught English, white kids were taught that spelling and grammar rules didn’t matter, and when we were assured that “r u their lolz” meant that future generations would be imbeciles destined for welfare.

Add this to the polls I showed you about race not mattering to anyone except increasingly small fringes on either side... to the fact our education is actually world class... to the fact our economy is world class... to the fact our military in unique in the history of the world... to the flood of advances today in all fields... and to all the polls that continue to show that Americans still believe the things that made America great.

Finally, let me throw one more thing out there. I’ve been talking to one of our friends of the site about the state of modern “art.” There is this perception that modern “art” has gone to crap. And to the extent that we are talking about the “pure art” crowd, yeah, that stuff is garbage and they know it. But that’s only a tiny fraction of modern art. Think about this... there is amazing modern classical music being made by the likes of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, modern storytelling as seen in films over the past few decades and video games far exceeds the quality of all but a handful of classic tales, modern image art as seen in book covers or online or what ends up on film is absolutely stunning, the sculpture work done for presidents, sports heroes or by guys like Fernando Botero or local but world renown cowboy artist Michael Garman are amazing, check out “So You Think You Can Dance” for amazing modern dance in all categories, etc.

This is a time of amazing achievement, and the current generations are strongly demanding that everyone obey the rules that keep society cohesive. The end of America not only never came, there’s not even a foundation upon which that dystopian jerk-off fantasy can be built. America is not going down hill. There are just people who tell you that because it serves their purposes.



ScottDS said...

Some of us millennials are heterosexual morons! :-)

(Interestingly, I read an article recently comparing early millennials like me to those born in the 90s... in many respects, we are as different as baby boomers and X-ers!)

I'm pleased as always to see your optimism and I, too, hate typos and bad grammar. And points for referencing Goldsmith and Williams, though I'm sure some people would quibble with classifying their work as "classical music."

As for this:

Ditto for the black characters you see on television, black actors and even black entertainers... where nerds and businessmen are becoming the new “in” thing for black characters.

I know you'll say they're the fringes, and I hope you're right, but there are right-leaning bloggers out there who hate this sort of thing. They see black criminals in the news and accuse any TV show of portraying a black character in a positive light (or at least not a negative one) as just another example of "PC indoctrination" or some such bullshit. They see commercials with a black businessman and say things like, "Really? Are there enough black businessmen to justify one appearing in a commercial?"

And please don't ask me to provide you with a source - I dare not venture into those waters if I can help it! But I'm not making it up either.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Last week's PC push had it that you're all bisexual now. So that's not true? ;-) In all seriousness, their evidence was fabricated and obviously fake. It's 3% tops.

Call it what they want, the fact of the matter is that what guys like Williams did IS classical music. It was just used in commercial contexts. That doesn't change its nature anymore than Mozart stops being classical music just because it ends up in a movie from time to time too. I would bet that in 100 years, when people talk about classical music, they will say something like this: "Mozart, Beethoven, Wager, Williams, Goldsmith, Sarek of Mars... all the greats!"

On your point about fringe bloggers, yep. Sadly, that is true in some cases, just like a certain right-wing fringer can't stop calling immigrants child rapists. But the fact that some people are obsessed with race doesn't mean that most people are. Most people on the right are just frustrated that Hollywood makes it a PC point of emphasis to misrepresent crime as being a rich white guy thing... just like we're frustrated that soldiers and businessmen and clergy are always the bad guys.

Also, let me point out that the left does the same thing to its own boogeymen. This is what fringe types do -- they obsess over demonized caricatures of their enemies.

Critch said...

"Pardon me, I speak jive."-Mrs. Cleaver.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, That was hilarious! Shit!*



Rustbelt said...

"Sarek of Mars?"

Andrew, Sarek's from Vulcan!

It would be an illogical blogger like you who would try to force Martian on everyone. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I couldn't remember the name of the villain from Mars. LOL!

Besides, Martian music is cool... once you get over the burping. :)

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, the villain you're thinking of is probably Marvin the Martian. Remember, Earth obstructs his view of Venus. (He also gets very, very angry!)

Burping music? Do they also play the armpit?

AndrewPrice said...

Armpit music is West Virginia jug band rap:

Crawled out of bed in the afternoon feelin' like death,
Had to go across my trailer to find me some meth,
My head is still reelin' an' my place is a wreck,
I'll feel better soon when I get my govment check.
My cousin's pretty hot... hot
But I'm not gettin' off my butt.. butt
'Cuz I'm laaaaaaZ

I could go on. :-/

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, and if there's anyone I haven't offended, please give me time. It's not as easy as it looks. :D

Rustbelt said...

Bravo, Andrew!

West Virginia: the State that Time Forgot for Good Reason.

Have you tried offending hipsters? Their indifference and lack of ability to take things seriously may make it a challenge.
(And try not to make it about coffee. That's just too easy.)

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Hipsters are too cool to know they've been offended.

Coffee? On Hard Knocks, Brian Cushing said: "I used to go to Starbucks. Then I realized I wasn't a chick." LOL!

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, I haven't seen 'Hard Knocks,' but that's a great soundbite!

On Starbucks, I remember an old joke in the 90's:
"Starbucks is the perfect place to invest. As bad as the economy gets, people will still spend three to five bucks to buy coffee there and complain about it."
Not seeing that too much today, but it was definitely true then.

Kit said...

You are wrong, Andrew. We are doomed. Goldsmith is dead and Williams is getting on up there…

But we still have Michael Giacchinno.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, The Starbucks out here are hopping with the mommy trackers. In fact, I think you have to wear yoga plants, put your hair into pony tail, and drive an SUV to go into the place because they want you to express your individuality when you buy your Ariana Grande... or is it an Ariana Venti?

AndrewPrice said...

On Topic: I forgot to add that in Britain they asked parents the other day to identify celebrities who they did not want their children emulating.

Unsurprisingly, the list was dominated by the very people who cause all the problems: Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Smiley Virus, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian. Just about the only turd who made it onto the "good influence" list was Taylor Swift.

So again, the public is well ahead of the MSM in terms of selecting right and wrong no matter who the MSM pimps.

Kit said...

"Call it what they want, the fact of the matter is that what guys like Williams did IS classical music. It was just used in commercial contexts."

Most music was made for commercial purposes. Even composers had to eat.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, You don't always need a great person working at all times to still be in a great era. Williams and Goldsmith were special and will be remembered. I don't personally see anyone else right now who compares (sorry Danny Elfman), but there may well be... or there may be soon.

I don't really "know" Giacchinno in the sense that I can spot his work or say how good or bad it is, but who knows how his career will pan out.

And to clarify what I mean, I see works like Jaws, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Harry Potter as being so iconic that they rival the best of Mozart. You know them when you hear them. People listen to them apart from the films. And you know who wrote them. Those bits will be remembered.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's the lie told by post WWII "pure art" types. They pretended that art needed to exist apart from commerce or it wasn't pure and it wasn't art. Basically, you had to survive purely on the basis of your art being shown in exhibitions.

I believe that was just an attempt to talk down the guys who were proving to be a commercial success because their work was popular while the pure artists' work was ignored, so they tried to label it as unacceptable to cheapen it.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, that's sad about Starbucks. I gave up on it out here when all their locations were remodeled into the Seattle version of a saloon. (In other words, an overpriced, wooden elementary school cafeteria with long, impersonal benches instead of tables, dim lighting, and louder New Age synth music being played.)

On the UK poll, I'm glad to see some people seeing bad role models for what they are. That being said, I'm not surprised Swift didn't make the list. After all, over the weekend, I saw a headline on USA Today that a poll in Britain found our neighbors across the pond are giving Hillary the best odds at winning next year: 1.1 to 1. (I forget the others, though I think Jeb Bush was 4 to 1.)
I guess they haven't been reading your work. :)

Kit said...

Agree about Williams. He is America's maestro. When I hear his Harry Potter music, particularly, "Harry's Wondrous World", I feel like a little kid again.

As for great American composers other than Williams who are alive and kicking, maybe Hans Zimmer.

Click on the two Giacchinno links, his first and his last names. I will say, while he is great, he's no Williams

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I've spoken at length with people from Britain and they are truly ignorant of America because they get their news from our MSM and they take it at face value. So just imagine who misinformed they are!

Starbucks has nothing that interests me. The only reason I end up there is that my wife is hooked.

Kit said...

What I find amusing about the UK poll is that 78% found Miley Cyrus a bad influence. That's not just a super-majority, that is a super-duper-majority!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It's rare that you can see someone history will remember. Usually, it takes at least a new generation before you can see if there is something about them that gets them remembered. I think Williams is definitely it. His works are amazingly iconic in so many ways and every generation I know lists him as great.

Beyond him, however, it gets hazy for me. There is a lot that I like (Poledouris, John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Zimmer), but I can't honestly say if any of them has hit that point where they will be remembered. I'm not saying they won't, I just can't say.

Kit said...

"That's the lie told by post WWII "pure art" types. They pretended that art needed to exist apart from commerce or it wasn't pure and it wasn't art. Basically, you had to survive purely on the basis of your art being shown in exhibitions."

Yep, Shakespeare wrote plays to fit whatever current fads were in with the crowd. When they wanted historical plays he gave 'em historical plays like Richard III and Henry V and when they wanted comedies he gave them Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night.

Of course, being great he went further.

He took the "evil Jew" stereotype and creating one of the most sympathetic villains ever written in Merchant of Venice with Shylock the Jew informing the audience that "If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."

And he took the popular revenge play and turned it on its head with Hamlet, giving us a hero who, stocked with all the rage necessary for a hero in such a play, was yet incredibly reluctant to do the dirty work needed to carry out revenge, only doing so when he had nothing left to lose.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Notice that the 78% is roughly the same as are upset about bad grammar. I would suggest that 80% of the public is "normal," in the sense of rejecting silly leftist ideas and rejecting the "bad is good" mentality that the MSM likes to push through the culture. In other words, they are what we think of as "good people." (Not conservative necessarily, but traditional in outlook when it comes to how to raise kids, what values to impart, what they think the limits of society should be, etc.)

The problem is that the political types focus obsessively on the other 20%, who are either of the anything goes "bad is good" variety the left likes to use to attack the 80% or the "God will smite you bastards" types who hate everyone, in the hopes of selling the public on the idea that society is on the verge of collapse.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Excellent example. Guys like Shakespeare and so many of the painters and even the composers died broke because they were written off as hacks in their time. And it wasn't until later that people began to realize that what these artists had done was still being played by/bought by the next generation and the next, and soon "the experts" declared those guys geniuses.

I would bet that if we could go back to Shakespeare's time, we would find most critics dismissing his work as "too common" and praising other writers whose work can't even be found anymore, much less continues to be performed.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, I'd weep for the British, but I'm too busy laughing at how gullible they are in accepting the MSM's word.
No wonder they lost the empire.

Getting back to the article, it just occurred to me that I haven't heard the word "ebonics" in quite a while. I guess speaking pimp jive has just gone out of style. What a loss for talented comedy writers.

Kit said...

I do want to come to Shakespeare's defense, he did not die broke. For one thing, he co-owned a successful theater and also he, or perhaps his wife Anne Hathaway, was quite good at managing finances so when he retired he was rather well-off.

But, you did have people attacking Shakespeare, back then, for not having a college education. The reason people today argue that he could not have written the plays.

Robert Greene, a university-educated playwright at the time, called Shakespeare "an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers."

Robert Greene is now only remembered for attacking Shakespeare.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, That is exactly my point! :D In the 1990s, we were presented with this sky-is-falling scenario where everything was going wrong: blacks were about to learn ebonics, Mexicans were giving up on English, whites were told to worry about self-esteem and forget right/correct and wrong... but none of it happened. Ebonics vanished. English as a second language fell into disgrace. And now we even have evidence that the idea that grammar is meaningless only caught on with at best 10-15% of the public.

This is my point whenever I talk about these things. We have been sold this conventional wisdom by a leftist MSM, which then becomes a cause for panic in Talk Radio land and soon it becomes gospel whether it's true or not. I'm pointing out here and in other articles that these things are simply not true. It was just fringe stuff that was wrongly sold to us as unstoppable majority opinion.

Now we see the truth. We see that things are not as bad as we were told... and are told. America is not falling apart. It is not becoming this nightmare place of imbeciles who have rejected everything we built and substituted a twisted culture that is foreign to us.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I'm definitely not attacking Shakespeare. I see the man as history's greatest writer. All I'm doing is pointing out that so many of history's geniuses were abused by critics until well after their deaths... I think that's because critics exist largely to sooth their own egos.

And many did die penniless. But in terms of wealth, rich and "accepted as a genius" are two very different issues. There are many people who get very rich selling things that the critics despise, but which later become accepted as great works. But there are just as many who dies broke.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, I guess we could call this the post-Stuart Scott world?

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Good reference!

For those who don't know, Stuart Scott was a very erudite and clever sports announcer at ESPN who had the unfortunate habit of finding truly obnoxious ways to say things and then dumbing his stuff down even further. The other lemmings in the sports media world would then adopt his expressions. He was big into shortening names and misusing words intentionally. For example, he started calling very good plays "ridiculous" plays, which is just stupid, but has caught on and is now part of the standard sports media lexicon.

Stuart's dumbing down seemed to open the door at ESPN and the NFL Network to hire ex-athletes who were essentially incapable of speaking English, but who sounded colorful as they grunted their way through their stories (see, e.g. Michael Irving or Emmett Smith).

Stuart died young of cancer a few months back. But even before that, for the past few years, the networks have begun to reverse this trend and started looking for smart guys rather than colorful guys. Hence, players like Eric Davis and LaVar Arrington got hired, both of whom are thoughtful and erudite... and don't yell gibberish, and the dumber players are being pushed aside or let go.

Kit said...


I know you are not attacking Shakespeare. I was just pointing that out. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I just wanted to be clear in the event I misspoke. :-)

Critch said...

Slightly OT, but I think the Dem and GOP Establishment pols must be like the Romanovs a hundred years ago, sitting around in a dark room wondering what went wrong and why is the noise in the street getting louder?

Critch said...

I have a soft spot for Shakespeare. My first real date I got to take a hot girl in my 9th grade class to see Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet in Memphis, 1968 maybe? I've always enjoyed his plays and a few of the movies made from them. He's still the goal all the other writers are reaching for. As to the rest of the conversation, "There is nothing new under the sun."-Ecclesiastes

Anthony said...


I completely agree with the entire essay. One thing which I think has really helped commercial art is that books, games, paintings and movies are easier and cheaper to make and widely disseminate than ever. That means there is more good stuff (which fans enjoy) and more crap (which the world is doomed types appreciate, it not enjoy) floating around than ever.

tryanmax said...

A couple more items that are going better than RWR would have you believe:

Far from being brushed aside, the Planned Parenthood videos are an ongoing topic of discussion, indicating that Americans are at least entertaining of the idea that the organization be investigated. This also comes at a time when abortions are at an all-time-low.

Feminist rape-hysterics are losing their grip on college campuses. Their brief moment where they could smear frat-boys with impunity is closed as real courts are finding that campus kangaroo courts violate due process in addition to Title IX which they are meant to uphold. Plus, rape story after rape story keeps falling apart a la Rolling Stone.

tryanmax said...

On social media: it has been a boon to linguistic scientists in that they can watch new terms and grammar develop in real time. In the process, yes, there is a lot of nonsense that doesn't catch on outside of a small contingent. But the truly useful constructions--which more often than not are very intuitive--catch on across multiple groups. I suspect even those critical of internet speak have picked up and are using new words and phrases that developed online.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, The commies are coming? ;-)

Shakespeare rocks!

Critch said...

I have a question about The Bard's plays, has anyone ever done one as a Western? Seems to me it would be the perfect vehicle. Forbidden Planet was just the Tempest, West Side Story was Romeo and Juliet...a Western would be nice.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Anthony! I think there is tremendous cause for optimism out there! :)

I agree with you entirely about it being cheaper to present your art today, especially with the internet circumventing the very tightly controlled channels in the past. That means we get such a greater variety, which means we get more hits (and more misses). And with the commerce motive combined with the hobbyists, you just get an abundance of stuff from angles people never would have considered in the past, which means the likelihood of there being something truly memorable goes way up.

In many ways, this really is a Golden Age for humanity. Sure, there are some problems, but think about how much we have in the way of art, science and opportunity. And the US is incredibly good at giving us all a chance to participate in all of it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not sure yet about the effect of the Planned Parenthood videos, but you are right that they have yet to go away. That means something.

Good call on the rape crisis. Everywhere you look, the faked rape crisis is imploding. There is now a steady stream of juries and even prosecutors exonerating those falsely accused. Courts are striking down the kangaroo courts and their biased "procedures" -- no more secret witnesses and star chambers, no more withdrawing consent after the fact, etc. I'm even seeing the cops starting to charge women who make false rape allegations. There was a girl in South Carolina the other day who was charged after making a false allegation after she ran away from home. And then this weekend, the lead singer of the Pretenders (who is no conservative) said that women need to start taking responsibility to avoid putting themselves in positions where they will be raped.

Essentially, balance and sanity are returning to an issue that had become about witch hunts and easy vengeance.

Also, let me point this out. The reason feminists moved to attack frats was because their attack on the military as packed with rapists (this was a big issue for them in the 1990s) collapsed. Basically, they are running out of places where they can still pretend they are victims.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. BTW, here's an interesting issue: LOL. There was a report the other day that people aren't using LOL anymore, though I don't put an credence in that as I still see it everywhere. What I am seeing instead, is that the meaning of LOL has shifted from "that's really funny and I laughed" to "I'm saying something that has upset me, but I don't want to seem upset or piss you off in the process." It's almost a nervous term now, like the equivalent of biting your lip when you say something.

As an aside, I also note that a lot of the most controversial slang that the dictionary people are adopting isn't being adopted in real life. Words like "ginomus" just don't get used. You won't see it in print or on a serious program. You will see it occasional on sitcoms, but it's usually a punchline word. In real life, I generally only see children or stoners use it. You don't tend to see it even on places like Facebook and Pinterest, where language tends to be the most fluid.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I can't say for sure, but I would bet they have. Several of Akira Kurosawa's samurai films were Shakespeare plays.

tryanmax said...

Critch, Patrick Stewart stared in a made-for-TV adaptation of King Lear called King of Texas. I haven't seen it, but it is a western. Patrick Stewart loves his Shakespeare, so I'm sure he puts in an admirable performance.

Critch said...

How abouit the Merry Wives of Windsor set in an Old West saloon/house of ill repute?

Koshcat said...

You pissed me off at "super telling"...

Things are going fair in the US but they would be doing much better if the Fed would get out of the way. There is Trillions of dollars of cash squirreled away throughout the world. Give them something that returns better than a bank nimrods.

The bloom is off China right now and I suspect further Chinese stock was trading at a P/E of $70! Also look for the Chinese government to overreact rather than let it work itself out. Too Late!

BevfromNYC said...

Sorry again, guys. I have been at the US Open all day (poor little me...) and haven't had time to prepare anything for tomorrow.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I was going to say "duper telling" but Google-Grammar told me to use "super telling." :)

I too wish they would let our economy run.

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