"Why don't you turn off the idiot box and go outside and play." My grandmother said this to me when I was young and I never fully appreciated her calling the television an "idiot box" until recently.
But my grandmother was right, television is an "idiot box." I have never believed that more than I do today. It seems like all you can find on television today is one idiotic show after another. It is so bad I am actually thinking about doing work around the house rather than watching some of the junk on TV today.
I would rather do a load of laundry than watch Donald Trump tell somebody "they're fired" on "The Apprentice" unless of course it is somebody telling the annoying, egomaniacal mop-head that he's fired from all things TV.
And I would much rather do the dishes than watch "American Idol," because I don't know what could be less fun than watching no-talent, wanna-be stars butcher songs by other artists. If you're going to have a contest to pick the best singer, have them sing their own songs, not somebody else's. Otherwise it's called karaoke and you can find that at any local bar.
And then there is reality TV like "Survivor." Of course "Survivor" is no more reality than any daytime soap opera but they want you to believe it is. If it was actually reality and a group of individuals were stranded on an island, they wouldn't be competing in games or holding tribal meetings. They would be finding the weakest person and using them for food. I would watch that but I'd rather mop the floor than watch "Survivor: Minnesota" or whatever it is now.
But none of those shows are as bad as the new show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" Hosted by the "brilliant comedian" Jeff Foxworthy, adults and fifth graders try to answer grade-school-level questions while the adult wins money. I watched a recent episode and it is an hour that I would have rather been cleaning toilets.
Really, what kind of idiot goes on this show? Is it a proud thing to be smarter than a fifth grader, or do they like the embarrassment that goes along with it when they lose? And 99 out of a 100 will lose because they are getting the same people who are interviewed by the TV news after a tornado hits their trailer park.
For example take the guy who was on the episode I watched. Supposedly his college GPA was 3.3 (apparently he had lots of girlfriends do his work for him) yet he couldn't even answer the question "How many times does the letter 'e' appear in the phrase 'pledge of allegiance'" without Foxworthy's help.
As a matter of fact, this brain surgeon didn't even answer the first three questions without some sort of help. And by the time he finally answered one without help, he had $10,000.
Of course this intelligent college grad couldn't even answer how many teaspoons are in five tablespoons? Not only did he get the answer wrong, he had trouble multiplying 2 X 5.
This show says a lot about the education system in the United States. No wonder the government wants a "No Child Left Behind" policy. They at least want us smarter than fifth graders. Of course, the guy wasn't too big of an idiot. He left with $100,000.
Fortunately, there are a few quality TV shows still on the air to keep me from actually doing housework. I mean Jack Bauer is still torturing suspects on "24" and J.D. is still daydreaming on "Scrubs."
And I hear they have a show in the works called "Can You Color Better Than a Kindergartner?" I can't wait for that.