THE Dumbing Down of America


America has been dumbing down for at least a decade now.

According to the December issue of “Philadelphia” Magazine, technology has made kids dumber and not smarter. The same goes for adults. I noticed this zombi-ization as a featured Starbucks performer back in 1994.  Children skipped happily into the cafe while their parents strode in with glazed stares.

Now musicians can’t take it personally that they aren’t responded to as parents and students are busy checking their emails or studying for tests. But I’ve noticed that even during stirring or provocative  banter between songs, many would not even lift up their heads to listen.

Responding to a thread on my favorite Christian musician forum, I thought about the great changes taking place spiritually, socially and artistically here in America. Our CEO, Keith Mohr remarked to my statement on the thread.  He said,   “The dumbing down of society has been happening for years”

How true and how sad to reckon the indifference towards such Renaissance  visionaries work, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.  How has today;s technology influenced the way we create and produce art?

Renaissance visionary’s works profoundly affected Europe.  So too, today are we powerfully impacted by the speed and accessibility of technology via digitized books, music and art.

I see a dramatic difference between the works and influence of the Renaissance period and the works of today’s artists. As a college student in the nineties, I remember having taking watercolor and graphic design classes.  Then, it was up to us, to use our brains, coordinating and transferring our ideas onto a pallet or sketch pad. I remember the joy and satisfaction of watching liquid colors flow and ebb from my paintbrush onto a rough paper surface. The skill was in the hands and fingers.

Today, creating a visual representation of a new work is now digitally instant.

The savoring and soul-stirring-ness, ( visual, sensorary and aural stimuli) of art,  music and literature started its demise in the late nineties.  I don’t see this trend being resurrected anytime soon.  The mainstream have lost interest in going to a museums, traveling to Italy or Paris to see the  truly great art of yesteryear. How many young people today are awe- stricken gazing upon a Michelangelo work?

It still takes my breath away to study and scrutinize all the intricate nuances of the great jazz artists, painters, conductors, photographers, like the late Ansel Adams.  Old or old school. It doesn’t matter, we have lost something very priceless & precious in exchange for microwave.

There’s no comparison, creating and eating a scratch-made quiche made from organic and freshly chopped veggies, eggs, cheese & spices) with a frozen, processed one filled with chemicals and artificial flavors. Can anyone tell the difference anymore? And people wonder why they get cancer and are brain-dead!

The public has bought a cheap and nasty lie, false food, fast/free music & clothes that fall apart after one wash.  Fine art, music and even chivalry has been lost and forgotten. The mainstream mindset has collapsed into a collapsible culture of zombies who walk around with glazed stares! Just walk into any Starbucks.

But there are still us dinosaurs roaming alertly and passionately about and we will not keep silent. I for one still design hand-made greeting cards however limited my time. I still design exquisite vintage stage wear for my performing gigs, (carefully choosing fabrics, trimmings and patterns for a one of a kind look)  and I still cook from scratch.

Oh, the glory of old-fashioned creation…the slow, thoughtful and precise way. Long live watercolor painting and hand calligraphy!

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