While I'm not about to contest either that the average American isn't wildly ignorant (either in general or as it relates to government), or that apathy isn't rampant (how could I with only 50% voter turnout?), in fairness, Jaywalking can't be construed as a measure of the intelligence of much more than the most vacant minded people that Jay could find roaming the streets on any given day. If you'll notice, they'll generally show clips with the backdrop ranging from broad daylight to darkness within the same Jaywalking session; that's a lot of editing down to get only the "best" idiots. And they do play only the best idiots with only the stupidest questions. Case in point: once they did a session with questions about something moderately intelligent (names of Canadian provinces & their capital cities). I'm probably not going to win any points for I.Q. here, but I don't know what the capital city of most Canadian provinces / territories is offhand. Consequently, I did about as well as the Jaywalking contestants did. I didn't find that session very funny. The point I'm trying to make here is that lowest common denominator entertainment like Jaywalking, Dumb and Dumber
, etc., is only funny because it allows you to revel in your "superior intelligence", just as Jerry Springer and his ilk are popular because it makes the, shall we say, "less elegant" aspects of our society feel like their lives aren't that bad after all. When Jay's questions are reasonable and you still
can't do any better than the fools you're supposed to be mocking, that's
when you need to worry.
And just as you end a sub print "0 but true\n";
so that it'll eval correctly, I'll end this post by again invoking, "I do agree with you, but Jaywalking is a bad example".
Oh, and I trust that calling Leno's program "The Late Show" is a subtle jab at the reader's intelligence, as his is "The Tonight Show". :)
And no, I don't own 27 pairs of sweatpants.