Living in an Idiocracy

Sometimes I consider renaming my blog to Living in an Idiocracy. I continue to be amazed, or really dismayed, at the lack of basic intelligence held by my fellow Americans. The problem is that the idiocy doens’t stop at inconsequential matters, it involves matters of significant consequence as well:

The most important safety feature on your car isn’t its airbag or even the seat belts—it’s the tires. This should be obvious; those four round black things are the only part of the vehicle to actually touch the road, after all. Sadly, most American drivers fail to take care of their tires, with 35 percent of drivers not able to tell if their tires are bald. When you consider that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that vehicles with worn out tires were three times more likely to end up in a crash, you can see the problem.

Checking to see if your tires have a safe amount of tread on them isn’t difficult. Tires include a convenient built-in mechanism to determining your tires’ tread depth. Tread depth gauges can also be acquired for a song and if even that is too expensive for you, you can use something like a coin to determine if your tires need to be replaced.

The fact that motorists can get a license without learning that their tires need to be replaced periodically is astounding to me. How can somebody get through 16 years of their life without having known somebody who got the tires on their vehicle replaced and at least developed the curiosity to ask why they replaced their tires? The level of ignorance seems to require a willful commitment.

Honestly, if advocates of mass transit want a catchphrase for their campaigns they could do worse than, “Mass transit. Because you’re too stupid to be trusted with your own vehicle.”

Welcome to Costco. I Love You.

Tide Pods have been in the news as of late. A series of challenge videos made predominantly by teenagers have been cropping up and apparently the challenges are being accepted by other teenagers. I would argue that if you survived at least 13 years on this planet, you should be smart enough to read the warning label on the Tide Pod bag that specifically warns against consuming the product. However, if you’ve made it all the way to college and still can’t read the warming label, you’re a unique level of stupid:

A Utah State University student was reportedly rushed to a hospital Saturday after ingesting a Tide Pod, which has become a dangerous trend on social media as teens dare each other to eat the miniature, neon, detergent-filled pods.

I’ve understood that education has been diminishing here in the United States for a long time. I didn’t realize just how far it had diminished though. At this point I’m convinced that the only inaccuracy in Idiocracy was the timeline. It won’t take 500 years for humanity to reach the level of stupidity portrayed in that movie. That level is already being achieved today.