Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Elementary, My Dear...

I don’t watch TV very often but the other night I was in control of the remote. Taking advantage of this rare opportunity, I started flicking through all 400 million channels. (I actually miss the old days when we had about six channels to choose from.)

I stopped at a show called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Huh? Why? Do I need the assurance that I am smarter than a fifth grader? Maybe.

We’re talking about a woman who doesn’t know (and is afraid to find out) her I. Q. score. I was tested in public school but never told the results. I figure at this point in time I’m better off not knowing. Such knowledge could be devastating.

Anyway, back to this stupid (who’s stupid?) show. The first question went something like this — “Which planet would you weigh the most on?” Three planets were named.


It was of no consolation that the adult contestant didn’t know either. The kid next to her was busy writing down his answer. Little show-off.

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) I don’t remember the three planets given so you won’t be able to test your brilliance. However, the answer was Jupiter. And I won’t be going there any time soon so that I can weigh more.

Anyone reading this who figures they would have known the answer — bully for you. I don’t remember learning this in Grade Five and even if I did I don’t need this particular bit of knowledge to live. I have no plans for space travel.

I changed the channel.

Who needs that kind of abuse?

Well, apparently lots of people either thrive on being shown up as dumber than a fifth grader or are just plain smarter than me. I’m going with the former.

You know what’s scary? This show “…has proved to be monstrously popular, attracting a larger audience than any new show in the Fox network's history, some 26.5 million."

Reality TV at its finest. Standing before an audience of millions and making a fool of yourself.

At least I have the sense to display my ignorance to only a select few — my blog audience.

And you like me anyway, right?


Jackie said...

Oh, the wonders of television!! More channels than anyone needs/ wants and so few really good programs. I don't know why people are fascinated with "reality" T.V. What's "real" about being followed by a camera crew?
Beth,if you want to test your I.Q. privately, go to the CBC "Test the Nation" website and take the test.

oreneta said...

Yes indeedy!!! I figured it had to be the bigggest planet, but couldn't remember which that was! Ooops, and I am living with a fifth grader who is certain that she knows more than I do. Humbling.

Anonymous said...

I watched that on the weekend too...and was thinking the whole time that I don't remember learning any of that stuff in 5th grade. But I guess it makes for good TV since it attracts such a huge audience which is surprising in a good way. It must be the first reality show that doesn't end with someone eating bugs.

I changed the channel too.

ted said...

If it makes you feel any better (and i'm sure it won't) i watched an episode from beginning to to end with some friends. Needless to say none of us were smarter than a fifth grader.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

I haven't seen the show, but I know I do pretty well against the kids when they are on Jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

I knew the answer...only because I watched the show too. I thought I'd see what all the talk was about, and I have to admit that watching people make complete fools of themselves is pretty darn funny.

Mustafa Şenalp said...

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DJ Cayenne said...

I agree with Mustafa!

For future reference, just remember that gravitational pull is all about the mass of the object. Take that fifth graders!

Beth said...

jackie: I might just go to that CBC site but unless it turns out that I'm Mensa material, no one will know the results but me.

(my computer sounds like it's going to explode - i'm shutting down for a minute!)

Beth said...

oreneta: I'd like to have a fifth grader here to watch the show with me and see how they do. (I think that kid on the show was given the answers.)

trish: I don't watch the bug-eating ones either. And as Jackie said, how "real" are these shows with camera crews, etc.?
(Glad to hear you changed the channel too.)

ted: Well, that kind of makes me feel better. Wait a minute. No it doesn't. You're my son! I don't want you to inherit my stupidity!

guy: Now I feel worse. I'm not too great at Jeopardy either.
But I'm okay at Trivial Pursuit in the history and literature sections!

coffee mom: I know these shows are supposed to be funny, but they just make me cringe.

mustafa: Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like this blog.

dj: Thanks. Now if I put that tidbit of information on the fridge, I just might remember it.
(If I don't "use it" I "lose it.")

patricia said...

We like you! We really like you!

I gotta say...what a dumb show. But then, I can't stand any of those stupid, stupid reality shows.

I was talking to my husband about this show a few days ago. The thing is, I bet if you ask all the questions asked in this show to those same fifth graders 20 years from now, they won't be able to remember either! If ya don't use it, ya definitely lose it. But hopefully you gain other things, like emotional intelligence, wisdom, understanding, and the ability to know when to change the damn channel.

Beth said...

Thanks. (From both Sally and I.)
You're the only one who responded to that last line - I was just about in tears!
And, yeah, I am smart. I did change the channel.

Princess Pointful said...

I refuse to watch that show, because I will probably beat myself up so bad for not knowing some random historical facts (though us Canadians are always at a disadvantage for that on those shows).

However, they are going by a pretty archaic notion that smart = facts. Even IQ tests are more comprehensive that that.

Beth said...

princess pointful:

Hmmm...maybe I should take an I.Q. test (as Jackie suggested).
Or not.
Or, how about simply never tuning in to a show like that again?

Dorky Dad said...

I have a deep philosophical problem with reality television, and thus will not watch the program. But that one thus far has come closest to breaking me of that vow, if only to confirm the idiocy of the American public.

Beth said...

You got that right, sista!!

Look, I already KNOW I'm dumb as a box of rocks...I don't need some snotty nosed bratty 5th grader telling me that....on national tv, no less.

Beth said...

dorky dad:
And don't forget the Canadian public. We watch it, too - or, in my case, take a brief look and change the channel - fast!

No, my dear - we are brilliant!
And we don't need some punky kid filling our heads with useless information. (Too confusing.)

Sornie said...

I sometimes wish I could go back to having just six channels too because I can only watch one at a time and I just KNOW I could make those smug little fifth graders cry -- I'd totally bring them to their knees!

Beth said...

sornie: You're one tough dude - being able to bring those fifth graders to their knees!
(I'd love to watch...)

P.S. I enjoy your blog - guess I should comment more - it's been a while since I last did.