Posts Tagged ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader’

If you are like me and still have a latent attachment to Yahoo! Mail for Facebook notifications or the occasional email from your mother, you may come across the prominently featured dating advice articles that inhabit the front page. In Yahoo’s lifestyle section one finds articles extolling the virtues of letting your partner flirt with other men and women, advice on how to make long distance relationships work, and never ending updates on how members of the opposite sex (sorry LBGTQ folk!) can communicate with and understand each other. Today’s Yahoo! feature focuses on the “11 Things Women Don’t Know About Men.” Written by Evan Marc Katz, the article embarks on a thorough and deep analysis of the fragile male psyche that has yet to be apprehended by women everywhere. Since Evan realizes the truth is likely to be either too enraging or complicated for women to handle, he thankfully includes this headshot of himself at the beginning of his piece to engender empathy among his readers.

Typically it is acceptable to judge a book by it’s cover, but we should be charitable with Evan’s plunging neckline as it indicates his willingness to get to the heart of the very matters that have divided men from women for so long. Here are a few excerpts from his 1.5 page manifesto:

1. Getting angry at us for not reading your mind is like getting angry at yourself for not being able to fly. It’s not just futile, it’s physically impossible.

Mel Gibson aside, I think Evan is spot on here. Women are entirely too upset about their inability to fly commercial aircraft. At least be content that you have a disproportionate amount of flight attendant jobs.

8. There should a statute of limitations on stupid things that we said that can come back to haunt us. I propose 24 hours.

Although one might think this is a pathetic cry for a woman’s charity, the Bible advises that adopting Evan’s proposal is an endeavor in self preservation:

“Mat 6:14-15 (NIV) “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”*

12. Your nice guy friends are the most reliable source for telling you if your new boyfriend’s a jerk. And he probably is. (By the way, you might want to consider marrying that nice guy who’s giving you advice about the jerk.)

I thought there were only 11 of these, but this one is arguably the most insightful. As 90% of sexual assault is perpetrated by persons known to the victim, it is more than likely that a woman’s “nice guy friends” will know how to identify their partners in crime…

*Note that the gendered language of this passage does not require reciprocity. Tough luck, broads.

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I remember that someone here on Brooklyn Skeptic once wrote about this show, and I had no idea what it was. Last night, after doing my laundry and having dinner, I sat down to watch the only two television shows that I watch: The Office and 30 Rock. Sadly, I was early. And so I channel surfed (which almost always ends in tears). I don’t hate television, but I do usually hate shows of the game/reality variety. NBC, which is home to the two shows I watch, is only one channel away from FOX. And so I went one channel down watched a few minutes of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?.

My concern is not that it makes America look stupid. Most things on television do. I don’t worry that much about the effects of some asshole not knowing that the largest animal on the planet is a blue whale (he thought it was a giraffe – such a long neck!). And I’m only kind of worried at the mass exposure that a thunderfart like Jeff Foxworthy is getting. My main concern is the fact that they have children on this show. Young, impressionable children. What kind of lesson is this TV show teaching these kids? That they can attend school all their lives but still wind up being as dumb as the adult contestants? That no matter how much they listen in social studies, or math, or animal sciences, they won’t retain any of the knowledge and will one day be convinced that the largest animal on the planet is a fucking giraffe?

Oh yeah, and my other concern? I’m think I’m becoming as crochety as my father.

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In the last two days, fifteen people searched for the show about intelligence and fifth graders and landed on Brooklyn Skeptic. WordPress does a nice Big Brother-ish job of telling us how people happened across our site (spooky). Now, of those fifteen people, thirteen searched for something along the lines of “are you smarter then a fifth grader” while two people searched for “are you smarter than a fifth grader.” The answer to both of those questions is that 87% of the people who found our blog because of that show are not, in fact, smarter than fifth graders. This makes Brooklyn sad.

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After a pretty intensive happy hour last night, I went home to my busted-ass couch to watch my busted-ass TV that has no cable because T*** W***** is, as RK pointed out, fucking ridiculous. So right – I was obviously watching Fox’s Wednesday night bonanza of American Idol (total shitshow) and then the delightful surprise of “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

For anyone who didn’t see this show (apparently 34 million people did see it), it works like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, but the questions are all derived from elementary school textbooks and are not multiple choice. And they also have a band of five telegenic children who serve some kind of purpose I don’t really understand. They could just be there to shame the adults who have never heard the word “trapezoid” before. So the adults try to answer the questions and if they can’t, they have “life-line”-type options, like cheating off of a fifth grader. If the contestant gets a question wrong or cannot answer, the game is ended by Jeff Foxworthy (of all people) compelling the loser to say “I am not smarter than a fifth grader.” Literally, they must say those words.

I don’t really know how I feel about all this. It was like watching one of those dead baby jokes come to life. Yes, this is a good analogy. The show itself is grotesque – watching adults writhe over truly stupid questions like so many dead babies in a pile. And then Jeff Foxworthy mincing about on stage like he’s some kind of fucking super-genius ruling over the Kingdom of Incompetence is like that one live baby at the bottom. And then making them admit they’re not as smart as a 10-year-old? Ah, that’s the live baby going back for seconds.


Jeff Foxworthy Рthe live baby 

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