We hear about it all the time. "This news program" or "that reality show" was marketed toward the Lowest Common Denominator. The low-attention-span, mindless, self-narcotizing, gullible, gratification-seeking citizens that absorb their info-tainment like sponges, oblivious or apathetic about how uneducated they are. *swirls wineglass*
But... Do they really exist? Is there really a huge mass of frivolous apes - or whatever snarky moniker you might want to apply to them - that drives TV executives or movie studios to lower their standards and avoid controversy and subversion of expectations? Or is it an image present only on the minds of higher-ups who underestimate the intelligence of their viewership? Brazilian newscaster William Bonner compared the average viewer of his news program with Homer Simpson (no joke!).
Are there thousands of Homers among us? Who are they? Where are they? Are they truly objectively inferior in intelligence - or even inferior, period? How do you know when you are one? And, in that case, do you have the duty - or even the capacity - to become educated?
Will the real Homer Simpson stand up?
(This thread brought to you by Viridian Feels Confused About Academia Inc.)