I see a problem in America today. As a society, it seems like our popular culture has devolved to celebrate willful ignorance and overt stupidity. For evidence of what I am talking about, I refer you to the above picture in which Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is juxtaposed with the late Carl Sagan.
One is a multidisciplinary scientist with ties to several prestigious institutions (including NASA and ivy-league universities) and the other stars in a “reality” television program. I’m certain you’ll experience no difficulty in matching face to description.
The show in question is The Jersey Shore. If you haven’t seen it before, congratulations and welcome to the club. If you have, please allow me to take a moment and express my most sincere and heartfelt condolences. If you actually watch the show on purpose, I can only hope that it’s pursuant to some kind of modern anthropological research or morbid curiosity. Being that I’ve never actually watched the show, I can’t say that I know what happens in a given episode. But based on what little exposure to the show I’ve had (commercials, water-cooler chat, memes, other people’s social media updates, etc) combined with what I’ve seen happen in other “reality” television programs, I imagine the average Jersey Shore episode contains one or more of the following: Tanning, working out, doing laundry, getting drunk, fighting, fucking, overreacting to trivial bullshit, and just general all-around douchebaggery.
I think the sentiment the above picture is trying to convey, and the one that most resonates with me, is that if more people were interested in the types of things Carl Sagan promoted (science, continual learning, critical thinking) instead of mindlessly consuming such vapid media as The Jersey Shore, we would be collectively better off as a society.
Sadly, such is not the case.
Some bonus pix for you: