Please, call me Pretentious.

— Why anti-intellectualism is killing America

via Pinterest

I had a long drive home yesterday morning so I decided to find a new podcast to listen to. I ended up settling on “Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything”. I thought it was going to be another facts-about-stuff podcast but it ended up being much more.

The first episode I listened to was about the merit of direct action in protesting. It was very good. The next one I listened to was called “You are so pretentious”.

I loved it.

You should go wherever you find podcasts right now and listen to it. The podcast spoke about how the word pretentious is so negative and how it’s used almost as a slur to knock down those who pride themselves on their interests and hobbies. (Yes, I know that’s like everyone)

But the word pretentious is aimed at those who enjoy classical music, for instance, or contemporary art . Those who listen to podcast and keep a Medium where they critique every part of society. (this list could continue on for a while)

Basically: intellectuals.

In middle and high school my friends called me the walking encyclopedia (not in a good way), aka. pretentious. I wanted to know everything so I wasn’t going to argue with them.

Benjamin Walker got me thinking and I started Googling. Here are a few things I found:

To synthesize some of the things I found, I would say that in schools in America those who are most popular are those who are white, usually male, and dumb. Unfortunately, after high school we never move on from that mentality. We uphold sports stars who flunk classes and, worst of all, we have an entire wing of our government dedicated to the know-nothing class of America.

In America we don’t hold education in high regard. Instead we like those who are dumbed down because we “identify with them” — you know that means we call ourselves stupid right? Of course. Just checking. Out of this need to identify with someone of our own intellectual level (or those of lower intellectual level), President Trump was elected. A man who Tweets uncontrollably, can’t keep a promise to save his life, and who is constantly made fun of by his own people and everyone else.

Another product of anti-intellectualism: racism. There is not one person that can give you scientific evidence that those with white skin are any better in any sense of the word than those with dark skin. Racism is the refusal to think about why White people think they’re better. It is a refusal to be intellectual about a problem that has plagued our country since its conception.

A third product of anti-intellectualism in America could be our failing healthcare system. Let’s talk about cannabis. We know that marijuana will give you that euphoric high feeling. But it also lessens chronic pain, nausea, and improves sleep. (x) (x) (x) There are so many other proven methods to treat and cure certain diseases but Americans are too afraid of making progress and experimenting to improve their own health.

So, in short, I’m not the only one who thinks it’s time to start glorifying those who spend their time learning and thinking critically. America could benefit in so many ways by taking advantage of those who are a little… pretentious.

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