Entertainment dumbs down America

By Tony Espinal

I love the movie “Inception.”
I thought it had a very interesting storyline, and I happen to be a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan (post “Titanic” days, of course).
Before I even saw “Inception,” I was enthralled by the idea of seeing a movie that one of my friends described as “one of the most complex and mind-bending movies I have ever seen.”  So imagine my disappointment when I found the movie to be as intellectually challenging as a game of Chutes and Ladders.
Don’t get me wrong; I still think it was a great movie.
However, it did get me thinking about how far we as a society have fallen from intellectualism when a movie that spells out everything that is going on in simple dialogue is considered mind-bending and complex.
When did we as a society become so entertained by bad writing, cool special effects and catchy lyrics?
I recently looked up the highest grossing movie of all time.
In 2010, the New York Times reported that James Cameron’s “Avatar” surpassed his previous blockbuster, “Titanic,” for highest grossing movie ever. What makes me laugh about this simple fact is that “Avatar” was pure garbage. The movie seemed to be nothing more than “Pocahontas,” “Dances with Wolves” and “Fern Gully” all wrapped up into one lazy storyline.
But Cameron did something very clever to make Avatar so popular, he made it pretty. That’s what seemed to mesmerize people. The obviously terrible storyline. didn’t catch eyes, just how pretty the pictures were.
It didn’t matter that the movie was a boring, overused plot line.
I came across another fun fact that caused me to shake my head in utter disgust: The best-selling series “Fifty Shades of Grey” was nothing more than “Twilight” fan-fiction.
I could easily go into a rant about how “Twilight” is nothing but terrible writing. Yet people are still captivated by such a terribly written series. They are additionally expected to buy a seperate series that is merely fan-fiction based on “Twilight.”
It is okay to enjoy lowbrow entertainment. In fact, one of my favorite shows happens to be “Archer.” The show doesn’t have much going on in the realm of intellectual stimulation.
However, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be turned off by movies, books or songs that challenge us intellectually and instead embrace it.
Read books that your professors recommend.
Go check out great cinema classics such as “The Big Sleep,” “Casablanca” or even modern movies such as “Drive.”
Give Jimmy Hendrix, the Beatles or even Adele (who I don’t even care for) a good listen before you get sucked into the next Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber hit, which usually consist of the same three words repeated.
Reclaim intellectualism for what it is: A gift for all of us.