Mindless entertainment in a well-minded time

Story by Emily Gresbrink

Let’s be real for a second: we all know that educational programming and products like “Your Baby Can Read” don’t work and are a bunch of booty. Watching chess matches and spelling bees can be painful and humiliating. And really, watching “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader” makes me feel ridiculously inadequate and stupid. And I’m in college.

Inadequate feelings, engage.

The entertainment industry, in some dashing feat to undo the “death of everyone’s brain cells,” has been pushing “smart” TV and movies for a while now. And honestly, it’s getting old.

There are exceptions where entertainment has been expertly blended with education. When I was little, Sesame Street taught me how to count and Mr. Rogers acted as a free form of family therapy. Bill Nye The Science Guy, How It’s Made and Mythbusters taught me everything I need to have to (and care to) know about science and how stuff works. Wishbone taught me about books and moments in history. That’s good stuff!

Last year, a lot of the best picture nominees were REALLY smart movies! Yes, they were great, but I still get headaches when I watch Inception.

You know, maybe I just want to go to a movie and watch stuff get blown up and see sweaty action stars scream while shooting showers of bullets in no specific direction. Maybe I just want to sit down and watch “Adventure Time” or “Robot Chicken” or some other cartoony show people think are “stupid.”

The problem here is, people look at those mindless movies and totally pointless TV shows and see them as being a waste of time and having no entertainment value. But they do! They keep you distracted from reality, they make you laugh, and you have the tendency to become a pop culture know-it-all.

And I thoroughly believe that knowing every Family Guy and Anchorman quotation ever will help me out sometime soon.

OK, people just need to calm down and learn to accept entertainment for what it is. Not every movie out there has to have ‘depth’ and ‘imagery’ and ‘valuable meaning.’ Not every TV show is a miniseries with dynamic plots or epic drama that exploits the human struggle.

Sometimes it’s all about watching Maury and the 16-year-old high school dropouts with two kids, neither of which will ever know who their father really is. And that’s after the fifth round of DNA testing!

Call me sadistic and tasteless, but that’s all HILARIOUS.

And for movies? Show me The A-Team. Show me Jackass 3D. Show me Rabid Zombies From Outer Space in Kitchen Aprons Part 17. I don’t need deep plots and swelling soundtracks. I need explosions! Tomfoolery! BRAINS!

Okay, so RZFOSIKAP17 is not a real movie, but wouldn’t it be great?

It’s called the “entertainment industry” for a reason, guys. To be ENTERTAINED. I don’t want to sit down in front of the boob tube to learn about calculus or astrophysics. I don’t want to go to a movie and have to think the WHOLE time. What’s the fun in that?

I mean, I guess I can see the entertainment in learning quantum physics. If it’s got a cute song behind it, then I’ll learn.

Overall, it’s time that film connoisseurs out there realize that not every movie can have a Harvard IQ- level plot. We can’t all be smarter than fifth graders (mostly because those kids are rigged little geniuses from who-knows-where) and our babies can’t read. Sometimes it’s all about the entertainment and not about the education.