The Epic Battle of Ross vs. Joey
Flip on a television right now. Flip through the channels and note the sort of shows, the characters, the way those characters are portrayed, and which characters you relate to, enjoy, and dislike. Could it be that you find yourself laughing at Joey, but mocking Ross? Are you one who thinks Hermione from Harry Potter is useful at times, but often too smart? Would you much rather be cool and collected like Zack and Kelly from Saved by the Bell than nerdy and smart like Screech and Lisa? Today, we find that Americans are becoming more and more anti-intellectual. But what does it mean to be an intellectual? What is an intellectual and how do you define those who are, and who are not? An intellectual can be defined as a person who seeks out knowledge, who likes to learn for the sake of merely enjoying the process and gaining information on new concepts and ideas. They read books, take classes, or watch movies on history for the mere joy of gaining new facts or learning new knowledge. However, today it seems people avoid anything full of knowledge, and instead fall back onto the couch to flip channels to watch shows filled with anti-intellectuals. Anti-intellectuals become the people who Americans tend to like, relate with, and idolize, while the intellectuals are portrayed as evil, geeky, or outcasts and any American would detest becoming like them, or being associated with.
So, why is it that sports figures, models, and actors become the people we look up to, and the scientists and geniuses become the punch line for our jokes, and the subject of our mocking? How is it exactly that television and movies influence who we idolize and find attractive? And how do these people in turn affect our beliefs, things we enjoy, things we do not?
Television companies and movie producers use many tactics that make us think about characters such as Joey as cool, and Ross as geeky, and in turn reflect intellectualism in a negative light. Some...