Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This will be an itsy bitsy rant. There is a summer series on PBS called The Pursuit of Excellence. Now, this is PBS. But this isn’t the old educational PBS, this is the new and improved PBS. So, is this excellence in foreign languages? God knows we could use all the experts in Middle Eastern languages we can get. Excellence in mathematics? Nope. Excellence in any of the sciences? Sorry. Great designs for the next space shuttle? I’m kidding, right? Fantastic new musicians? RLMAO. New windmill technology for alternative energy? Go catch Climate Change on the Weather Channel. Anything that would actually help solve the huge pile of problems facing not only the United States, but the entire world? I'd laugh, but it's just to keep from crying.

And I have to admit that I couldn’t even dare watching any of this without throwing something at the TV. So far they’ve covered synchronized swimming, breeding ferrets and tonight, (drum roll, please) hairdressers. What is this, the Twilight Zone? Or is this when Arthur Dent discovers that earth was actually populated by the cast off real estate agents, phone sanitizers, massage therapists, and hair dressers from another planet?

And I don’t really have anything against synchronized swimmers, ferrets or hairdressers. I think ferrets are bright, cute and probably a lot of fun. And one would probably rule the roost at our house.

The grad schools in math and science in this country are busy. Trouble is a lot of the students aren’t from Oregon, Utah, the Dakotas, Kansas, Ohio, or Maine. They hail from China, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, or Brazil. Countries where people know that solving the problems that face us will take everyone working together. Just not in the swimming pool or the beauty shop. Remember the story about Nero and the fiddle?



davebuccola said...

Excellent post. There's another huge problem with the fact that many of our doctors and graduate students are foreign born. It causes a huge strain on the countries they leave. Many doctors, for instance, that are needed in the third world are practicing medicine here because we don't train enough doctors. The brain drain on the third world is devastating.

It's really sad.


tenyearnap said...

Oky, now I knwo what to name my new rock band: Arthur Dent & the Hairdressers From Another Planet. Thank you, Jackie! --Cin

toonguykc said...

Don't get a ferret!  They are smelly, stinky and tricky -- like republicons.


mlraminiak said...

PBS has indeed fallen into the pit of info-tainment.  I cannot hardly listen to OPB anymore, because the articles are more and more sensationalist and pandering.  Lisa  :-]