The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


As a child there was nothing that delighted me more than going to the movies with one or both of my parents.  In those days, a good movie would play for months at a time and the experience was truly something very special. 

No notices appeared on the screen advising us to turn off our cell phones (they didn’t exist).  And most of us were polite enough to be silent during the showing of the film.  Those who weren’t were actively “Sshhhushed” by those near them.

At the end of the film the audience would actively applaud the work of art that they had just viewed, rather than file out silently as though they were part of a zombie collective.

Well, that was then and this is now.

In those days films were not rated.  Somehow, our legislators had sufficient faith in the parents of this country to allow them to determine whether a film was appropriate  either for them or their children.  Alas, that was then – this is now.

Although I truly enjoy movies I seldom go to see them.  In fact, I am about to break my record of seeing one movie a year.  Here it is, the 8th of December and I have yet to see a film this year at the theater.

Last year I saw “The King’s Speech”, the year before “Avatar” and the year before that “The Changeling”.  Four years and three movies.  Not a very impressive record.  But the movies I do choose to see are exceptional.  At the least, they have a message to convey.

Rather than take personal responsibility for my lack of movie-going experience I choose, in the best tradition of today’s America, to fault someone else.  In this case it’s Hollywood and Washington.

You see, I find their ratings so confusing.  Movies that they rate “G” would have been strictly off the list of films that I would have been allowed to view as a child.  “G”, “PG”, “R”, “X”.  (Perhaps I missed one or more).  These ratings mean nothing to me – and I suspect I am not alone in this.  It’s all so fuzzy.

I would like to suggest an alternative.  Both Hollywood and Washington should get behind this as it will produce greater profits for our movie makers.  That will result in more tax revenue that the Federal Government will have available to waste.

My suggestion is that we abandon our present movie rating system in favor of a new one – the BDI (Brain Dead Index).  The creation of this system would also help relieve the ranks of the unemployed (albeit by as insignificant an amount as President Obama’s and Congressional efforts in this regard).  But at least it would be a step in the right direction.

Here’s the plan.

We find one thousand citizens across the country and test their IQ’s.  Let’s say we decide on a range between 40-120 to represent a cross-section of the population.  In order to be politically correct and realizing that we are all equal – more or less – we would naturally want three times as many people whose IQ’s measure 40 than we would those whose were 120.  (Lest you think that there may be an absence of candidates in those lower regions I suggest that we have only to check the halls of Congress).

Now that we have our candidates (whom we would pay out of the public largesse), we expose each of them to every new Hollywood release.  Each BDI panelist would have his or her own key pad to record whether they liked the movie or not.

 The total of those voting “Like” are recorded and their  IQ’s entered into the system.  The  total IQ of the respondents is then divided by the number of participants and a BDI number is derived.  (This is very scientific).

A movie that receives a rating of 62 will probably not be enjoyable to a person whose IQ is 115 – but will surely be a treasure to a person whose IQ is 51.  Do you see how simple it is?

Although I believe that this system is a major improvement over the one with which we are currently encumbered, I will admit in advance that, even if adopted, it will be short lived in its duration.

With our current focus on income and wealth re-distribution, certainly proposals to re-distribute intelligence cannot lag far behind.

When those are fully implemented, we can all enjoy the movies that Hollywood produces.

In fact, we will be obligated to do so.

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