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Who's Fucking: Zack and Evan

Coworkers Zack and Evan talk about moving past first impressions, stepping out of your comfort zone, and understanding what it really means to fuck someone.

Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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Lowest Common Denominator Continues To Plummet

WASHINGTON, DC–The lowest common denominator (LCD), the leading cultural indicator for American mass-market tastes, continued its precipitous drop last week, fueling worries about the future of the U.S. marketplace for ideas and stoking fears of a long-term cultural recession.

American Focus

The ill health of the LCD, in steady decline since the advent of television, has been cause for concern among the intelligentsia for decades. But double-digit drops in the LCD since October 2000 have alarmed even the most pandering members of the entertainment industry.

"Quite simply, the collective intelligence level is dropping so rapidly that it's becoming increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public," said News Corp president and COO Peter Chernin. "Without a way to set a floor for the lowest common denominator, even the stupidest material we can develop is not stupid enough for audiences to enjoy."

As examples of the accelerating descent of the LCD, experts cite Chyna's bestselling wrestling biography, the elephant-sperm-filled Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered, and MTV's Dude, This Sucks, in which performers defecate explosively onto audience members. Despite efforts to raise national interest rates in more sophisticated fare like The Sopranos, Memento, and Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay, the demand for increasingly inane cultural output has rendered efforts futile.

A popular, LCD-lowering video that features teenagers pounding each other with folding chairs.

"We face a real crisis in mainstream society's media preferences," said James W. Northrup, special appointee to the recently established LCD Emergency Federal Task Force. "Things that were once base enough for the notoriously undemanding American public are now considered too highbrow for mass consumption. The bar is on the floor, but everyone still wants it lowered."

As the LCD drops, competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce. Entertainment Tonight, once the nation's standard-bearer for hollow, insipid celebrity journalism, has been rendered respectable by the likes of National Enquirer TV and E!'s Mysteries And Scandals. Survivor, derided by critics upon its debut last year, now stands as the Old Gray Lady of reality television, towering over such crass knock-offs as Boot Camp and Chains Of Love. Even Hollywood, America's primary provider of sub-literate pabulum for nearly a century, must compete with hyper-violent video games, Internet sites featuring foul-mouthed animated genitalia, and mail-order Girls Gone Wild: Sexy Sorority Sweethearts videos for the lucrative stupid-person market.

"It's a real nightmare," said Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of such critically reviled smashes as The Rock, Con Air, and Armageddon. "These days, it's getting harder and harder to underestimate the intelligence of the American public."

In a Syracuse University study conducted last month, reruns of Happy Days, a show derided by 1970s critics as "targeted to third-graders," were deemed "beyond comprehension" by 75 percent of present-day third-graders. The surveyed students expressed frustration with the show's characters, some of which exhibited more than one trait.

"Fonzie rides a motorcycle, but he also likes girls," one subject said. "I don't get it."

The test group also took issue with Happy Days' "boring," non-fatal motorcycle crashes and confusing lack of gunplay and/or graphic nudity.

Dr. George Lowell, director of Syracuse's Center For The Study Of Television & Popular Culture and one of the study's organizers, expressed concern about the test subjects' inability to follow even the simplest stories.

"The biggest problem is not that TV shows' plots are too complicated, but that shows have any plots at all. The presence of a plot, however hackneyed, is not palatable to viewers accustomed to programs like Total Request Live or Jackass, which contain no story structure whatsoever," Lowell said. "What's worse, in two or three years, even TRL will be too hard for most people to grasp, because the e-mail requests scrolling across the screen require them to read."

The media are attempting to respond to the crisis: The eight-minute attention-span limit on network TV programming, a longtime staple of the medium, has been lowered to four minutes. Radio personality Howard Stern has been warned by producers to "dumb down" his daily radio show. And Pamela Anderson Lee's syndicated action program V.I.P. will be retooled to a dialogue-free all-kung-fu/bikini format starting this fall.

Despite the challenges, many remain optimistic. "America has stood tall as the world leader in spoon-feeding mindless swill to the uneducated, sub-literate masses, and we will continue to do so," Viacom president Mel Karmazin said. "Nobody is better at pandering to people's basest tendencies than this great nation's entertainment industry, and if our material isn't stupid enough for them, then, by God, we'll use good old American know-how to make the product even worse."

More from this section

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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