Thursday, September 29, 2011

yardstick

This image has been making the rounds on facebook:

And it is annoying me.

Being able to recognize Carl Sagan is now the way we measure for intelligence? Really? Both of those people were made famous by television, correct? Being able to name some old turtlenecked astronomer you saw once in college on PBS while stuffing Cheetos in your face and stoned out of your gourd means you're smart now. Well, okay.

But I guess I must have different standards than some sci-fi hipster geek making LOL Sagans in his mother's basement. Allow me to demonstrate:

If you don't know who painted this (AND, for bonus points, the subject of the painting!)


But you do know who painted this:


Congratulations! You're what's wrong with the world!

(See how this works, internerds?)

40 comments:

ASM826 said...

There is too much worthwhile information for anyone to keep up, leaving us capable of singing the theme song from the Flintstones and unable to even name the important works of the great composers.

I am great at Trivial Pursuit, it's a result of living through the last half of the 20th century.

instinct said...

I was right,I knew it was a Caravaggio but I did second guess myself on the title.

The only reason I know the second one is because my wife's teacher in grad school taught that hack and said that he was always more concerned with making money rather than making real art, which was a shame because as a student he showed a lot of talent.

Instead though, he married a woman who knew marketing and sold to the lowest common denominator

Baronger said...

I knew the subject of the first one, but only because it was similar to the subject matter of a painting in my local St. Louis, art museum.

I should have known that C. had painted it since it looked like his work and I've always liked his work.

But what does it say if you have no clue about the second and know the subject matter of the first instantly.

North said...

Snooki paints? *confused*

I guess _I'm_ what is what's wrong with the blogs.

North said...

Is there an 'e' in Snookie?

I don't know the greats.

Kristopher said...

Bah. The post boomer generation is starting to get elderly, and is acting like it.

Just because the kids are young does not make them the reason the world is screwed up. You were at the controls longer than they have been.

Lydia said...

I only recognize the pictures of those I can't stand. I lived with astro physicists and couldn't have told you that was Carl Sagan. Oh well, I guess I can go on being a stupid failure...wait, I read this blog, does that count for something???

Weer'd Beard said...

BTW the most amusing thing about Thomas Kinkade is he essentially is painting early house fires.

I always hear the screams of the children trapped inside trying to break a window to escape!

Mikael said...

I got a big fat recognition zero for all of them. Never been good at faces, and art, feh, if it had been a michaelangelo, da vinci, zorn or picasso, I might have got it. Maybe even a warhol... because of the reminder of what they look like from zombieland.

Mikael said...

PS: I do admit I recognized his face, just couldn't put a name to it. (Perhaps I should've said I'm terrible with names... I hardly ever forget a face, but putting a name, or sometimes even a context to it... well...)

RobertM said...

The Hack of Light!

An Ordinary American said...

World, meet "What's wrong" which would be me.

I watch virtually zero network television save for college football when my alma mater is playing. My limited TV watching pretty much hits on channels like Science, Discovery, NatGeo, TWC, VH1 Classic, all the outdoor/shooting/hunting channels, occasional Animal Planet, occasional Military channel (although it's going way too "reality based" and having served already, I don't want or need a reminder of what it was like) and occasionally some of the movie channels.

Pop culture? You can have it.

--AOA

Dirk said...

If your order costs $4.81, and you give the cashier $5.06, and the cashier looks at you like you have 3 heads, she's what's wrong with the world. If you don't know why you'd give the cashier $5.06, you're what's wrong with the world.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yeah, but what if she gives you 2 Dimes and a Nickel back? Who's the Wrong One now?

Dirk said...

Maybe she's out of quarters? At least she got the concept. :) And neither of you are what's wrong with the world.

lee n. field said...

The classic painting I honestly don't know. Subject, I'm going to guess is John the Baptist loosing his head.

Thomas Kinkaide, of course. I always picture ninjas or Nazis in his pictures. Or something like this: http://www.chinmusik.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ThomasKinkade.jpg

Mike W. said...

sorry, I never took art history in college or high school....

Matthew said...

Had to look up both artist and title.

But then I always get the dangerous Jewish chicks mixed up.

instinct said...

Worst part about Kinkade is that he actually was a decent artist. From what my wife was told, he was in a group of very talented artist and hated the fact that he wasn't the star student.

Here's an example of some of his early stuff that DOESN'T look like technicolor vomit

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/06/thomas-kinkadersquos-cottage-fantasy

Andy said...

I only figured out it was Sagan once I realized that the background was the "cosmos".

But seriously, we should caption back these people with "If you are sending around elitist portraits comparing your cultural references in an attempt to denigrate others, you are what is wrong with this world. Oh, and you're pathetic too!"

North said...

You know? I kinda liked Carl, despite flaws.

I think, really, in an effort to make the graphic as simple as possible, but no simpler, it could be just a picture of the "actress" and the words: You're what is wrong.

:-D

Jeanne S said...

I don't know anything about paintings, and I could not care less. I'm more interested in making my own (practical, wearable) art in the form of gorgeous crocheted stuff.

Old NFO said...

Interesting set of comparisons, and interesting comments too :-)

Windy Wilson said...

We have to be careful about what point in time we start blaming the boomers. I mean, they weren't able to vote until 1967 at the earliest, and they didn't really hit the big time in terms of births until about 1953, so the bulk of them couldn't vote until the constitution was amended setting the voting age back to 18, in 1972, and I do mean setting back.
Much of the muddle-headed leftist $4!+ laws in the 60s were passed by the so-called "Greatest Generation", who didn't understand that war was different from peace just as hypothermia is different from heat exhaustion and the prescriptions are necessarily different.

Instinct -- So, Caravaggio was the Thomas Kinkade of his generation?

Zendo Deb said...

It isn't a problem that people don't know who Sagan was, who Caravaggio was. The problem is that people are not taught to think for themselves. Or at all.

Forget about the lack of science education. (Uncertainty principle anyone? Calculus? Chemistry? How about Geography? - could you find Israel on a map?)

So when something like Fukashima Diaichii comes along, people in Chicago think it is a good idea to take iodine tablets. They don't know why, they just heard that it might "save them" from the dangers of radiation - or Godzilla or whatever.

Herds of sheep. Following whatever the herds are following.

Jeff the Baptist said...

(1) I don't expect kids to know who Carl Sagan is. His scientific breakthroughs were made in the 60s. By the 80s and 90s, he was just the "billions and billions" guy. And he's been dead for 15 years.

(2) It's nice to say that kids should be able to think for themselves. But ultimately you still need to know things because you need information to feed into that reasoning process. Otherwise you're at the mercy of whomever gives you data and you put garbage in and get garbage out.

Eagle said...

Weer'd Beard, that's hilarious--I haven't laughed spontaneously like that in a LONG time. Thanks!

Stuart the Viking said...

I find it funny that you would use classic art vs. the T. Kinkaide painting. I dated a costume designer years ago and we spent quite a bit of time hanging out with her theatre/art friends. I highly suspect that any one of them would have easily recognised the classic (and been able to speak about it ad-nausium), but would have drawn a blank on the Kinkaide (since his stuff isn't "high art").

Amongst that group, there were BAs, BFAs, MAs, and even a few MFAs. What we DIDN'T have was a single one of them that were actually PAYING THEIR DAMN STUDENT LOANS! Some in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pay it back? Um... NO... Why would they have to do that? After all, they are bettering the world by making ART!

Personally, I think ANY such test would be easily picked appart.

s

Breda said...

good lord, some of these comments. Some of you all will personalize and nitpick ANY post ANYONE writes. Sometimes I do not know why bloggers bother.

The Caravaggio/Kinkaid comparison was an EXAMPLE. I could have used literature, music...anything. Sheesh.

Guffaw in AZ said...

@North - I'm certain there are 'e's and many other things in Snooki. I don't wish any specifics, thank you.
And Carl Sagan brought astronomy and astrophysics to the masses.
Snooki brought lewd 'entertainment' via schadenfreud.

Cargosquid said...

Now...if we could just get Snooki to teach physics......

Chris said...

So no one commented that the Librarian said Carl Sagan got famous by being on TV.

Puzzling. ;)

I did not know either painter BTW. I guessed wrong.

Glenn B said...

Carl Sagan did not become famous because of television alone, he was made a star on television because of his intellect and his mannerisms while sharing his knowledge.

Of course knowing who he is does not necessarily make one intelligent but you would think that you would see the point was not so much that knowing Carl Sagan makes you intelligent or part of the solution and knowing that woman, whomever she is, makes you part of the problem. Rather, I would think the point
that if you are more familiar with one type more so than the other, it would be more likely you tend to lean a certain way, more towards intelligent and productive pursuits than towards what I am guessing would be some kind of entertainment geared balderdash. Of course, I could be way off track here as I am assuming the woman in the pic, who appears to be a bimbo, is in entertainment.

Sabra said...

I'd like to think I got it. Still think it's perfect meme material, too...

Kim said...

Rule #1: Never date a woman called "Judith"

Rule #2: ...especially if she's Jewish and

Rule #3: ...owns a Henckel set.

Skip said...

Uhh, could we see the prone rifle pic again?
Lady, you are hawt.

Breda said...

LOL, thanks. I believe you can just scroll down for that. Or something.

fast richard said...

Late to the thread, but the only one I recognized was Sagan. As others pointed out, he was already famous before his series of Sunday Sermons. TV brought him into Pop Culture as his scientific career was fading.

The Book of Judith is not in my bible. That would have been the other side of the primary ethnic divide of my childhood. The neighborhood included German Lutherans and Polish Catholics. There had been some intermarriage in my parents generation, which had been scandalous at the time, but the divide was still very much in evidence.

Les Jones said...

This old profile of Kinkade is endlessly entertaining.

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/05/business/fi-kinkade5/3

John B said...

I was going to argue that Sagan was famous for the right reasons. I wouldn't have a Caravaggio or Kinkade in the house. As for Snooki, I'm looking forward to firearms, and heavy-metal induced deafness. So I will never hear another female Jerseyite!

But wanting to preserve my spot in Breda's Posse! I'll hold my tongue!