Sunday, February 8, 2009

Is it lame to be smart?

Because I like superhero movies, I watched the movie Zoom, which turns out to be for kids a little younger than me. But I liked it... except for a couple strange bits that made me realize how prevalent the message: it's lame to be smart.

"It's lame to be smart," hmm, I think we've gone off the rails somewhere . . .

The worst scene in Zoom along these lines was when the lead Tim Allen walks into a room filled with adults in lab coats sitting at monitors doing, you know, science-y stuff. His first words? "Raise your hand if you do NOT live in your mother's basement." No one raised their hands.

Like it or not, funny or not, shows aimed at children that contain these sorts of tropes reinforce the idea that science, and by extension the scientific method/evidence-based thinking is something to be avoided instead of embraced.

The answer is simply to be on the lookout for these sorts of unintended messages in our media. If you have children, point out when you see these instances. The best remedy is a little inoculation and sunlight.