A nationally syndicated "expert" was asked if educated people could be dumb. Her answer, published in her weekly newspaper column last Sunday was that while educated men and women could not be labeled "dumb," they could do dumb things. The Cyclops motto rings the same bell: "Never overestimate the intelligence of the American people." Last week brought a few notable examples.
In Utah, for instance, a KSL TV survey found that a majority of Utahns -- a full 52 percent -- thought it was wrong to protest the current conflict in Iraq. Apparently they have never heard of the First Amendment, never acquired a knowledge of our country's history and never enrolled or paid attention in a civics class.
In a different vein, some Utahns have actually been seen purchasing a copy of a fiction novel penned by actress Pamela Anderson. There are probably 81,207 competent, well-versed English majors who cannot get book deals, but a no-talent known for her bosom and her tattoos has fooled people into believing she can string a noun and verb together correctly. Pamela Anderson as a novelist? How about Peewee Herman as an NBA center? The first sentence in Anderson's novel is pornographic and I doubt the book gets any better.
And now for a third example of how massive numbers of Americans spew out opinions before shifting their brain into gear...
A recent national poll found that about one-third of all Americans hold the restaurant industry very responsible or at least somewhat responsible for creating obesity. You wish you could lose 30 pounds? Just shrug your shoulders and blame Ronald McDonald and Sara Lee.
In the first place, Ameri-cans should dismiss the idea that thin is regal. If all women looked like Twiggy, we would all be actors in an alien adventure. Skinny folk often seem too consumed with counting calories and ogling over broccoli instead of enjoying the varietal pleasures of life. Most of us over the age of puberty realize that a kind smile and a penchant for conversation counts more than a magazine pin-up figure.
But for those who want to unwrap some of their caloric packing, go do it --and don't hold the french fry cook in any way responsible. No one forces you to "supersize" your meal; no one advises you to gulp down 120 ounces of Pepsi each day; you were never taught that cheesecake is one of the major food groups.
Prior to a three-mile run in South Ogden last Saturday, a Davis County woman told me she had lost about 35 pounds doing moderate exercise and eating nutritionally. "I'm not a fanatic," she said. "I run several times a week, eat salads and smaller dinner portions, and occasionally reward myself with a doughnut. Frankly, it isn't hard for most people to lose weight once they take responsibility for their own health."
Then she ran for three miles. She passed a Burger King, a Taco Time and two convenience stores -- and didn't stop once. That's proof that not everyone's thinking powers are impaired.