(Enjoy Part 1 from the archives!)
Today I learned something new: I learned that my state is dumb. Sorry, Tennessee, the rankings don’t put us very high up . . . in fact we hit the bottom ten. At least we weren’t dead last. That would be Louisiana and that probably wouldn’t be a surprise.
The creators of this study, Martek, show the top ten states as having a high likelihood of being near the oceans and cite fish consumption as a possible reason for higher brain health. Excuse me? Then how did Louisiana come in dead last? There’s a humongous quantity of fish being consumed there. Now, I believe almost all of that fish is fried, but California is getting a lot of its fish in Wahoo’s fish tacos, and that’s not going to rank too high on the old Omega-3 list either.
The low ten is heavily weighted into the south. Tennessee didn’t make the bottom on their own. Aside from a Dakota, there’s: a Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Loo-si-ana and yours truly, Tennessee. Raise your hand if you are surprised.
What gets me is that the researchers speculated about the aforementioned fish consumption, amount of sleep, fruit and veggie sales, breast feeding and use of ‘poor mental health’ days. Where is the examination of the fact that if you pull the education system rankings you find the same states languishing on the bottom? I really think that if you are going to rank things on smartness, you need to be smarter than that. Maybe our states are stupid because we don’t teach smarts in our schools the way those hoity-toity coastal states do.
One interesting tidbit caught my eye – that Louisiana ranked low in the use of ‘poor mental health days’. Really? Maybe this just means that Louisianans just don’t use their poor mental health days. Can I pipe up and guess that the highest uses of such days occurred in the west coast states, where consumption of tofu, bean sprouts and BS is incredibly high?
I’m also speculating that there are a lot of factors in the low ‘poor mental health days’ in Louisiana. Because I’ve been to Louisiana and they don’t seem all that mentally healthier than anywhere else. Maybe they don’t know these things exist and therefore don’t claim them. Maybe they need their jobs and don’t do stupid things like take ‘mental health days’. Maybe they realize that by calling their boss and suggesting this they’ll get laughed out of town. It seems to be only on the west coast where we say, ‘Oh yes, take a mental health day! I’ll hold down the crowd at the Oxygen Bar without you! Come back refreshed!”
In an effort to clear some of this up, I pulled old rankings, too. It seems in 2006-2007 Tennessee was at a respectable #30. I understand it isn’t great, but it’s spitting distance to the average. Unfortunately, it seems to mean that we aren’t just dumb, we are getting dumber.
Damn, I’m feeling my neurons shrivel as I sit here. Do I move back to California? Where my kids won’t get a better education (Cali ranks low forties on public schools!) Or do I sit here in my stupidity, getting dumber as the days go by, but enjoying my clean air sunset, grateful that I can buy cereal for less than five dollars a box, and conversing with my neighbors who seem to be smart enough not to call in ‘poor mental health days’ at work?
Oh, wait, I think I just answered my own question!
Stupid Is as Stupid Does – Part 1
Listen to AJ's Podcast SMART CHICKENS
Because Sometimes We All Just Want to Fly the Coop!