Who are the stupid ones, again?

I don’t think it’s the residents of San Antonio

I’m beginning to put more credence in America’s smartest cities list, which last year ranked San Antonio 53rd out of 55 U.S. cities.

How else to explain the number of DUI cases in the six weeks since Officer Stephanie Brown was killed by a drunk driver?

I remember this list being discussed but didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, so I did a Google search. And guess what came up as the top search result? Note that URL — thedailybeast.com. Now, if you’ll remember, The Daily Beast is the Web publication that employs such intellectual heavy-hitters as Chris Buckley and Meghan McCain. Okay, right, so I still forged ahead, thinking that maybe this list would have some sort of credibility.

As you might imagine, I was at best nonplussed. What were the criteria? Book sales, number of institutions of higher learning, number of residents with college degrees, and number of eligible voters who voted in the last presidential election.

What’s wrong with this? Plenty. But just so this isn’t a novel-length blog post:

• Nonfiction books? I’m guessing Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock count as nonfiction? Surely you see the problem there, no?

• Institutions of higher learning? More specific to San Antonio, I’m sure our fair city ranked pretty high on the list, with UTSA, the University of the Incarnate Word, and Our Lady of the Lake University (and per Sabra in comments, the ACCD (which has the best math department in the state, not too shabby for a community college district), Trinity University, and now A&M. And St. Mary’s University). But even so this leads to the next criterion…

• Number of people with college degrees? Sorry, but it’s already been established that having a college degree doesn’t necessarily make you smart. This is going to be even more true in the coming years, as the K-12 establishment attempts to steer even more people into four-year degree programs that they are not best-suited for.

• Number of eligible voters who voted in the last presidential election? So, thinking the choice between the douche and the turd sandwich is no choice at all and acting accordingly makes one, ah, less intelligent? (Full disclosure: I actually did vote. For Sarah Palin and that jackass who was her running mate, what’s his name…McBain…McHain…McVain…oh, fuck it.)

I don’t know what to chalk that letter to the editor up as, other than yet more self-loathing that San Antonians seem to be legendary for in some circles. Even so, it’s incredibly asinine — stupid, even — to call 99.9999 percent of the population of this city stupid for the actions of that other .0001 percent.

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4 Responses to “Who are the stupid ones, again?”

  1. Sabra Says:

    Institutions of higher learning? More specific to San Antonio, I’m sure our fair city ranked pretty high on the list, with UTSA, the University of the Incarnate Word, and Our Lady of the Lake University, but even so this leads to the next criterion…

    And the ACCD (which has the best math department in the state, not too shabby for a community college district), Trinity University, and now A&M. And St. Mary’s University.

    DUI is a huge issue, but it’s not one of intelligence. The man who killed Officer Brown was a college student, in a pharmacist program, which isn’t the sort of thing to attract idiots.

  2. BobG Says:

    “Even so, it’s incredibly asinine — stupid, even — to call 99.9999 percent of the population of this city stupid for the actions of that other .0001 percent.”

    Absolutely. If they want to go with stupid actions of the most people, I’d have to say California and DC are the dumbest places in the country.

  3. Borepatch Says:

    How about “percent of population registered as Republicans”? Now I think that the GOP is the Stupid Party, but there’s no doubt that registered GOP voters have more years of education than registered Democrat voters.

    Oops, doesn’t fit the narrative.

  4. southtexaspistolero Says:

    You know, BP, I’m almost surprised they didn’t have “percentage of population registered as Democrats” as a criterion there. I don’t think it’s all that less credible a criterion for ranking such a list than any of the others.

    BTW, I’d love to see your thoughts on that whole “smartest cities” bullshit. Not that I would link-whore or anything, but, hey, a blogger’s gotta try. 😉

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