Brain-Rot

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EL 266

"While England endeavors to cure the potato-rot, will not any endeavor to cure the brain-rot, which prevails so much more widely and fatally?" (Thoreau, ch 18 paragraph 7)

Yes, I agree once again with Thoreau. I think his point here is that society focuses to cure problems that may appear to be the most important, but in truth are not. He was referring to the Great Potato Famine that occurred in Ireland during 1845 -1852. The famine not only caused people to starve, lose jobs and economic status, but also caused a wave of English and Irish immigrants to America.  England, who received many crops from Ireland, was concerned about this problem on an economic scale. Their focus was on solving this problem, not educating the public.

I can see this happening today as well. Because of the "economic crisis" we are struggling so hard to put money into Federal Relief funds such as grocery assistance, cash assistance, and housing assistance. Our focus is on building up these programs so that those who have lost jobs (or those who live off the system) will be supported during this tough time. We should instead be focusing on educating them, so that when minimum wage jobs are cut, they can go to college, earn a degree, and find a better, higher paying job.

Many people believe that because they qualify to receive government benefits, they are entitled to them for life. They simply feel that they cannot go back to work for one reason or another. Our society has made it so easy for this to happen that almost anyone can claim that they are "unable to work." This is exactly the kind of brain-rot that Thoreau was speaking of. With a little bit of education and a shove, many more Americans can find themselves contributing to society.

2 Comments

Jennifer Prex said:

I do agree with you that that is important, but I don't necessarily think that all of the funds should be shifted. There are people out there who legitimately have trouble finding work and obtain the help as a way to survive until they can find something new or better. Not everyone is just lazy--this is something one of my classes (Nutrition for Life) talked about last semester when the Westmoreland Food Bank came and did an interactive presentation. But regardless, I agree that it is necessary to treat more than just the symptom. The cause needs to be treated as well.

Gladys Mares said:

I think read that quote and I agree with you. He also mentions throughout the chapters we read about peoples unfortunate dependency on others. I think that has made people somewhat inept. I agree that it has become a problem and we should start fixing at the source by making people more self reliable.

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Gladys Mares on Brain-Rot: I think read that quote and I
Jennifer Prex on Brain-Rot: I do agree with you that that