Major dumbing down of a classic game
Sometimes, as in the Soviet-like Time magazine photo in the last entry, liberal society can only fantasize the human equality it desires. Other times it actually achieves it. It has achieved it, e.g., by allowing the mass nondiscriminatory admission of nonwhite Third-Worlders into white society, while simultaneously radically lowering educational and behavioral standards for whites. Liberalism reaches, or at least approaches, the goal of equality, not by raising up the “worse-off” to the level of the “better off,” which is, after all, impossible, but by progressively lowering the “better off” toward the level of the “worse off,” which is possible.
Once the entire cultural level and intelligence level of the society have been systematically lowered, other changes follow. Thus we read in The Daily Mail that the Mattel Corporation, which manufactures Scrabble, is fundamentally altering the rules of the game, making it much easier to play. Most importantly, proper names can now be used, which, of course, was never the case before. And given the fact that the only common culture in our debased society is pop culture, the use of the names of pop entertainers (the Mail gives the examples of “Beyonce,” “Jay-Z,” and “Shakira”) will become common in the revampled Scrabble, opening up the game to people who previously found it too difficult or boring.
I wonder how my late sister, who adored Scrabble, and was also a leftist, would have felt about this. She would have been infuriated at the change in the game, even denouncing it as an instance of egalitarianism run amuck, while not seeing that a lowering of standards such as this is an all-but-inevitable result of the fundamental changes in the make-up of our society that she supported.
James P. writes:
The half-wits who would most benefit from the rules changes to Scrabble are the ones least likely to play the game in the first place. Those kinds of people play video games in which verbal proficiency is irrelevant.LA replies:
I agree. I don’t think that the changes will make many non-Scrabble players into players. I suspect that the change is an effort by Mattel to seem less exclusive.Jonathan W. writes:
How long before Mattel allows points for inner city slang?ZvB writes:
I think this is no big deal. The notion that Scrabble has any hard and fast rules is absurd anyway, because people will always make up their own “house” rules. My family and friends had the rule that each player got one free challenge per game, in which you could dispute another player’s word without risking penalty to your own score. Sort of a mulligan for Scrabble. Other times we would allow proper names if they agreed with a predetermined theme such as movie titles, classical composers, or professional baseball players, etc. These of course were also open to challenge.LA replies:
I disagree. To allow proper names in Scrabble is to change the very nature of the game. Also I disagree that Scrabble has no hard and fast rules. The essence of the game is its rules, which are tough rules. It’s not an easy game. If every proper name under the sun is allowed, it becomes a different game.Hannon writes:
Please desist in posting such horribly depressing stories back-to-back. The Melanie Phillips report was beyond belief, a record of astonishing simultaneous parallels between our countries. And then this Scrabble business. While the news leaves me speechless I can recommend this excellent book that gives the reader an inside look at the “Scrabble circuit”. Great stuff.LA replies:
These are tough times. No way to avoid it.Hannon replies:
It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but “desist” is rather difficult to use in that way.LA replies:
The tongue in cheek came across.Hannon writes:
I hadn’t seen your previous exchange in this post. I’m with you. When people tell me to “lighten up” it typically brings out a “heavier” response. If they think that you are in such a state that you need to “lighten up” then wouldn’t said condition be obvious to both parties? And wouldn’t you want to let that person “lighten up” on his own terms unless you knew him very well?April 7
David Winch writes:
Hmm.John P. writes:
This is awful, of course, but I suspect there will simply be those who continue to play “classic” Scrabble which will acquire a certain cachet of exclusivity.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 06, 2010 01:05 PM | Send