RUSH: You remember, one of the most noteworthy, famous, respected… One of the things that established me as a great thinker in this country was a commentary I did many years ago, over 20 years ago entitled ‘Ban the Ugly from the Streets During Daytime.’ People reacted to this in ways I didn’t even expect, in explaining and reacted to its brilliance and its poignancy. And just to show you how when I often say, ‘We’re on the cutting edge of societal evolution,’ it was over 20 years ago I suggested banning the ugly from the streets during daytime. And people said, ‘Well, how do we know? Who will decide?’ Well, the ugly know who they are. We all know this. So we make it voluntary. In fact, we even came up with a term: ‘Uglo-Americans.’ Sharon Begley. This is also an illustration of the chickification of the news. Sharon Begley in a Newsweek Web exclusive: ‘Beauty Before Brains.’
Here is the opening paragraph of the story: ‘If you survived high school, or hope to’ survive high school. (laughing) That’s funny. Newsweek thinks they got teenagers reading their website. (laughing) That’s a triumph of emotion over common sense. Newsweek thinks teenagers are reading their website! Anyway, here’s how it goes. ‘If you survived high school, or hope to, you probably made your peace with the fact that life is unfair: looks can compensate for a lack of brains and conscientiousness.’ Baywatch proved that, by the way. ‘Or to put it more bluntly, teachers give good-looking kids higher grades than homely ones…’ For those of you in Rio Linda, ‘homely’ means ‘ugly.’ Putting ‘it more bluntly, teachers give good-looking kids higher grades than homely ones all other factors being equal, as numerous studies have found.
‘The phenomenon is so well documented in science it even has a name: the attractiveness effect. Now sociologist Michael T. French of the University of Miami and his colleagues have discovered yet another reason … In a paper on ‘Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School’ … ‘Being very well groomed is associated with a statistically significant GPA premium,’ they write. ‘While grooming has the largest effect on GPA for male students, having a very attractive personality is most important for female students.” (laughing) So they throw personality in there. At any rate, the story goes on to talk about we’ve gotta level the playing field somehow. How do we level the playing field? We need stimulus money for the ugly?
How do you level the playing field for homely, unattractive people in high school? You ban ’em. You set up schools for them. That’s the only way you can level the playing field. If we’re going to look at people this way… This is the point of the long-ago commentary. If we’re going to look at people and judge them this way there’s always going to be this unfairness so you just gotta ban the ugly from everywhere, at least in daylight. Nighttime, it’s tougher to tell that they’re ugly. That was also part of the commentary. By the way, the picture accompanying the article of the authorette… Ahem. Well, I’ll employ discipline here and not describe the picture other than to say it fits the theme of the story.