Selling a culture of ignorance to the young

Selling a culture of ignorance to the young: key moments

Sam Cooke: Don’t know much about anything, what a wonderful world

by Jon Rappoport

April 3, 2017

As my readers know, I’ve been documenting the downfall of education in America for a long time. My basic logic course, contained in my collection, The Matrix Revealed, is one antidote.

Aside from what happens and what doesn’t happen in the classroom, the promotion of a popular culture devoted to glorifying ignorance certainly erodes children’s ambition to learn.

Let’s return to a “more innocent time” to pick up a clue, and a turning point.

Wonderful World, composed by Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert, and Lou Adler, broke on to the scene in 1960. It had legs. Later covers of the tune climbed the charts in 1965 and 1978, and then Cooke’s original performance was resurrected as a hit in 1985 and 1986:

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be

Just another sentimental popular tune; who cares? No one; except the lyric awoke a vast underlying YES in many hearts.

I don’t know nothin’, but love will carry the day, and the world will be wonderful then.

The obvious message: there is a shortcut to happiness. Learning is beside the point. It’s irrelevant. Just listen, the singer has found the key. He’s basically ignorant, but it doesn’t matter. If he can convince Her to love him, he has the answer the world has been waiting for.

He’s the hero. He’s the example.

Knowledge is just a con. It gets in the way. It creates adults. That’s a horrible fate. Remaining a child wins the prize. Children don’t have to worry. All they need is love. Let’s somehow reduce EVERYTHING to THAT.

As for Sam Cooke himself, well, he began singing with a group when he was six, he later composed a number of hit tunes, he launched his own record label (SAR), he put together his own music publishing company and a talent-management outfit. I don’t know what he knew and didn’t know, but he knew something. He worked tirelessly for years. (At the age of 33, in 1964, he was shot and killed in a Los Angeles motel. The circumstances surrounding his death are in dispute.) Point is, the Cooke who was singing about being ignorant was far from ignorant—as is the case with many performers who convincingly launch childlike sentiments to audiences for mass consumption. But these audiences, enveloped in the “feelings,” rarely bother to consider the source and the intelligence of the source.

Popular culture is a back-and-forth affair. The artist relays a quick dream, and the public buys it, because the dream arouses some latent idea that proposes a shortcut to happiness. An out.

The artist and his handlers are always looking for the fabled hook; the phrase that will pull in the crowd and galvanize their reaction.

Eventually, after years of swimming in pop culture, the tuned-up audience is conditioned to the notion that life’s secret has to be one hook or another. Little else is important.

Certainly, work is not important. Striving is not important. Ambition is not important. One’s own creative impulse is not important. Learning is not important. Those are all dead ends. Instead, something much simpler and easier (and vaguer) has to be the key.

In the realm of politics, there is a carryover. The answer in that arena would be simple, too. Greatest good. Love everybody right now. Kinder, gentler. I feel your pain. It takes a village. No child left behind. Hope and change. Yes we can.

Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be

If you just took the last three lines of that lyric and eliminated the rest, you’d have…nothing. No hook, no impact. But add the “don’t know” piece, and you’re striking gold. Because the audience of mostly young people wants the “don’t know.” That’s what they’re looking for. A boil-down into the effortless item that allows them to win what they yearn for, by pleading ignorance. Perfect.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be
Don’t know much about geography,
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra,
Don’t know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is two,
And if this one could be with you,
What a wonderful world this would be
Now, I don’t claim to be an “A” student,
But I’m tryin’ to be
For maybe by being an “A” student, baby,
I can win your love for me
Don’t know much about history,
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be
Science book
French I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be

I can’t resist tossing off a salute to the Beatles, because if you think Sam Cooke was scraping the bottom of the barrel, his lyric was Shakespearean laid alongside the 1963 Lennon/McCartney offering, I Want to Hold Your Hand. This was not the Beatles of Eleanor Rigby or even Hello, Goodbye. It was the early rocket that set off the first US explosion of Beatlemania.

Get a load of this lyric:

Oh yeah I tell you somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
Oh please say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
Now, let me hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

The single of the song sold five million copies in the US. It was folded into an album, Meet the Beatles!, which soon piled on another 3.5 million sales. The 1960s were off and running.

Nothing would ever be the same.

I’m told the real hook in I Want to Hold Your Hand is the opening phrase: “Oh yeah.” The kids loved it right away.

And if you want culture, you’ve got to go to the kids. They know what’s happening. They’re on the cutting edge…

Of the cliff.

It quickly became apparent to ad agencies, and corporations, and politicians, and media barons, and even the medical cartel, that targeting children was the new Thing. Don’t raise them. No. Bring the adults down to the child’s level.

That was the breakthrough.

The kiddies want what they want when they want it.

Convert society into a diaper-dream.

Hawk that dream from Norway to the southern tip of Argentina.

Buttress it with psychological clap-trap.

Call it, I don’t know, something like…


Yes, that’ll work.

As long as no one THINKS.

Oh yeah.

If you reduce the English language to the level of the two songs I’ve presented here, why would children in school want anything more?

They already believe they know the secret of life.

And if the “secret” doesn’t deliver the goods, it’s an easy step for the children to then consider themselves victims.

After that, the trip downhill happens quickly.

The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

26 comments on “Selling a culture of ignorance to the young

  1. elliottjab says:

    I grew up in this erra – remember liking both those songs. But because of my own situation parentally & personally – never went overboard with either

    Good or bad on the ‘overboard’ part – have never nor would I ever have correlated what u have just succinctly exposed.

    Thanks – it’s part of puzzle pieces I never knew existed… Awesome.

    Still on the mesa flank in NM.

  2. sean says:

    Yes Sam Cooke KNEW something. Great point.

  3. John says:

    Don’t know much about history,
    Just been indoctrinated to scream at people who think differently,
    Don’t know how to add, spell or think critically,
    Just been told to exist in a life of demagoguery,
    But I do know how to cling to people who only “think” like me,
    And I know if you join my hive, what a wonderful world this would be,

    Don’t know much about getting a real degree,
    Don’t know much about freedom or even liberty,
    Don’t know much about logic or common sense,
    But I am now told one and one is three,
    And if I could only just exist in all these lies,
    What a wonderful world this would be,

    Now I don’t claim to be a globalist stooge,
    But I’m trying to be,
    For by being a globalist stooge baby,
    I can win the other human drones approval of me, losing all our individuality is beautiful to me,

    Don’t know much about history,
    Just been indoctrinated to scream at people who think differently,
    Don’t know how to add, spell or think critically,
    Just been told to exist in a life of demagoguery,
    But I do know how to cling to people who only “think” like me,
    And I know if you join my hive, what a wonderful world this would be,

    Just leave me be,
    Indoctrination is cool to me,
    The hive mind, no real degree,
    Being naive and willfully ignorant is the key,

    But I do know if I am ever really taken seriously,
    By other irrational and mindless fools like me,
    I will then eventually get my useless and fake degree,
    And I know then if we only could get rid of free speech,
    What a wonderful world this will be…

  4. truth1 says:

    As we would say in Maine, that was wicked good! I find one other big problem with schools. A problem bigger than just denying education. Peer Pressure! Peers, all of the same age, condensed into one room where everyone is carefully watched by all their peers, with intense scrutiny. and there are always a few, bold, assertive, arrogant, who like to take control of the rest. And teachers let them, if not in the classroom, the playground for sure. Peer pressure inhibits and blocks. Its distracts, It is un-natural and not healthy. In the real world, we got all kinds of ages around us and its often more spread out. with your focus on your job. You might have an overseer but often not much more than that and a few co-workers.

    Parents are the ideal teachers, not peers. If you are going to herd kids, then they have to be strictly controlled to prevent them from doing harm and causing a harmful inhibiting environment for learning. Its no replacement for home and parents, but they they don’t care. they got to work. I even wonder why they had kids since they hardly ever see them or interact with them.

    and it all began in 1860, says John Taylor Gatto! We’re screwed now!

  5. RunProgram . says:

    More Beatles

    Love Is All You Need

    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

    There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
    Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
    Nothing you can say, but you can learn
    How to play the game
    It’s easy.
    Nothing you can make that can’t be made.
    No one you can save that can’t be saved.
    Nothing you can do, but you can learn
    How to be you in time
    It’s easy.

    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

    There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
    Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
    There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where
    You’re meant to be
    It’s easy.

    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
    All you need is love. (All together now).
    All you need is love. (Everybody).
    All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
    Love is all you need.
    Love is all you need

  6. Michael Burns says:

    Musical themes they make good for the grist…

    Interesting is it not; I guess you know it more from the POV of Medavoy. The ‘operation’.

    I’m dating myself, but I was 9 years old when that Beatles song come out. I remember it, it’s a distinct image, the awareness of a culture, beginning of your own culture as a matter of fact. When the song came on the radio, everyone stop what they were doing and started to listen and sing it.

    And the hook, three chord ryhthm, easy to memorize; simply chords simple lyrics, and movement along the lane following the piper to what end.

    But the artists Lennon and McCartney, were already playing American rythm and blues; Lennon was capable of complex music. But the business demanded such simplicity. Successively it became more complex; to eventually strawberry fields and the infamous white Album; the Vietnam war, the first televised war. Every night the reports on the dead, and a venue given the kids so they exercise their little emotions of what they felt.

    The “Cult of Youth” was born, and developed and it became a controllable think tank of vast numbers of children, minus their individuality, and then the idols started committing suicide, and were suicided when they awoke to the game or run amuck on the shores hallucinogenic drugs and free love. The disillusionment, and disenfranchisement.

    They, the infamous pronoun, for whoever they are; refined their methods and the operation became the latest trends, successfully a new flavour every single month. And it has never stopped.

    I was looking at the latest song by Bruno Mars a little twit genetically made in test tube who pumps out hits like they are…jingles…well they are jingles, commercials for idiocy and nihilism; one of these little didies he has over a billion hits on YouTube. That’s insane how many young minds he touches, and each and every one of those hits is a person who believes themselves unique and individual and a different shaped snowflake. What a group…

    Over 1,000,000,000,000 hits…that a lot of androids, MKultra has come of age, it the subliminal baby…

  7. SanityClaus says:

    I wish that trillions upon trillions of fake dollars were printed up for the past hundred years and spent on stupid and insipid musical recordings. This would be an improvement instead of paying traitors and murderers calling themselves the pentagon and the national guard to kill the enemies of the British Crown. N.A.T.O. is treason. The pentagon has pledged to serve the British Crown FOREVER. They are TRAITORS to the American Revolution of 1776, and all you can do is bitch about some songs released over fifty years ago. What exactly is your point? Once upon a time you were a player in the mafia that operates out of Washington? You hate music? You hate people with a song in their heart? You hate people that have a heart? Sam Cooke had soul and groove.
    When people try to use fake money military scrip Federal Reserve Notes to practice charity they find that it never works to make them lucky. If they used real silver coins then they would have a chance at cultivating their luck through the practice of honest charity using honest money. When someone puts a federal reserve note into a church collection plate they are offering a malicious lie
    to a deity. People despair of all charity because they make the mistake of believing that god is a murdering bastard from the Bible
    and because their efforts at honest charity have failed them from the want of honest money as a tool.

  8. I think this happened at that time to contain the anti-war, sexual “revolution” and black versus white implosion of “western society”, Jon.

    Good article,


  9. betty says:

    So many things people don’t know bout, like their own basic health, side effects of medications they take everyday. Domain names, the average person still does not know what a domain name is, like their bodies, something they use everyday. It’s like living in bizarre world.

  10. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Jon Rappoport,

    Regretfully, I agree with your analysis. Society has been enslaved by shortcuts to happiness.

    Alcohol, drugs, pornography, reality TV, video games, gladiator sports, university sports, etc.

    Only after setting aside these distractions was I finally able to re-discover reality (God).

  11. betty says:

    And speaking of 294M domain names the new world order just raised the price of them $2.50 that’s a LOT of money for 294M domains, shouldn’t that money belong to America, especially as we already gave up our brick and mortar to the globe. Domains are Internet addresses the backbone of the Internet and we need to get control of this near 4B Industry. Or tell them to screw off and come up with a different system and start over.

  12. gerard says:

    In France we had a really talented singer France Gall, aged about 17 singing “Sacré Charlemagne,” the lyrics can be translated as “who got that dumb idea to invent schooling? But it was this Sacré Charlemagne…”
    We also had a much less talented 18-year old singer, but very much commercialized, Sheila singing “L’école est finie” which can roughly be translated “give me your hand and take mine, school is over, may joy come..”
    It was the same culture translated into the French language, with the same goal of dumbing down the youth.

  13. r. stuart cooper says:

    Two of the most sinister, anti-educational rock “songs” which I remember are: “We Don’t Need No Education” (Pink Floyd) and Alice Cooper’s “anthem to summer” “School’s Out (Forever.”)

    Of course, they actually had a certain appeal to this listener because in the 1950s and 1960s, schools were pretty well denatured by then, and intelligent, ambitious students were often under-minded and ridiculed by lackluster teachers who sought to reduce all students to one safe, banal, unambitious, mind-controlled level of mediocrity and conformity. (The rebellion and/or apathy that ensued was perfectly understandable, given the tenor of the times.)

    I managed to break free of that stultifying system, and endeavor to educate myself every chance I get. However, the present generation apparently doesn’t even have the barest rudiments of education, nor are equipped with sufficient curiosity to use the computer to research, and learn, subjects that would outfit them to survive in this world successfully.

    Thus, I fear that, at the end of my days, I may have a ringside seat to watch the unenviable crumbling – and
    destruction – of the American Empire (in real time, as it happens, on what has become my favorite educational tool – the computer. Ironic, isn’t it?)

    • Terri says:

      You have no idea what The Wall or the band Pink Floyd is about do ya?

      The education they refer to is the indoctrination of children into collectivism, the public fool system. Guess you just proved they were successful….

      The Wall is a masterpiece, a genius indictment of the secret society Eisenhower spoke of; the military industrial educational complex. (The song Mother being one of these, which can help many understand all of their mommy issues and heal from them). I highly recommend you get a copy to watch and listen as part of the therapy you desperately need.

      As for Alice Cooper, he is an interesting character and school’s out put into words what everyone felt when summer came and we got to get out of prison for a while.

      • Michael Burns says:

        Hey you, out there in the cold
        Getting lonely, getting old
        Can you feel me?
        Hey you, standing in the aisles
        With itchy feet and fading smiles
        Can you feel me?
        Hey you, dont help them to bury the light
        Don’t give in without a fight.

        Hey you, out there on your own
        Sitting naked by the phone
        Would you touch me?
        Hey you, with you ear against the wall
        Waiting for someone to call out
        Would you touch me?
        Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
        Open your heart, I’m coming home.

        But it was only fantasy.
        The wall was too high,
        As you can see.
        No matter how he tried,
        He could not break free.
        And the worms ate into his brain.

        -The Wall – Flink Poyd

        Too funny lol

  14. LunaReport says:

    The Wall by Pink Floyd released in 1979 a concept album – a ‘rock opera’ as the lyrics go: we don’t need no education!

  15. Language of tabloids is 7 years comprehension level.

  16. Tom kauser says:

    Who can talk faster is music?

  17. Bunny says:

    Understand, that this is the indoctrination that public education was designed to foster, so people grabbed it because it felt familiar.

    Three principles public education fosters in people and they use operant conditioning /behavioral modification to do it.; in fact they train all public school teachers to have a lesson plan with a behavioral objective; the first principle is divorcing yourself from your own desires and the second is the constant need to consult “experts” instead of thinking things through, the third is the constant need for approval of other people.

    Divorcing yourself from your desires- you have to forget what you like and concentrate on passing their tests…many people actually forget what lit their fire, and made their hearts sing, because they were slowly forced to stop paying attention to it it.

    Expert opinion-if it isn’t in a book it isn’t worth knowing.If you want to know how to do something, don’t try it yourself, ask an “:expert” or look in books.
    This fosters an almost learned helplessness.

    Need for constant approval-obviously you have to cater to what everyone else MAY think avbout you which means you have to be not only a mind reader, but a slave to everyone else, because you now have to modify your actions to suit everyone else.

  18. JB says:

    I entered puberty when the Beatles became a US phenomenon. Didn’t like their music then, nor anything that smacked a likeness. And my peers who liked all that crap ran in a different crowd–or should I say I was largely outside of the crowds. That has not changed in nearly 60 years.

    In fourth grade my teacher told us at the year’s beginning that education was up to us, not the teacher. They were there to teach, but education was our responsibility as students. AND, she was brook no BS in her classroom. The message was reiterated by my sixth grade teacher. I believe it was no coincidence that it was also these two teachers who labored to look into the progress of each of their students and provided individualised assistance, instead of sitting on their asses like the rest of the teachers did.

    I never did well in public education, except where the teacher made time to work one on one with me. When I took the college entrance tests they said I needed remedial English to get in. That, after studying Russian for three years and Spanish for 8, speaking it at home with my foreign stepmother. Well four years later after learning a third foreign language and living abroad, I just signed up for the classes I wanted in my major and managed to get on the Dean’s List for two consecutive quarters. When it came time to finish up those pesky “prerequisites” I bypassed the basic English course and took English composition needed to satisfy the major communications requirement. Passed with a B hardly even trying, and the department chair forced the English department to waiver their “basic English.” The upshot is people can educate themselves if they have the motivation. Public education, colleges and universities do not educate. They indoctrinate.

    After attending only one high school reunion in my life a few years ago, I found most all those “bright” people are still just as clueless and full of indoctrination as they were fifty years ago. A few of them are quite wealthy, but not out of proportion to the population norm. They’re still going along with the cults they were raised in. To them it was always more important to fit in and be the system.

    As for the music–at midlife my divorced peers were still looking for romance in that ridiculous puerile environment of lyrics considered music. You don’t find friends in that environment. One of the most popular songs of the 60s was No Man Is An Island. I laughed at it then and still do, because all those folks I know who find it endearing are the least likely to be your brother. They must have their fantasy.

  19. Terri says:

    Warrant was one of many fun hair bands of the 80’s/90’s. Their song Cherry pie was written to mock the very idea Jon is addressing; the desire for and to produce inane music. Jani Lane wrote it very quickly as a joke, and of course it hit the top 10.

    There is nothing wrong with frivolity, as long as it is balanced, and I feel sorry for those who didn’t get to enjoy the music of the 70’s and 80’s and are listening to (C)rap and music purposely designed to fulfill mk ultra for all and to initiate as many as possible into the dark occult.

    Here it is with 27 million views and don’t forget the ice cream.

  20. henry says:

    Don’t forget the movies. Forest Gump is ‘not a smart man’. But, because of chance and not knowing any better, he has adventures and gets wealthy. What kind of message is that. If you don’t think, you will be a success.

    • Michael Burns says:

      You kids, you were so deprived, were the blues in that, were the soul baby!
      Music ain’t about talkin it’s a whole other language.

  21. artemisix says:

    George Orwell did not see art as different from propaganda. Any mother’s lullaby can be used. Even Logic can be twisted beyond recognition. The deep self loathing that creeps in when someone outside is dehumanized is rarely conscious. All can and will, be used for the glory or purpose of the state. As long as there is one. One ring to rule them all,……

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