Friday, August 07, 2009

You Can't Fix Stupid

After I read Bill Maher's column (see below) this morning I called up 3 of my closest friends and asked them who we fought in the Revolutionary War. They all got it right. I'm afraid to call the fourth one... But the sentiments in Maher's column, and the outrage his comments about this being a “stupid country” have provoked, are things I've been thinking about a lot lately. It's more than people who are just stupid, they're anti-intelligent. That's what's scary.

For a number of years I was pretty active on a particular internet message board and, like most internet message boards, it got heated and vitriolic at times. There were the usual stupid people but they were outnumbered by intelligent people, nice people, interesting people, friendly people, and/or entertaining people. But, over the last couple of years, I had become aware of a gradual decline in the intellectual abilities of the majority of the posters. It seemed that the intelligent people, the ones I kept going there for discourse with, were either dropping out or cutting way, way back on their posting. Not only that but the people that I initially thought were merely stupid became more and more anti-intelligent. They weren't content to be just stupid, which is something you can sort of overlook because, well, they can't seem to help themselves. But they were becoming increasingly proud of their stupidity and outright hostile to people who demonstrated any level of intelligence.

Case in point: a discussion arose about the vast American prison system. In all honesty I really thought at first that a couple of the posters were just trying to be funny their responses were so dumb. But I finally realized that these people really had absolutely no clue about how out of control our prison system has become --- and what a big business it is. One of the posters said that the reason we have so many people in prison is because we don't just kill criminals like other countries do. When it was pointed out to her (with links to factual references) that America is the only developed country in the WORLD that still has a death penalty, she countered with the observation that “we” don't tolerate the lawlessness that is rampant throughout the rest of the world. Again, it was pointed out, annotated, and referenced, that most developed country (and even most undeveloped countries) have far lower per capita rates of murder, theft, assault, rape, etc. she countered by calling us all Liberal Lunatic Poopyheads (a euphemism) and announcing that who could believe anything I say because my photo on Facebook is at least 10 years old. So there.

Well, I finally decided I didn't want to be the last person with an IQ above that of a slime eel to post there and took a cyber-hike. But my point is that dumb is “in”. Stupid is cute. Ignorance is something to be proud of and, if you think I'm wrong, you're a whining, crybaby liberal moron, you potty-face, you.

I was looking at the latest collection of political cartoons about President Clinton's rescue mission to North Korea this week. They were all predictable portraying him as a gross, disgusting lecher preying on these two young women. They shared the same web page with the reports about the latest revelations by a couple of John Does who used to work for Blackwater. They allege that Blackwater engaged in a collection of heinous activities including murder, torture, child prostitution, statutory rape and more. They also shared the page with more reports about the so-called “C Street” house in Washington where an organization called “The Family” holds itself so far above ordinary moral values that its members which includes congressmen, governors and senators, have engaged in all kinds of unacceptable behavior (Mark Sandford and John Ensign are members). I also read the comments posted under these articles. Many of the commenters were still ranting about that decade old blowjob but could find no end of excuses to make for Sandford, Ensign, and all the Blackwater employees who were rewarded by the same activity only from fourteen year olds. It's just unbelievable.

Were people always this stupid but the anonymity of the internet makes it possible for them to flaunt it? Or have the last few years of stupidity-from-on-high made stupid fashionable? I don't know but it's got me scared. For the record: in the Revolutionary War we fought England. There --- one in four of you just learned something. Hope it helps.

Thanks for reading.

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