It’s important to point out I’m not talking about dumb people or even uneducated people. Making a conscious choice to not better ourselves, to not be better informed or more rational, makes a virtue of intellectual laziness. I blame most of this on Bart Simpson, who made under-achievement a kind of ersatz virtue. We are no longer stigmatized for being stupid which is, in and of itself, stupid.
Why is this woman a “star”? Is her singing really that good? Are
her songs really so moving that she deserves all of the press
she’s getting? This Disney debutante-turned-porn queen made
millions entertaining precocious preteens only to cash in on the
shock value of Hannah Montana doing soft porn. Beyond the haze
of that titillating gimmick, does anything she does now have any
artistic merit? And, will the 40-year Cyrus look back with shame
and horror at this time in her life? From what I can tell, only
Stupid People think Miley Cyrus is worth paying any attention
to. In fact, Cyrus’ circus act seems, to me, to be performance
art, as if she is satirizing the historically low-brow, morally
bankrupt talentless noise that passes for pop culture these
days. I accept the distinct possibility that I’m just not in on
the joke; Cyrus’ wink and infantile tongue gesture suggesting
she knows full well how completely empty her “art” is, but is
happy to take the cash nonetheless. Like Mike Myers in Austin
Powers drag, Cyrus seems to be mocking anyone dense enough
to be watching this warmed-over shock Madonna wannabe. With each
glance, I can actually feel my brain cells atrophying.
Stupid People spend hundreds of dollars every month just to watch TV where they see mostly loud, bombastic commercials shouting at Stupid People. TV networks and cable channels rake in hundreds of millions of dollars selling a blizzard of commercials they bombard us with constantly, so much so that there really isn’t a reason why they should be charging anything at all to view their programs. But they know we’re Stupid, and Stupid People do what they are told. There is likely an at least 400% markup on your cable bill—meaning, you’re likely paying at least four times what it actually costs to beam that content into your home. Stupid People pay this cash out year after year without a second thought, all for 137 channels of Stupid, worthless content. Stupid Christian People are all the more Stupid because only the most infinitesimal fraction of the content they are paying through the nose for every month edifies the Body of Christ or glorifies God in any way. 99.999% of the rest is disgusting, filthy, antichrist garbage. And the New York Jets.
So far as I can tell, Stupid People have almost no quiet in their lives. 50-inch flatscreens in their bedrooms, water-resistant flatscreens in their bathrooms, flatscreens built into their kitchen refrigerators. Most Stupid People I know have this noise droning on and on constantly—from the bedroom to the bathroom to the breakfast table, in their car, walking down the street with their “smart” phones, constant streaming on their office PC. Stupid People simply cannot abide quiet, can’t sit still. They are rats in a maze, constantly in motion, bumping their heads into walls, filling their lives with noise and accepting as normal a state of chaos for themselves and their children as they overload their calendars with activities.
Stupid People don’t ask. Don’t think. Don’t believe. Stupid People value tribal homogeny over individualism. Stupid People live their lives on only two dimensions—mind and body—and relegate any concern for the spirit to either a histrionic ignorant institutionalized tribal religion or banish any thought or discussion of spirituality to the realm of childish ridicule.
I hate Stupid People. I hate talking to them. I hate having to explain things to them. I hate working for them. I hate being subject to them. I realize this isn't very Christlike, but neither is lying about it. I hate these ignorant Sarah Palin Duck Dynasty low information nitwits and the culture of disengagement that seems to dominate virtually all walks of life in this country. I do not exclude myself from being one of them. I myself am frequently Stupid, unbelievably Stupid for a man of age, experience and alleged intellect. I’ve done very, very Stupid things in life.
It’s important to point out I’m not talking about dumb people or even uneducated people. I’m not talking about people who don’t know any better or people who are, for whatever reason, uninformed or to whom important information is, for whatever reasons, not available. I’m talking about Stupid People. I know lots of well-educated people with advanced degrees who are, nevertheless, dumb as a bag of hammers. Dr. So And So. Pastor Thus and So. Stupid. Lacking the sense of my dear departed grandmother who had, at best, a grade-school education but who had what we once called common sense.
I’m talking about people who have an opportunity to learn, to grow, to exchange ideas and culture but who choose not to. I’m talking about people who have the advantage and ability to hear more than one version or interpretation of an issue but who are too lazy or too deeply committed to their tribal disposition to bother. I blame most of this on Bart Simpson, who made under-achievement a kind of ersatz virtue. We are no longer stigmatized for being stupid which is, in and of itself, stupid. Making a conscious choice to not better ourselves, to not be better informed or more rational, makes a virtue of intellectual laziness. Michele Bachmann claiming the nation’s founding fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery was stupid. Not because she got the history wrong but because she was too lazy to look it up. Bachmann’s slim virtue is her genuine commitment to being stupid; she’s stupid and she’s proud of it.
Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is far more obviously disingenuous. Bachmann is lazy, Palin is simply disengaged from the facts in a truly frightening way. Palin has earned millions from Stupid People who unconditionally embrace her vapidity. John McCain wheeled Palin out as a Republican alternative to Hillary Clinton, which must have been deeply insulting to Clinton. Clinton worked herself half to death as the nation’s first viable female candidate for the presidency. Rather than affirm that historic effort, Palin’s ascension mocked it. Palin was, literally, a Hillary Clinton satire, setting women—the very Stupid People stuffing her purse with cash—back a generation and undercutting the historic nature and seriousness of Clinton’s run by presenting a woman who was not unintelligent but who was—write this down someplace—lazy. Palin was the antithesis of Clinton, yet many Clinton loyalists flocked to Palin’s candidacy in an irrational dash away from Barack Obama because they emotionally disliked the then-senator for fouling up Clinton’s coronation. It was a bad case of emotion over intellect, Clinton’s supporters racing to the nearest set of ovaries, as if any woman will do.
This is the great promise of Hillary Clinton in 2016, that women of every generation, ethnicity and, yes, political disposition will follow their emotions to the ballot box. They will set their differences aside because, despite what the pundits say, 2016 is their time and they know it. They’ve waited long enough. No candidate, male or female, gets elected without the support of women and women will flood the voting booths in 2016 not because of Clinton per se but because of the moment. Blacks flooded those same booths in 2008 because of the moment. America doesn’t need Hillary Clinton. America needs this historic and defining moment and Clinton just happens to be the only viable path to it. She’ll run because she has to run. It’s really not even about her anymore.