American Monopoly on Stupidity
Posted by Jerry on August 30, 2007
America seems to have the monopoly on stupidity. In all my years spent in America, I was never quite impressed by the intellectual or thinking abilities of the average Joe–even if they were my fellow students in college. Indeed, even the fact that the expression “average Joe” is an American invention is rather apt, I think.
I can theorize that, perhaps, this intellectual complacency comes from their comfortable position as a world super-power and their massive economy, by virtue of which, they have the power to purchase or entice brains, intelligence, and solutions to keep their culture moving forward.
Of course, I’m caricaturing, and plain ol’ dumbness is a rather ubiquituous feature among all peoples everywhere. However, in the general American population, the dumbness appears to be particularly pronounced: it is observed in practically all social and economic strata of American society, and is often celebrated by the American youth and media. To be dumb is almost “cool”; god forbid you get labeled “geek” or “nerd”! “Dumb jocks” get the hot chicks, and “smart jocks” is an oxymoron. In fact, the tyranny of stupidity can get so real that intellectually superior kids come to regard their abilities as a curse; they try so hard to suppress their talents, deliberately fail their courses, avoid speaking up in class, apologize for getting an “A” (“Oh, it was just a fluke!”), try to blow off that spark of intelligence within them so that they can get into the “cool” but dumb crowd.
I was watching the show “Beauty and the Geek” last night on TV. It’s the season that aired in America earlier that has now come into syndication in India. The show is essentially about pairing up socially inept but brilliant boys with socially adept but utterly dumb girls.
Uncannily, all the brilliant boys are also physically unattractive, but all the dumb girls are physically stunning: it’s like a strange (but artificial) law in nature that you can only have either intellectual giftedness or physical attractiveness.
Anyway, well, one of the “geeks” made the comment that he would be so willing to give up some of his intellectual abilities to be able to date such beautiful girls and be accepted by them. Meanwhile, the “beauties” made their typical, utterly stupid, remarks like people should stop eating gaseous food to curb environmental pollution.
Then you have this contestant on the prominent Miss Teen USA pageant competition making an incredibly absurd, incoherent, and non-sensical remark in answer to a question posed by a judge:
Asked why a fifth of Americans could not locate the United States on a world map, she stammered out an answer that made Paula Abdul’s worst “American Idol” moment seem like a model of cogency.
Her answer, in its entirety, was: “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”
And with that, you are simply reassured–almost beyond a doubt–that America does have a monopoly on stupidity.
[P.S.: I simply forgot to mention President George Bush! If this post is about anyone at all, it has to be most appropriately about him!]