Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stupidity as a lifestyle

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." - Animal House 1978

It may be the greatest line from one of the ultimate American icon films. And yet no one seems to give it the tiniest bit of thought.

Fact is that here in these Yew-nited States we have made stupidity a lifestyle choice. Before you bury me in an avalanche of e-mails claiming that I don't love America please understand what I'm saying.

I am NOT saying that all or even most Americans are stupid, act stupid, think stupidly or have chosen to be stupid as a lifestyle.

We are however choosing to allow stupidity to become an accepted and acceptable way of going through life. Yes, we live in a free country and I will defend to my death the right for someone to choose to be stupid within the normal boundaries of our society.

I just don't see why we don't call being stupid, being stupid.

So what brings this to mind? Two items. One trivial the other serious.

First the trivial - Media day at the Super Bowl. This event now draws something around 5,000 "media" folks to interview the players, coaches and anyone else related to the Super Bowl teams. The vast majority of those folks are regular sports and culture reporters who are covering what is one of the central cultural events of our nation. Then there's the idiot who would ask the players if they knew the show "American Idol" and would they sing a song for him. This is part of who new range of "entertainers" who specialize in being stupid for a living. The only thing I find more disturbing than the existence of people who want to do this kind of stuff is the undeniable FACT that there are people who find this amusing.

If this is you think about this:

You like to laugh at stupid people. This is a form of entertainment for you.

Nice, very nice.

The second item is more serious.

Turner Broadcastings Cartoon Network put the entire city of Boston on edge yesterday by a really STUPID publicity stunt. (Story)

Quite simply they created 10 boxes,described as "...encased in dark plastic, consisted of blinking lights wired to an electronic circuit board..." and then left them on bridges and other public places.

To the surprise of only the idiots at Cartoon Network apparently, these set off traffic shutdowns and police mobilizations since people assumed they were bombs. Commuter trains were stopped, the Coast Guard shut down the Charles River, and the bomb squad had to be called in.

I want you to imagine the meeting where this was proposed and everyone there nodding their heads in agreement. "Great idea, we should do it". Black boxes with blinking lights left near medical centers, bridges and other public places.

Post 9/11.
During a war where IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices, are a prominent feature. Boxes left on bridges and roadways or near buildings.

Stupid. No. STUPID.

Stupid is on the rise because we've come to believe that we're not responsible for the end result if that's not what we intended to happen. It doesn't matter how stupid we act or what stupidity rolls out of our mouths, as long as we were "just having fun". "I didn't mean to", "it was just a joke" "oh lighten up".

Sorry stupid is stupid. It shouldn't be encouraged. It should never have any appearance of acceptability. You ARE responsible for what you say and do. You are responsible for any reasonably expected outcome of those words or actions. You have every right to be stupid. I have every right to point that out and refuse to accept your stupidity.

Stupidity. Just say no.


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