Friday, August 20, 2010

The New Dumb

On the Meaning of Dumb
1. lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.

—Verb phrase
10. dumb down, Informal. to make or become less intellectual, simpler, or less sophisticated: to dumb down a textbook; American movies have dumbed down.

To the casual observer, it might seem like there's an extra-heavy Dumbness front passing through the United States recently. This is beyond even the usual Dumb showers one can expect any election season. The storms of Dumb seem especially thick this year, with huge rolling banks of Stupid underneath, which can of course obfuscate vision. One must remember to take shelter from the ever-present danger of Idiocy strikes (stay in your car!) as well as golf-ball sized Dimness pelting down on a Moronic summer afternoon.

But it strikes me that the typical inane, slow-witted doltishness that we are used to seeing this time of year is currently being shored up by the tremendous effort of thousands of volunteers filling up sandbags of The New Dumb.

Now, as a writer it occurs to me that, yes, many of the words above are synonyms of ‘dumb’ or ‘dumbness.’ Which, in a perfectly literal, linear universe might be the end of the story. But it seems to me that there is something different about this latest iteration of The New Dumb, and it is this: a pervasive deliberateness, a proud declaration of one’s own ignorance.

Every movement has its poster children, and The New Dumb is no exception.

It is perhaps no surprise that The New Dumb, in proclaiming to stand up for America’s freedoms by denying those freedoms to other Americans hearkens back to the Know-Nothing Party, as, well, they know nothing. And again, it’s the pride they take in being dumb that is perhaps most shocking and alarming. It’s certainly possible that both the Know-Nothings and The New Dumb sprouted from pandering, from smarter people who were pretending to a dumbness that they perceive the majority has. Gretchen Carlson, stand up and say “Duh!”

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gretchen Carlson Dumbs Down
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

But what has happened is that this professed, possibly pretend ignorance by the policy elites has turned into a proud, true ignorance waved like a flag by the proletariat.

And that is truly frightening. Who the fuck ever heard of being proud of being stupid? That’s so...stupid.

Oh. I see.

Welp, never mind then.

Time for the New Dumb to get back to changing those textbooks to reflect the earth’s true age of 6,000 years and looking for Obama’s birth certificate. Or fighting a mosque that isn’t a mosque that is going up at Ground Zero which isn’t Ground Zero.

Life is tough. Especially during the Dumb season.

No comments: