How many times are you allowed to say or do something stupid before you realize you yourself are stupid? Seven times? 24? Butts? Rush Limbaugh has been wrong about 270 things a day for 40 years, and he would be truly shocked to learn he's stupid. We aren't good at spotting our own intellectual limitations. We walk around thinking we're brilliant, no matter how many times we get our head stuck in an alligator or our genitals stuck in an alligator. I can prove it: I think I'm smart enough to write an article on intelligence, and the only book I've read is the movie Bloodsport. I also recently typed the number butts. Twice. Hold on, butts times now.
The cluelessly stupid are a diverse and colorful community, but most of them fall into one of five distinct categories. I'll include a famous example of each one, which may end up getting confusing, since our dumbfuck president is somehow the example for all five. So here is a list of dumb idiots, which is maybe the best idea I've had for an article since 8 Album Covers White People Could Never Pull Off or Your 3rd Grade Textbook, Only Written By Gary Busey. Here's the book cover for when it inevitably gets adapted into national bestseller:
One last thing before we start. I imagine that some of you have already taken the idea of this article personally, and you're keenly watching for any logical flaw, strawman fallacy, or typo which will allow you to dismiss me as a totally wrong hypocrite. If so, I have some bad news: You're much dumber than you think, and this article is about you. And since you're already in the comments section, the rest of this sentence is for everyone else: See if you can guess which entry that guy was!
We live in a world infested with experts -- body language experts who speculate on handshake meanings, social media experts who tweet about Twitter to Twitterbots, romance experts who tell you how to fuck on a pizza*. There are no rules to declaring yourself an expert. And when you're self-important enough to think universally shared experiences are yours alone, you become a Keeper of the Common Knowledge.
*Cheese-up, while generously fingering your lover's pepperoni chakra. You're welcome, couples.
A Keeper of the Common Knowledge can become a leading mind on a subject after a Wikipedia paragraph or a few hazy childhood memories. Here's how it works: Every day, about 4,500 American tourists check into Paris hotels. After a few days of standard vacation packaging, they come home, and their barely noteworthy trip is only brought up every time France is mentioned for the rest of their lives. But for a Keeper of the Common Knowledge, those three days offered an insight into a culture so complete that they know the mysterious French people better than they know themselves.
A Keeper of Common Knowledge offers their wisdom when you need it least. They are bursting with things no person could possibly not know, and it spills out at the slightest relevance. They might insert themselves into a discussion about pro wrestling only to explain it's fake. If you make eye contact with them at a buffet, they give conspiratorial advice, like how to pile the most expensive foods into little shrines honoring your victory over the restaurant. They interrupt movies to share arcane knowledge like how guns are quite noisy or hanging from a cliff makes your arms tired. They're the kind of person who tells you not to use shampoo as a lubricant, as if they're the inventor of making love to a bowling ball. Let me spend Valentine's Day however I want, genius.
Helping Understand Keepers Of The Common Knowledge With Stupid President Donald Trump
Remember when Trump was always saying he was the best at military? That wasn't a crafty lie to get the tank loader vote; he really thinks that. But why? How? He dodged military service with a note from his gynecologist, and the only book on war he's read is a Hitler cat recipe book. Well, I've done my best to piece together how he came to think of himself as the greatest military mind of our time. It's pretty amazing how many personality and mental disorders had to come together to make it happen. Keep in mind that I'm not a licensed doctor and can't diagnose him. However, I do know that popular disabled impersonator Donald Trump has so much evil inside him that his proctologist's ungloved fingers now add an anus to any flesh they touch. When Trump got an MRI, the computer just showed an image of his daughter squatting over Jesus Christ and peeing into his missing eyes. With that in mind, let's examine the 4D chessboard the commander in chief calls his "very good brain."
During the debates, Donald complained that George Patton was spinning in his grave because we announced we were going into Mosul. "Why not go in quiet?" he asked many times. It was most likely rhetorical, but also so ignorant that one moderator accidentally answered it for him. Also, Patton famously led an insane decoy army to distract the Nazis. Saying he's spinning in his grave over someone being bold is like saying, "I didn't even read the Netflix description of the movie about the guy I'm invoking" and then adding, "It is truly impossible to miss how terrible I am. I am a walking DO NOT IRON WHILE WEARING SHIRT label. People see me and wonder what helplessly uninformed assholes created a need for me."
Trump kept referring to a secret military plan to defeat ISIS which he would only reveal after he was made president. This lie was almost cute, like when your boyfriend pretends he knew it was your birthday, or when Mike Huckabee's son says, "The dog was ritually murdered this way when I found it!" But I don't think Trump was lying! He really thought he had solved ISIS when his very good brain invented the "sneak attack." Paradoxically, he knew it was brilliant, but also so obvious that the generals were stupid for not thinking of it. I know a lot of absurdity is getting thrown around in this article, but he actually said that, and Mike Huckabee's son actually murdered a dog. And Trump's proctologist absolutely adds buttholes to all flesh he touches. It happens so often that he's stopped apologizing for it.
From what I can tell, the rest of Trump's military tactics are made up entirely of war crimes. One morning, convicted fraudster Donald Trump called in to a talk show to suggest we kill the families of terrorists. In one of his first executive briefings, he asked three times why we can't use nuclear weapons if we have them. That's his understanding of modern warfare -- he thinks all the bad people travel in one bombable group, moving to a new town every time the guileless United States military announces it's coming. Which means their only weakness is the first president with enough balls to instantly and without warning murder their children. It's weird, because most clinical sociopaths know that in order to blend in, they're at least supposed to pretend human life has value.
Trump sounds like a guy who had atomic bombs explained to him by an ill-advised puppet show, but he assured us that "There's nobody that understands the horrors of nuclear better than me." How deep does our president's record-breaking understanding of the horror of nuclear go? Well, in the most aggressively uninformed statement ever made by a dumbest man in the room, he told reporters, "You know what uranium is, right? It's this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things."
Those words came out of his mouth. After bragging about being the leading nuclear mind on the planet! No, you don't get it. You, me, all of us, we now live in a world where anything can happen. Our president, the PRESIDENT, knows three war things -- sneak attacks are surprise, nuclear is some bad things, nothing fucking else -- and with all his heart, he believes he is a military genius. And we, the people who all knew at least those same things, believed him! We put him in charge of the military! You can absolutely fuck off if that doesn't prove magic is real.
There's a soothing belief among the unskilled and dumb that every issue is simple and knowledge is a pointless endeavor. A Pure Intellect Untainted by Expertise thinks they have a refreshing outsider's take on every issue. They say things like "Hollywood should only make daring, original films" or "The cure for the obesity epidemic is fucking eating less" or "Have depressed people tried not being sad?" Everything is so easy to solve if you stop ignoring the obvious answer!
There is a lot of appeal in thinking any of the world's problems can be fixed with your no-nonsense telling it like it is. In fact, our movies and TV shows cater to it. They manufacture situations in which the obvious solution is ignored until the doofus character suggests an extremely common-sense idea. The others say something like "My- my God, it's so simple it's brilliant!" If you're dumb enough, it feels like they're talking to you! Let me give you an example.
Remember in Top Gun, when Maverick is being chased by an enemy jet through the danger zone? He's going to die if he can't get behind them, but how? Easy: He's going to slam on the brakes, and they will fly right by. No one in the movie can believe it. That shit isn't in the Pilot Rulebook, Maverick! But rules and pilots will never replace raw street smarts like the kind you and Maverick have. Personally, I'm so street smart that I don't even wonder how the jet already had brakes if Maverick was the first guy to invent the idea of slowing down a jet with jet brakes. I'm so street smart that I would have thrown a bowling ball out the window and said "She broke my heart too, pal!" as it smashed into the enemy pilot's chest, making a perfect comedic callback to earlier, when I was having sex with that bowling ball.
Here's an example from a movie that isn't 31 years old:
Have you ever noticed how in sports movies, there's always a wildcard character who ends up being the best at the sport because they've never heard of it? They hit the golf ball or kick the football furthest because they haven't cluttered their brain with pointless "knowledge." Or maybe they're unstoppable at basketball because they're a caveman, or a dog. If you're fetally alcoholed enough, these movies send a truly comforting message: Your lack of knowledge is specifically what will make you great at things. And think of how many things you don't know how to do. But not too hard; you don't want to accidentally understand anything so well that you become bad at it, like George Lucas did with Star Wars or Gamergate did with women.
Helping Understand Pure Intellects Untainted By Expertise With Stupid President Donald Trump
Knowing nothing about how to do something but also being the only one who can do it is Donald Trump's defining philosophy. He went into his campaign telling everyone how he knew nothing about politics, and that's virtually the only thing he didn't lie about. But of all his shortcomings, nothing demonstrates a Pure Intellect Untainted by Expertise as much as his stupid fucking Mexico WALL.
To think a wall is the solution to drugs, illegal immigration, or human trafficking requires a spectacular lack of knowledge. You have to carefully not read the first sentence of the first Google result on any of the issues. Most undocumented immigrants arrive legally and overstay their visas. Nothing has stopped drugs ever. I don't have all the stats on human trafficking, but every Staples I called said that they haven't printed an unusually high number of SEX SLAVE LIQUIDATION SALE signs since Trump announced he wanted a fence.
I'm already attacking the problem with facts, and our president wouldn't know a fact if it unraveled his combover and rappelled down Trump Tower. A human should know a wall wouldn't work simply by remembering what they know about walls. And since we live in an amazing time when anything can happen, we've actually witnessed Donald Trump accidentally think too hard about his wall and figure out that it wouldn't work.
In November of last year, Trump was explaining walls to a crowd. He reassured them that no one could scale his wall by saying, "There's no ladder going over there." He then took a long, silent thought ... maybe to consider whether Mexicans have ladder technology? He caveated, "If they ever get up there, they're in trouble, 'cause there's no way to get down." Still deep in thought, he added, "... maybe a rope." And with that, he debunked his own fence, almost a year ago, by inadvertently thinking about it for just the smallest amount of time.
Since then, it seems like any time Trump talks about the subject for too long, he'll remember another way to defeat a wall and have to add a feature. He once remembered that you can dig under walls, so he added special vibration-sensing anti-tunnel technology. He once misunderstood what someone meant by the word "transparent," and insisted that yeah, it was important to make the wall transparent so you can see the giant bags of drugs falling over it. And when he remembered that hammers can smash through walls, he suggested we fill it with, no bullshit, nuclear waste. There was also some talk of solar panels and a railroad. So now this thing senses vibrations (except for its own railroad), is climb-proof, is immune to everything but rope, and they're going to fill it with nuclear waste, which you can see because the wall is transparent. Also it's made of solar panels. So maybe this is an example of how knowing nothing about a thing sometimes can make you the best at it. Because Trump knows less about walls than a free-range chicken's limitless dreams, and he somehow designed the sweetest goddamn wall in the world.
The Determined Fool decided many years ago that they were extremely correct about something. Maybe they picked a political party, or a video game console, or the concept of snakes as pets. Whatever it was, they went about building their identity around the simple, unquestionable truth of that thing's supremacy. Since absolute certainty is a trait shared only by the very stupid, it turns out they were wrong. About everything. The alien-worshiping religion or the perpetually sued president they chose did not in fact end man's quest for universal truth. So now their life is devoted to developing the insanities necessary to keep their minds from noticing their mistake.
The human brain is an amazing organ. It can keep the Determined Fool ignorant even in the face of overwhelming education. In fact, proving to a Determined Fool how they are wrong usually only makes them more wrong. But who am I to say what's real? Our perception is just the interface we use to interpret a Universe of unknown wonders. I think it was Guy Fieri who once honked the horn on his top-down Chevelle and screamed, "Truth is a fleeting concept, like a slippery dildo in a dildo sweepstakes booth, weeknights at 8 on the Food Network!"
No one has a handle on truth, but 2,300 years ago, Aristotle said that the best truth is usually the one balanced between two extremes. So how are the most extreme people always the most sure they're right? It's been a dumb thing to think since they literally fucking invented how to think. Completely unaware of this, the Determined Fool starts political wars from indefensible positions like "trickle-down economics" or "Let's hear these Nazis out." Luckily, they have an arsenal of behavioral problems and logical fallacies to help them move out of any checkmate. For instance, maybe you decided you support Trump because he's a great businessman who tells it like it is. Fine. So you bought a little hat, masturbated to a picture of the nude first lady, and warned the Muslim in your building that Sharia law is no longer welcome in America. You're just the worst. A true piece of shit, like back when America was great.
Then you read an article about how Trump has failed in every business he ever started, sometimes intentionally to launder Russian mafia money. And it turns out his immigration policy is just something called "racial intolerance." Also, you find a study revealing that more than 80 percent of the things Trump says are wrong -- sometimes from dishonesty, but often from weirdly comprehensive dumbness. Oh man, this Trump guy? I think you really blew it. I wrote an online quiz that might help you understand.
So what are you supposed to do now? Get a refund for your hat? Apologize to the Muslim in your building who turned out to be something called "a Sikh"? Why bother? There are no consequences for anything, and your garbage brain can easily convince itself the media was lying. Plus, history eventually proves all racists to be right about daughter-killing immigrants, which because of Sharia law is perfectly legal in your Muslim neighbor's apartment. And with those simple mental gymnastics, boom, America is great again.
Neuroscientists call this type of nimble stupidity "cognitive dissonance," but I'm not a neuroscientist. I'm a man who types things like "a shrieking Guy Fieri trying to justify an all-rib diet to his own hickory-smoked diarrhea." That's what the Determined Fool is: someone bursting with shit who would rather pitch you on a world of diarrhea fountains than deal with their own problems.
Man invented the scientific method 400 years ago, when Galileo thought to sometimes ask, "What if we're wrong about this?" They teach it to third-graders. So try to remember this: Every single time you're 100 percent convinced you're right, you're dumber than a 17th-century leech farmer or an eight-year-old C student. Even if you turn out to be right. You hopeless, self-brainwashing diarrhea fountain salesman.
Helping Understand Determined Fools With Stupid President Donald Trump
Not all Determined Fools have minds elastic enough for cognitive dissonance. In order to hang onto their harmful, evil, self-destructive, or otherwise dumbass beliefs, some have to resort to false equivalencies. Like when Trump was asked how he feels about Putin being a killer, and he said, "So what? Other people are killers too!" That's how seductive false equivalencies can be to a simple mind. These fucks end up arguing FOR murder and FOR Nazis, and they think they're making, like, a point?
Since basic human decency is now a political issue, some of you were already thinking "THE LEFT DOES IT TOO!" Sure, buddy. There are other things wrong in the world besides murder and Nazis. For example, your mother's footjob game. And sure, for every ten Gamergaters threatening to kill a girl for abiding a black Human Torch, there is a Twitter warrior who chose to support feminism with an overly harsh meme. But sanctimonious heroism isn't anything like being a Nazi. And nothing any Democrat will ever do is similar to bragging about grabbing pussies while you're married to a model you bought from Slovenia. If you're confused, always remember: When two things are described with different words and have different meanings, they aren't the same. You don't get to lie and murder and be Kenyan just because Obama does it too.
When your world is built on top of something as flaky as religion or politics, it's exhausting. You have to defend nonsense all day because you don't know which crack in your foundation will require you to rebuild your entire belief system. That's a ton of work. I still convince myself electronic music is fun because it's easier than developing rhythm. People still chase children with knives because it's faster than explaining why they became a clown. But if your beliefs are so flimsy that they shatter as soon as you admit a mistake, let them shatter. You can rebuild a far superior personality and system of values with a single episode of Super Friends.
What if I told you that television shows were dangerous? It's true. In the year 2000, four out of every five injuries occurred in a home that owned a VHS copy of Robocop III. Someone might say, "That's compelling Robocorrelation, but that data alone does not suggest Robocausation." Fine. But maybe your first instinct was to say, "Robocop III is a movie, not a TV show, you fucking dumbass." If so, then congratulations, idiot, you're a Technical Genius. You're smart enough to spot a technicality, but too dumb to know everyone else did too and it was light years away from the point. You're the kind of person who tells your doctor, "Um, it's Chief Chirpa?" when he tells you that getting the Wicket doll out of your asshole will require surgery. "And, um," you'll add, "it's an action figure? Maybe you should have gone to a non-stupid medical school."
The nice thing about being a Technical Genius is that it feels like proof you're smarter than everyone. They can say you don't "get it" all day, but they're the imbeciles who think Robocop III is a TV show. Look at it like this: You are the only one in the history of Koala Times Bus Tours to contract syphilis from a koala bite. You might be embarrassed, but at least you aren't like those other fools screaming "Don't touch the koala bears!" when they are in fact marsupials. I mean, if koalas were actual bears, your whole face would be missing, not still here and covered in pulsing chancres.
Technical Geniuses reach maximum annoying when they decide that pointing out technicalities is a sense of humor. For instance, if you announced, "My wife is pregnant and we're having a boy," a Technical Genius might quip, "Well, technically only women can have babies. Unless you count the Chief Chirpa action figure currently breaching my anus -- um, which you should, since it is the dictionary definition. Heard of it? Hey, everyone! This idiot with no dictionary is watching me shit out a Chief Chirpa, and he doesn't even know which gender gives birth!"
Technical Geniuses have such a rigid understanding of the rules of language that they miss the meaning behind words. They mistake sarcasm for a mistake that needs correcting. Their idea of wordplay is assuming you meant the wrong homonym, which makes them both a walking Family Circus cartoon and the person condescendingly explaining to the Family Circus characters how "cool" may sometimes refer to "tubular" instead of temperature. And god help you if you get into a written discussion with them, as the tiniest typo can turn even the most important debate into a fourth-grade grammar lesson. They'd rather tell you that "non whites" should have a hyphen rather than agree that killing them is wrong.
For the most part, the Technical Genius just derails conversations with unlikeability. But their fierce misunderstanding of unspoken rules can lead to problems way more serious. You know what happens when you can't see past the immediate and literal meaning of words? Well, I'll show you. It's technically unfair how there's no "White" History Month or "White" Entertainment Television, right? And fine, black lives matter, but isn't it MORE loving and accepting to say that ALL lives matter? See? I'm only two sentences into my life as a Technical Genius, and I've already talked myself into racism. All it took was the limited observation skills of a bad '90s standup routine with the deliberate cultural ignorance of a bad '90s standup routine.
Remember when that panty-dropper at Google got fired for writing, word-for-word, how women aren't good at robots because of their emotions and milk-squirting nipples? That guy was absolutely a Technical Genius. Men and women are different, sure, but if you're either of those things, you already knew that. You also might know how, almost always, these differences aren't worth mentioning and vary from person to person. Yes, a woman is a bad hire if you need someone to stand next to a wolf for 29 days without bleeding. But even as someone who's not a wolf scientist, I can think of a few workarounds: wolf nose plugs, baking soda underpants, menopause, chaining the wolf out of vagina-biting range ... are we sure we even need to fill this standing-near-a-wolf position? See, this is how a healthy mind operates -- it solves problems, asks questions, and keeps ladies safe from crotch-biting predators because it's the right thing to do. A Technical Genius makes a short-sighted, clumsy observation and acts like they put all reason in checkmate. You know who could explain this better than me? The outrageously bad con man the worst 20 percent of our population voted into the White House.
Helping Understand Technical Geniuses With Stupid President Donald Trump
This is a classic example of a Technical Genius. To this dumbshit, it seems like he's turned the tables on the entire concept of racial oppression. He raises the same point made by most clueless fucks on their first day of imaginary struggle: "How come whites can't do one of the things blacks do? Isn't that the REAL persecution?" It's worse than ignorant. It's the kind of childlike question you might ask the Star Trek crew if you're a checkerboarded alien who knows nothing of their world's Ray Sizzum.
There are different rules, unspoken or not, for every caste, race, and gender. You have to play some pretty intense make-believe to say you don't know that. And only the dimmest, pussiest of white people invent their own oppression, like not being allowed to say "Merry Christmas" or "the N-word." I'm not either, but I bet white billionaires have different troubles than the characters on Black-ish, and it seems impossible that Donald Trump hasn't had this explained to him by Omarosa's hairdresser many times.
The things Technical Geniuses say are often so frustratingly wrong but also "not wrong" that they act as traps. Your every instinct is to add context to them, but don't -- you will only become them. Look again at our evil president's "Black-ish" tweet. You might feel the urge to correct the five grammatical mistakes he made in its three sentences, but any decent person should feel compelled as fuck to explain just the most basic, introductory concepts of race to him. This grown man thinks that the unfairness of having a show called Black-ish when there's not one called "Whiteish" is "racism at highest level." That means you have to start your explanation with "Um, have you heard of a little thing called slavery?" And look what's happened. You're the one saying dumb, obvious shit now.
Sometimes a stupid person starts to figure out that their brain doesn't work as well as everyone else's. Maybe they looked around their home and realized they only owned books by Ann Coulter on how to identify different Asians by which part of the human they eat. Or maybe they watch The Big Bang Theory, which for eight seasons has just been Jim Parsons staring directly into a camera and repeating "You are an idiot ape. You are a mindless sack of tepid water." It's true, Big Bang Theory viewers, and I'm the only one with the courage to say it.
Discovering your own intellectual shortcomings is terrifying, especially for the insecure. So some of them create a new reality, one with rules carefully constructed to make them brilliant. The disorder starts simply enough. Your friend tells you that birthday meals are free at any restaurant if you tell them you're a registered sex offender. Later, Yahoo Answers tells you that impersonating a sex offender is not technically a crime. Later still, in jail, you decide you hate being tricked. They become the Untrickable.
The Untrickable believes that not being fooled is the pickle of human intelligence, but we assume they mean pinnacle. For a person to avoid being fooled, they need deep, multi-dimensional knowledge. Luckily, there is a shortcut: Assume everything is trying to fool you. Assume every video you watch is fake, and use that single word to describe each of them in the comments section. You'll find that not only do you suddenly feel smart, but you're also significantly smarter than anyone who has ever believed in "God" or "science" or "Guy Fieri not being a toilet brush brought to life by a lonely plumber's wish."
There's only one problem with this: When everything is fake, nothing is. You start solving mundane mysteries with "ghosts." Lizard men infiltrating a Target becomes exactly as likely as non-lizards asking you to leave for trying to pull human masks off the customers. The flatness of the Earth becomes a frustrating reminder of how no one else is smart enough to see through the lies of Big Fact. Luckily, our president is 100 percent immune to the lies of Big Fact.
Helping Understand The Untrickables With Extremely Never-Tricked President Donald Trump
Trump has the unique mix of confidence, paranoia, and ignorance that creates a perfectly untrickable person. He thinks global warming, a savagely obvious thing only one political party in one of the world's countries isn't aware of, is a scheme to undermine America's industry. He thinks the same thing about the Paris Climate Accords and regulations against dumping coal sludge into drinking water. It would take two minutes to teach a six-year-old Honduran immigrant the English necessary to teach Donald Trump why he's wrong about any of these things. Which would, at best, lead to a tweet claiming that Mexican children are a scheme to destroy America's industry.
Special thanks to Aaron Clode for the custom illustrations.
Not sure if you're stupid? Smack yourself in the head with these giant mallets until you know for certain.
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How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.