I am not sure if this is because I am getting older (33, I practically have one foot in the grave, man!) or if it is just a symptom of the upcoming younger generation but I swear that more and more people are stupid nowadays.
I knew this slack-jawed guy in his early twenties who once asked me if “Mary Magdalene was one of Henry VIII’s wives?” Adrian, that was the name of this shining example of iijitness, had the habit of suddenly saying the name of Gloria Hunniford (old time celebrity) for no reason upon the planet. So stupid was Adrian that he would act surprised and accuse me of following him if I asked him about something he told me about days previously. He even got his mother to confront me and warn me off with the police. Yes, this is 100% true.
Recently I went into a shop and asked for a couple of lightbulbs. The teenager behind the counter said, “What is a couple?” Again, 100% true.
Part of this is down, I’m sure, to ‘celebrity heroes’ like Joey Essex (from The Only Way is Essex) and Jade Goody (from Big Brother) or even Stacey Solomon (no idea, some banal pop audition show). They are just some of the infamous people that have been celebrated for their sheer witless approach to life.
For example, Joey Essex can’t tell the time and thinks that the political party Liberal Democrats were called the Liberal Democats. Stacey Solomon (who was never the brightest) smoked while she was pregnant despite the fact that there are hundreds of warnings about this on packets of cigarettes. But the award of dumbness has to go to Jade Goody.
Here are some of her clangers.
She thought that:
…the English city of Cambridge was in the city of London
…East Anglia was outside Britain (she referred to it as “East Angular”)
…Rio de Janeiro was a person
…Portugal was part of Spain
…Aberdeen was not in Scotland
…the United States was not an English-speaking country
People lapped her stupidity up. They loved it. She stripped off naked on live TV, had oral sex with another contestant and still she came out on top…so to speak. She was celebrated and adored by the masses. And then she went on Celebrity Big Brother and showed herself to be nothing but a racist and a bully. An Indian Bollywood actress called Shilpa Shetty was also on the show with her. She, arguably, was everything Jade wasn’t.
If it is the type of thing to offend you, there is some swearing coming up. But only in quotes. You have been warned.
Now Jade dropped racist and derogatory clangers such as:
“I’ve seen how she goes in and out of people’s arseholes”
“Shilpa Pashwa whoever you fucking are”
Alongside other non-celebrity celebrities such as Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara, she created a late-night limerick game in which the word “Paki” was implied but not said. Goody’s last remaining brain cell managed to stop her from actually saying it though. As such, this rhyming event wasn’t on TV. The channel responsible for the programme were savvy.
Interestingly, O’Meara has vanished back into the woodwork but Lloyd’s career recovered from the incident. Ironically, she was bullied herself online. She didn’t seem to find it so funny then. Boo hoo…
Jade Goody said afterwards: “She is Indian, thinking of an Indian name and only thing I could think of was Indian food. Wasn’t racial at all. It was not to offend any Indian out there.” Well, when you say it like that, I understand why you thought it was appropriate. Hashtag: sarcasm.
Erm… I should quantify my use of the word ‘hashtag’ by saying that I was using it in an ironic post-modern sense of the word. If I were being serious or pretending to be a teenager, I’d have used the symbol ‘#’ instead.
Jade Goody’s career was trashed. She lost everything. And then she lost her life to cancer. As a career move, the illness worked out well for her. She quickly replaced Lady Diana as the People’s Princess if you believe everything the tabloid newspapers say. Goody then became almost akin to a saint, all the people who insulted her for being racist were now attacked by her supporters. Apparently you can be a vicious racist bully as much as you like if you then suddenly get cancer. Once the cancer is serious, you become beyond reproach. Still, she didn’t deserve to die.
Her moronicness reached from beyond the grave though when all the money she had saved for her children’s future was whittled away.
Recently, in the real world, an young mother called Devon was mocked on Facebook when she asked who David Cameron is and when she called Barack Obama a terrorist after getting him mixed up with Osama Bin Laden. By the way, my spellchecker insists that the President is called Bareback Mamba.
This woman, only 21 if that excuses her (it doesn’t) was puzzled as to why everyone was talking about David Cameron on Facebook. The last she had heard, Tony Blair was PM.
The last the mum-of-one heard about politics, Tony Blair was Prime Minister. Yes, quite. She didn’t know the difference between Labour and Conservative which is fair enough. She even thought you had to pay to vote.
She was quoted as saying:
I wouldn’t have a clue what to do if someone told me to go and vote. I actually thought you had to pay to vote. I think my mum and dad always vote but they said my paper was sent to their house and they forgot to pass it on.”
The shocking thing about her ignorance was the fact that she asked this question about David Cameron right after the election which was in every newspaper, every TV channel (with obvious exceptions), billboards (portable and normal), and even on leaflets shoved through the letterbox. Even Joey Essex knew who the Prime Minister was.
When she asked. Another used posted: “Please tell me your joking?” Proof that even some illiterate people know who Cameron is.
But the unapologetically stupid mother replied: “No lol? I would Google it but my phones slow.”
Devon went on to ask, after she was shown some kind of simple diagram, why some were saying that David Cameron was a MP and not a PM. When she learned that it stood for ‘Member of Parliament’, she then asked why MPs were not called ‘MOPs’. If they were called that, people would soon call them ‘mopheads’.
Devon also said:
“..don’t see the point in tony Blair and who ever else bin laden. Them are the only prime ministers I no lol”
Devon, however, defended her halfwittery and said that schools were to blame. No, really.
“I don’t watch the news and we didn’t get taught about politics in school so why should I be expected to know these things?”
Actually they do teach politics. At least according to everyone I asked. I was educated about politics, I ‘no’ that.
“They should teach you about the government and politics and mortgages at school. Instead, they teach you about the parts of a leaf and how flowers reproduce which no-one is ever going to need to know.”
Sure, why encourage people to discover the joys of botany and become botanists? Silly schools.
Last Devon quote:
“I don’t think I’m the only young person in this position. Loads of my friends didn’t vote and didn’t know about David Cameron either. He’s obviously not doing enough to get our attention.”
Again, I refer you to all the newspapers, TV reports, billboards (portable and normal), and the vast mountains of leaflets shoved through letterboxes. Oh! And of course, the massive social media advertisements and propaganda. One of the youth TV channels even went off the air for twelve hours to encourage young people to vote! And as for her friends not voting, birds of a feather and all that. Meh.
Perhaps I am being unfair but I think it is slightly horrific that we are highlighting and celebrating stupidity. True not everyone can be bright and intellectual but when it comes to education, I agree with what Terry Pratchett said: “Wound you rather your child be a mule?”
I am not sure that I have much of a point other than “Stupidity bad. Cleverness good” but at least I know who David Cameron is (worse luck) and how to tell the time.