Here is a recent quote from Penn Jillette, the Vegas magician-slash-entertainer, on the demise of Hummer as a brand, “If any part of the Hummer going belly-up are those government rules we’re putting in on miles per gallon, or us taking over of GM, then I’m not just sad, I’m also angry. Lack of freedom can be measured directly by lack of stupid. Freedom means freedom to be stupid. …You don’t need any freedom to go with majority opinion. … We need to protect other people’s stupid to save freedom for all of us.”
I want to zero in on one sentence in particular: we need to protect other people’s stupid to save freedom for all of us. Never truer words were spoken. In this one little sentence, we find the entire foundation of our freedoms—the inalienable right to be a dork (which has, incidentally, influenced the Ghetto Shaman’s next book, The Tao of Stupid). It’s easy for a world full of sane, levelheaded intelligent people to all get along, just look at Star Trek, or the Senate :). But add to the mix a people whose main objective in life is to be on MTV as someone throws bowling balls at his privates. Only then do you begin to see how, if we can’t be free to do that, then we are not truly free.
Just like Penn is free to spend a fortune on a home that looks like a women’s prison, (clearly a sex fantasy of his) we all benefit from his right to do so. That doesn’t make any of it any less friggin scary, just free. Hummers, Pintos, Gremlins, Yugos with ‘dubs’—the “dorky” list goes on. Even the great philosopher Abnormal Albert Yankovic wrote of the benefits of stupid in a wonderful soliloquy called Dare to Be Stupid and also in perhaps his most moving piece: Pretty Fly for a White Guy.
We are not truly free if you never see a pick-up with a fake atom bomb on a gun rack in the rear window (or a set of fake testicles hanging from the trailer-hitch). Just as we can never be truly free if we don’t see an English professor driving a Prius with his bearded smile thinking on some misguided level he’s doing the right thing (even though the power from his local power plant comes from burning coal). Stupidity, being fully accepted as a right, may just be the answer we are all looking for. It seems lately that if your ideas “stray” from the mainstream in either direction, you are completely unacceptable to the other side. For truly “liberal” thinkers this is an oxymoron, for the very word is supposed to mean “open to new ideas.” For the far, far right, just moron (sans oxy).
Does watching Xena reruns on the lesbian channel in the middle of the night with the sound off make me unacceptable? I think not…well, maybe a little. Or does Mikko have the right to blog what he is actually thinking in a public forum? (well, there are boundaries to the rights of stupid and I applaud Zano’s deep exploration of them).
While we must protect our stupid, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should elect and pay them for their stupid, we must: just fight for their right to be stupid. While I will fight for Nancy Pelosi’s right to appear as a Michael Jackson (after the surgery) impersonator, I don’t want her in a position of any importance. While I adamantly insist on the right for Sarah Palin to appear in my nightly forays into the cerebral dark side, I also may not want her in any kind of important position…well, er…nevermind (which reminds me, hey Mikko, can I have a hard copy of the Lynn Cheney pic where she’s in the Nazi getup? I’m going to visit Penn’s prison and we’re making it a theme weekend. Thanks).
With this in mind, I have created the next Amendment to the Constitution: The right of the people to be secure in their own personal stupid, shall not be infringed upon.
Our other problem with stupidity is fear. We fear stupid. We all have a tendency to fear what we don’t understand. When, in reality, we are all just stupid in different directions. Maybe, since stupid is in such ample supply, we should all become more familiar with it. Being a member of my extended family has brought me as close to it as I will ever want to be, but some of you from more normal environs may want to take advantage of my own personal stupidity farm by paying a visit. It might ease you into this whole stupid thing. Oh, but on your visit to the floor of hell, otherwise known as Phoenix, remember this handy trick: did you ever wish you could pee your pants anywhere in front of anybody and get away with it? Well, here in the Valley of the Sun, it will evaporate before it reaches the outer layer of your clothing. I have invented a word for this, my own personal singlet if you will—the verb to pissappear [piss-uh-peer].
Or would you rather breathe air so thin that you walk around knowing what it’s like to be asphyxiated? In that case, a trip up the mountain to Mikko’s would be in order. I sometimes think the lack of oxygen up there explains his views.
Obama is as Obama does.
The (I am pissing as we speak) Crank