They Roll Tape When IQ

Here’s an example: some movie, about people being dumb. This is entertaining–there are lots of movies like this.


girl jumping in front of car

Except being entertained this way is not exactly a comfortable position for the human mind.

We go to the movie to both laugh at the idiots and to empathize with them. This is what the movie is designed to make us do: look down on people whom we see as very unintelligent, but also (usually later) to respect and identify with them. I don’t easily bend that way. I mean, not without hurting later on.

It’s true, I was born before Wayne’s World even came out, but I feel like bumbling heroes used to bumble by accident, like despite the relative normalcy and relentless good intentions of everyone on the screen, bowling balls fell on their heads and curtains caught fire. That was what was neat about it. It wasn’t that they threw themselves off of roofs on purpose because they thought it was a good idea.

Maybe on a subconscious level the current generation is trying to tell us that they are really really worried about the environment. Like, past worrying.

Or maybe, as we grew more intelligent, our tastes changed. This did happen: computers have made us–in strange ways, sure–smarter: and now we love irony. Generation X did not love irony. When they said “F off,” that’s all they meant by that. They weren’t actually hyper-intelligent nerdy types having fun saying “F off” because it was AWESOME. They really wanted you to F off.

(I actually did a few times, that’s how much they meant it. And I didn’t come back for awhile, either.*)

So now, we can add to the digital divide, to growing income disparity, an intelligence divide: like an invisible chasm that we perceive between ourselves and the people we identify with, and . . . everyone else. Exacerbated by people who act dumb because they know they are smart. Because that is ok now.

This is a thing. I am one of these people.

Case-in-point: ten years ago I never would have written “This is a thing.”

This divide, I call it The Irony Gap. “You don’t get it because you don’t know I don’t mean it that way.” To take things too seriously is to be on the wrong side of it. I don’t know what exactly being on the right side of it is. It’s too nuanced. But it requires a sense of humor.

The Irony Gap is the real trap of the idiot hero movie, the the one I fell into: “OMG, I bet there are people who watch this and think it is ok to act like that!”

There actually aren’t. Any. People that stupid. And yet. We. Imitate them. And so. Willingly let them. Influence our behavior. This is what I have been trying to say for 10 paragraphs.

It doesn’t really matter to most people that you are doing it ironically, is what I’m saying. Just that you are doing it.

This is a thing.
*That sentence was all just in case no one has ever explained to you what F off really means.


PS: The still, in case you weren’t sure, is of a woman jumping in front of a car. It’s from a current movie that I’m not promoting. I got (the starting point at least of) the pic from youtube.


maybe try entertaining by being much cleverer than everyone else, I don’t know, it’s worth a shot?

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