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Stupid Has Gone Mainstream

Stupidity is the new black

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
5 min readJan 1, 2023

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A kid wearing a dunce-cap in school
Kid wearing a dunce-cap in school (public domain)

Turn on any news channel. Switch on talk radio. Fire up your social media feed. Stupid has gone mainstream.

According to writer and journalist Andrew Scott, aka Otto English, stupidity is the new black and I kind of agree with him. The 21st-century is shaping up to be stupidity’s golden age.

“Stupid” is the most common pejorative in the American lexicon. This comes as no surprise as the words “stupid” and “stupidity” have been around since at least the mid-16th century.

People performing stupid acts have been around long before society figured out a word to describe, well, stupid acts. Although there are plenty of “stupid” people doing stupid things, the word “stupid” today isn’t staying true to its original meaning, today it’s generally geared towards those with a differing opinion.

Having a difference of opinion doesn’t make a person “stupid.” “Supidity” is usually subjective; a person’s intellect is usually a subjective opinion from another person, sometimes it’s from a fellow stupid person. Ironically enough, the so-called “stupid” people don’t believe they themselves are “stupid.”

Some people would go as far as to claim, “‘stupidity’ is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.” A person can “protest against evil” and evil can even be “prevented by use of force. . . [but] against ‘stupidity’ we are defenseless.” This is some dangerous rhetoric and it comes from a so-called “educated” man and a Lutheran preacher at that, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer continues, “Facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed — in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical — and when facts are irrefutable, they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental.” I think the bigger picture here is Bonhoeffer doesn’t like people who have a different opinion than his, which isn’t surprising given the environment he was raised in as a child.

Bonhoeffer’s opinions was a result of his environment. He was born and raised in Germany just before the outbreak of World War One and lived through World War Two in which he was killed by the Nazi’s. During Bonhoeffer’s life, so-called free speech was heavily…

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A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer