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Tuesday, May 21, 2024



Title: Idiot: Defined


After using the word “idiot” in my article last week, I received an e-mail from a young, armchair-philosopher asking, “How does one know he is an idiot?”

First of all, I’m afraid epistemology is dead, my friend. We are now in the loquacious age of “notgivingashitemology,” or not wasting time explaining things, and generally not caring about existential questions or philosophical banter. Descartes, verbatim: “I am forgotten.”

Secondly, the question is sexist. By only using “he,” and leaving out the “she” possibility, you are excluding women from idiocy. Margaret Fuller would’ve been on your heiny about this exclusion. So to be fair, and to give feminists some sense of equality here, females can be idiots too.

Despite this, I have given your question some scholarly thought, and I’ve broken down general idiocy so that you, and others, may better understand it. However, there is one overarching rule-of-thumb: never take what an idiot says seriously.

The first level of idiocy I will address is that which is (fully) occupied by SUV-driving, flag-waving “Wah-Hooers.” These idiots can be commonly found throughout all rural and most urban areas. The typical member will have a Chia Pet-like buzz cut, wear self-made tank tops that expose his grotesquely meaty and pale upper arms, and yell out phrases such as, “HoooAH!” and “WOO WOO HABA HABA!”

He is one step above the domesticated ape, both biologically and intellectually, and puts a tremendous effort into ensuring that his armpit-scratches and rumbling snorts are publicly noticed, whereupon he takes pleasure in others’ discomfort. In general, a Wah-Hooer is emotionally impregnable on all fronts. If a family member dies, he will, in mourning, go off-roading in his mom’s ’88 Corolla, or, in especially hard situations, post a video of himself chugging a fifth of Jack on YouTube.

Idiocy to the second degree constitutes the “Trend-Hoppers.” At the moment, these are the people who wear white-rimmed sunglasses, white tees that are long enough to be dresses, and who put rubber bands around the bottom of their pants to better expose their shiny neon Nikes. These people are short-term idiots because they cannot foresee that 15 years from now they will look back and realize that they looked like little girls who got into their mom’s make-up. You’re overdoing it, fellas. Next time you’re shopping for your “white tees” at Walgreens, try out a medium or a large for Christ’s sake; the XXXXL only cuts it for that 7’2” kid on the basketball team.

In the general hierarchy of idiots, it is the “Pragmatic Automatons” that reign supreme – the people who live as if their life is already written out for them, following every rule, obeying every guideline and ignoring their own emotions and desires in lieu of social fortitudes.

Typical features include a sickeningly fake smile, unmovable stances on moral issues, resistance to change of any kind and extraordinarily consistent opinions and mannerisms. Where is the joy of frivolity in these people, of nonchalance, of disobedience? It is nowhere in the twisted mass of wires and knobs in their circuit boards.

These people are idiots, as are traditionalists and anyone else who fails to recognize that the times are a’changin – that time changes man, as it does all things mortal and pliable. It’s simple Darwinism: man evolves with his socio-environmental setting. I suppose that’s why most traditionalists are also dogmatically religious.

Lastly, the writer is the over-arching soul of all idiots. He exposes the idiocy of others and in doing so he wastes his time philosophically musing about other people while sitting on his ass laughing at his own jokes, when he really should be working on his essay for English 143. It is through my membership to this sub-group that I am guilty of idiocy, thereby rendering all I have said here void.

And that, I suppose, makes you an idiot for wasting your time reading the work of an idiot.

ZACK CROCKETT thinks that excessive reasoning ultimately ends in circularity. If you fit one of the aforementioned categories, shoot him an e-mail at ztcrockett@ucdavis. He’ll break his own rule-of-thumb (and maybe even his thumb if he types like the idiot he is).XXX


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