Is it just me, or are people getting stupider? On a daily basis, I seem to be dealing with ever greater levels of total idiocy – people who can’t seem to grasp the most fundamental facts or concepts, and who seem completely incapable of taking any form of responsibility for their own lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not just talking about idiots of the drooling kind, although, God knows, there seem to be enough of them about, but also supposedly educated, middle-class people, holding positions of responsibility. Take solicitors, for instance. Now, for my sins, I’m forced to deal with the legal ‘profession’ on a day-to-day basis, and let me tell you, they’re amongst the stupidest people I’ve ever come across. The number of times I’ve had to explain the simplest of legal concepts to these morons – the difference between a limited company and a firm, for example – who charge members of the public £150 an hour plus to dispense dubious legal advice. Is it any wonder our prisons are over-crowded? All those poor saps of defendants relying on a bunch of half-wits for legal representation! The worst thing is that these idiots actually think that they somehow intellectually and socially superior to the rest of us! As I once had cause to point out to one of these buffoons when they tried to patronise me on the basis of his qualifications, it isn’t any good trying to engage in an intellectual pissing contest with me when the best you can muster is an LLB, as I can easily trump it with my MSc. Mind you, nowadays I also find myself working for idiots. Increasingly, public services seem to managed by career morons who mistake wearing a sharp suit and spouting platitudes about ‘customer focus’, ‘targets’ and ‘user/facilitator interfaces’, for managerial ability. To hell with the concept of serving the community, just concentrate on hitting some arbitrary targets so that we can say we’re efficient managers, claim a fat bonus and bag a promotion! None of them has the slightest grasp of what the role of the organisation they’re supposed to be managing might actually be – just so long as we fulfil that business plan! Of course, they know they aren’t idiots as they all have MBAs. As the proud holder of a real Masters degree, the achievement of which involved me engaging in original research which added to the body of knowledge of the discipline, I really do object to implication that this spurious business qualification (the content of which is roughly equivalent to GCSE Business Studies) is somehow equivalent to a higher degree. Idiots with letters after their names!
But it isn’t just at work that I have to put up with the march of the morons. The stupid bastards are everywhere! They’re the arseholes who pull out in front of you at junctions without indicating and then direct a stream of abuse and obscene hand gestures at you, despite the fact that it was you who had right of way! These are the people who are so stupid that manufacturers of haemorrhoid cream, for instance, have to print warnings on the tube advising that their product isn’t suitable for consumption. Well, no shit Sherlock! Thanks to these clowns we have to have explicit warnings on the insides of train doors saying that they are not be opened whilst the train is moving; or that MacDonalds’ ‘Hot apple Pie’ might be, well, hot, so shouldn’t be eaten until it has been allowed to cool down a bit ! Jesus Christ! Of course, the flaw in all these printed warnings is that these idiots are often too stupid to read. Now, if this idiocy was just confined to the sad bastards who populate sink estates, I’d understand. After years of inbreeding, poverty, malnutrition and neglect, the evolution of a substrata of morons is only to be expected. However, it is the rise of the middle-class moron which really worries me. They an often be easily identified by the fact they appear to derive all of their opinions from the Daily Mail. These are the fools who believe that all of the ills of the UK can be attributed to the European Union, immigrants and the legalisation of gay ‘marriages’. You can hear them in pubs, restaurants and workplaces all over Britain spouting their idiotic views. They blindly go along with any reactionary trend being whipped up by the media: a police officer has been killed on duty – bring back hanging; an Islamic fanatic has blown himself up – burn down Finsbury Park Mosque; someone with a degree got a job I clearly wasn’t qualified for – close down the bloody universities! It is idiots like this who blindly go along with crackpot ideas such as that in order to safeguard our freedom, the government has to restrict our civil liberties. Consequently, we find ourselves sleepwalking toward disaster. Of course, these idiots also believe that every personal setback they suffer in their everyday lives is the result of some elaborate conspiracy: I’m overdrawn – the international banking system is out to ruin me; I can’t find my socks – the freemasons have stolen them for their secret ceremonies; the toilet is blocked and overflowing – aliens! Anything but take responsibility for their own lives.
Just what is behind the apparent rise of the idiot in modern society? Is it something in the water? Is our modern system of education, where we increasingly simply ‘teach to the test’, rather than actually trying to broadly educate our children a contributing factor? Is it all part of a general ‘dumbing down’ of society? Certainly, television, particularly that aimed at young people, is undoubtedly getting ever more stupid. Take MTV, for example, after watching it for a couple of hours I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘M’ can only stand for ‘moronic’. With an apparently endless schedule of crap like Jackass, Viva La Bam and Dirty Sanchez (all of which seem tailored to cater for the viewing needs of brainless sad-masochists with no sense of social or personal responsibility whatsoever), there can be little doubt of the low esteem in which it holds its target audience. Perhaps they were there all along, but we just didn’t notice them until the advent of the age of easily accessible mass communication. Nowadays we can hear their moronic chatter everywhere – local radio phone-ins were one of the first outlets for modern idiocy. Under the guise of topical discussions these have, in reality, become forums for outpourings of bigotry and bile – and that’s just the presenters! My heart sinks when any radio station announces a segment where listeners can phone in – the same dull and monotonous voices are to be heard, parading their ignorance as if were a badge of honour. Egged on by presenters who are usually in danger of being charged with inciting racial hatred, these cretins happily crank out every knee-jerk reaction in the book. With the advent of the web it has got even worse, with every Tom, Dick and knob-head airing their ‘opinions’ on message boards and chat rooms. There are whole communities of them! They make for very sorry reading – leaving one fearing for the future of human intelligence. There’s one of these ‘communities’ in particular, that I’ve had the misfortune to visit, called ‘Fart’ or something similar. It just consists of there so-called ‘Farters’ endlessly gibbering on about every bloody piece of trivia on the net. There are hundreds of them, every one of them an ill-informed idiot! Perhaps none of these things are responsible for the rise of modern idiocy, maybe we are simply in the Chinese Year of The Idiot. In which case, can we expect to see it followed by the Year of The Moron and the Year of The Cretin? Is there a complete twelve-year cycle of stupidity? If so, stop the world, I want to get off! Frankly though, whatever the cause, I’m getting bloody scared!