by Andrew Martin

According to a poll conducted by Frank Luntz (a political spin-doctor) in his book What Americans Really Want… Really, 90% of people in the US believe they are more intelligent than the average American. And, for those who don’t realize this, 90% of people can’t be smarter than average. If you read that first sentence thinking, “I’m part of that club,” you should be aware that the odds are against you. This doesn’t seem crazy though. Who in their right mind would admit they are stupid? Well, according to Luntz’ poll: 10% of people would. I don’t think this statistic is representative of Portland, Oregon. If they had only polled people from Multnomah and Washington counties, it would have read more like 145% of people think they are more intelligent than the average American. This is a city that certainly doesn’t lack for stupid opinions. The more prominent of these include:

The people who think the rest of the world is better than the United States

Well, there are some pretty obvious examples as to why that’s not true. Off to top of my head; Haiti is a really crappy place… Its residents will risk drowning, dehydration, and heat stroke while floating across the Caribbean to get here. Why? Because their country sucks for reasons innumerable. But, people aren’t referring to developing countries when they say, “the world,” are they? They’re referring to Europe. Europe: where everyone is smarter, and more attractive, and just plain-old better than Americans. False. As far as them being smarter, on the whole, than the United States, I call BS. We’re talking about the same people that obsess over reality television (England), throw their garbage on the floor in restaurants (Spain), are facing economic collapse (Greece), willfully ushered in what many consider to be the most evil regime in modern history (Germany), and speak French with regularity (France)? I’m not saying they’re stupid, I just think it’s a stretch to assume they’re all smarter. The number one song on the European music charts this week is by Pitbull. These people are not geniuses.

The Selective-Breeding crowd

You’d be lying if you told me you haven’t heard someone say, “Some people shouldn’t be allowed to breed.” I agree with this statement in only two instances. The only people that shouldn’t be allowed to breed are the people who say that sentence and the people who keep casting Ashton Kutcher in movies. Other than that, I’m fine with people making as many babies as they want. “But why would you want all of this scum polluting the gene pool?” someone might proclaim in horror. Because without them, shows like Cops wouldn’t be on TV and the internet would be a far less humorous place. Not that the selective-breeders would notice, because most of them don’t have a sense of humor anyway. They’re too busy being smarter than everyone else to think things are funny. It should also be noted that the first extensive campaign for compulsory sterilization was undertaken in the United States. Its principal targets were the mentally ill and retarded, but also included: the blind, deaf, handicapped and physically deformed. So yeah, you’re right; we probably should keep certain people from having children. And while we’re at it, we can keep other races from having kids. Then we’ll have a perfect society. It’s not like this is a previously tried (and continually stupid) idea or anything…

The People Who Keep “Noticing” Global Warming

Global Warming did not start when The Inconvenient Truth debuted in 2006. Fossil fuel emissions started in the 1800’s with the industrial revolution. In all likeliness you are not noticing anything worth mentioning. “Oh my god, it was so warm this winter. It’s amazing how different things are since I learned about climate change.” Just shut up. The only reason scientists notice it is happening is because they can take measurement data (covering various aspects of climatological study) and compare it to historical records. I can promise you that almost none of them are basing their assertions on statements like, “I remember it snowed during January when I was five, but it didn’t this year… It’s global warming, bro!”

We get it, you’re a super-duper-smart person because you got a few pages into a Tolstoy book, you ride your bike in the street (slowing rush hour traffic to your hill-climbing five miles per hour) to prove a point, and you won’t eat anything that casts a shadow because you might hurt its feelings. Just save your annoying know-it-all comments for your blog, or your seldom read magazine editorial column. While you do that, the rest of us will continue on assuming we know what’s best.