Every now and then a public figure emerges from the nameless masses by making a distinct case or by ejaculating nonsense. Sometimes, there may even be a seed of truth or logic to what they’re saying. Sadly, this is fast becoming a rare occurrence.
Also, let me be clear. The next case has nothing to do with logic or common sense.
Case and point: Freddie Bentley, a 20 something year old influencer, who fits the Oxford Dictionary ‘s definition of a moron with panache.
According to this authority on the English lexicon, a moron is “a stupid person.”
The facts: Instagram influencer Freddie Bentley believes young generations should learn less about World War 2.
The rationale: He says that “he wishes he learned less about one of the most important events in human history while he was in school, saying “it’s so intense.””
The young gentleman carries on saying “I don’t think it needs to be in such a young way to young children. Like, mentally. Mental health, to be told this certain amount of people died for you,” he said. “I just learned, as a child, it’s so intense.”
His case reminds me of Jan Hus’ last moments on the burning pyre in Konstanz, where he lay burning by the Catholic Church for the crime of “heresy.” As he was being slowly incinerated alive, he noticed that the executioners were having a hard time rousing up the fire. An old woman (his Bentley, no doubt) came to the stake and threw one small log on it.
Upon seeing her act, a suffering Hus then exclaimed, “O Sancta Simplicitas!“. The phrase’s Czech equivalent, “Svatá prostota!” (vocative form: “Svatá prostoto!“, Translated “Holy simplicity!“) is still used today when commenting on a person’s foolish action coming from the belief that he or she is doing something righteous.
Coming back to the Creature Bentley, I will not say that millions of people have died so that privileged nincompoops like him could utter unadulterated rubbish.
I won’t seek to understand the well rested position of his brain, which is the loyal host of the eternal sunshine of a spotless and unused mind.
I will only say this. People like him are the reason 21st century society is proving less likely to reach academic excellence. We are on a downward slope, ladies and gentlemen. Human IQ has peaked in the late 90s. Bentley is no longer a one off accident of fate. He’s quickly gathering a following of equally spotless minds.
And there are many imitators who are attempting to emulate their modestly intellectually endowed brethren. These people are encouraged by the fact that society has abandoned fact-checking or the scientific method to screen out poor ideas, faulty concepts, and in general idiotic stuff. They think that because they exist, that alone makes them right.
I am afraid there is little we can do to arrest this worrying tendency to spiral down the drain. We are stuck between the dictate of Political Correctness and the call to accept alternate truths or in other words moronic claims like this.
One thing is certain though, the new century looks like it’s going to be very similar to the previous one. After all, since we have learned none of history’s lessons, we may need to repeat the same errors. Perhaps this time, through sheer repetition, we might finally learn them by rote.
For those of you who don’t believe me, feel free to check out the original article on the Insider.
2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Moron”
How many people believe Mr. Bentley? The pattern that is emerging is a cacophony of voices, each claiming authority based on a calculated appeal to values, beliefs and consumer practices. It is powered by the algorithms that underlie the social media platforms where they perform. That said, there are activist influencers who seek to impart more positive nuanced messages. One must remember that this is a new medium too, so behaviours will evolve and become more refined one would hope. In many respects, though, it appears to maintain a public mistrust toward balanced, researched views, riding the tide of popular ignorance of the importance of academic pursuits and the wealth of a nation. I don’t see how we get around a business model that is based on feeding people as much personalized advertising as possible. Time has not ceased to be money. If one takes the long view, citizens have never had so much information, education and possibilities to learn from one another. This could also be the beginning of societies that see collective epistemologies as being superior. There is a lot to this emerging trend.
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I agree with almost all your critique. I would like to know more about the emergence of collective epistemologies. I fail to see this critical mass ever forming and launching a radical transformation. Because, so far, in spite of modern technologies, that are supposed to bring us together, we are growing apart every day. Instead of working like bees, we constantly bicker among ourselves. Instead of using technology to displace want, inequalities of opportunity, and massive injustice at all levels of society, we procrastinate, and yes instead of looking up to the stars above we still look down at the dirt.