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April 2nd, 2007

On Calling People Stupid: Bitch-slap

Calling people stupid is synoymous to calling them retarded.  Opinions, arguments -- words -- are stupid.  People are not stupid.

I just searched my friend's list and am prepared to call people out for using this label.  Before blasting half my friends away, I want to note a trend.  A person usually calls kinds of people stupid, and this lends credit to my conclusion that only opinions held by and arguments made by classes of people are actually stupid.  Let's start with me; on the search results for the word "stupid":

vap0rtranz quotes:
  • Here's a concise little description of the tactic: I'm brilliant; you're stupid.
  • That is stupid. The whole point of changing my signing method is to get my return within the 9 days as promised by your program. Now to change my signing method, I must submit my taxes via mail?! This undermines the whole point of e-filing.
  • "So why did you buy her book?  Are you just stupid, Justin?"  Well maybe.
  • The stupid teacher (me)
  • This is a stupid argument: the state intervening on your behalf to ensure you keep exercising your right to life.
  • [A columnist's] reflection on the expectations of science and atheism in the twentieth century demonstrate how scholars and analysts, despite their superior intellect and data, could not sway the stupid public to abandon God.
  • I'm defending those small-minded, stupid (American) retards.
(Quotes in green are those that use the word in a way that is non-classist, where classist transcends its usual, socio-economic meaning.)  Now whom do others call stupid? 
costlycourtesan
  • I say the words, "People are stupid", very often.
benkilpatrick
  • Why do these goddamn stupid Latin American communists keep trying to communalize land?
  • Fortunately, the population of these towns drops year after year, so ever fewer-children will be subjected to a social system that turns humans into oxen - strong, hard-working, docile, and far, far to stupid to notice that anything is wrong, let alone to complain about it.
  • People who are assured of their objective perception are arrogant, people who assume the subjective is all there is, are, well, stupid.
1144
  • Acceptable: “Your argument is stupid.” Unacceptable: “You are stupid.”
  • Male of the species: We females give in to let you have your stupid pleasures in order to propogate the species, I hope you know.
dr_koolaimzz quotes:
  • Attachment to stupid jobs, or ridiculous drama is pointless.
  • The Public. Why are they so fucking STOOOOPID?!?
plushpenguin quote:
  • Now, most people handle this in a really stupid way, but last night was just unfucking believeable.
lottelita
  • But plenty of lazy and stupid people born middle-class stay middle-class, because they have capable people pulling for them.* (see thread below)
jeffrock
  • You know, for a long time I have looked upon our society-- with all of its wretched excess, heedlessness, immorality and stupidity-- and become convinced that something, somewhere, is going to snap and plunge us into a period of chaos.
And I'll spare fireboy4plai because we're already embrawled in a thread about whether people are stupid.  My point in listing these quotes is, I hope, to demonstrate the trend in negative labelling that I've been attempting to undermine for awhile now.  There's this huge inertia on LJ and in the public in general for calling everyone else -- but oneself -- stupid, or at least calling oneself 'not that stupid', as if one's own stupidity is less than the masses of ignorant people and this slight edge gives us validity in judging everyone else's far-more-stupid behavior.

It's classist.  It's a battle over proper, homo sapien sapien behavior.  It's just stupid!