They liked silly and simple-minded inspirational stories because they had the mind of a child. Their knowledge of politics and war and violence and social injustice were severely limited, yet they had strong opinions about these subjects and they shared those opinions openly and vociferously.
They liked community action involving police and firemen, and they had police scanners running 24-hours per day. They liked childish stories about good triumphing over evil. They were simple people who were tolerated by friends, family and townspeople because it was the humane thing to do.
These were the acceptable village idiots who somehow came across as good solid citizens — something that their village idiot ancestors of old were unable to do. Somehow, the village idiot gene had changed. This brand of profound idiocy morphed into a species of presentable person who could rise to the level of a functional, albeit weird individual, and he could “pass” in semi-polite society.
I speak as though these people have gone away or they‘ve become extinct, but they haven’t at all. As a matter of fact, the abundance of these mercifully-morphed village idiots is both astounding and outstanding.
Allow me to explain why I say this and to explain why the simple-minded are held in high esteem by nature simply because smart people need stupid people in order to survive. It’s a concept that has been overlooked by sociologists for centuries, but it exists, and with today’s modern technologies, the prevalence of the stupid over the intelligent is markedly out of proportion.
In the past there was always one village idiot. Of course there were many others but families hid them in attics or basements or in mental asylums where they belonged. In the 2nd century, and up until the 19th century, it was the lucky village idiot who was allowed to roam free — free of intellect, knowledge, dentistry, personal hygiene or any hint of social dexterity. In more modern times the situation remained the same — but different.
In modern times — 1925-2008 — the moron or idiot or imbecile masqueraded as the persons I described in the very first paragraph — but then Facebook arrived.
Facebook has forever changed the way we as a society can view or understand or even realize the abundance of morons in our midst. Facebook unleashed the hidden village idiot gene for all to see. Centuries ago it was easy to spot the village idiot, but then it grew harder and harder. Now, with Facebook, it’s almost impossible. In fact, you might be a village idiot or a Facebook moron but you have no way of knowing because your Facebook friends might me just as moronic. All of their “likes” and “shares” may have convinced you that you are a highly functional human being with a keen intellect. But the odds are that you’re not. The odds are that you carry the genes of the ancient village idiot in your DNA, and social networking has given a voice to that silent spirit within you.
[Damien Le Gallienne for TheDamienZone. Copyright 2013]
1) You share or post to your page, a photo of a celebrity inscribed with a quotation attributed to the person depicted in the photo without checking to see if the quote was correct. The quotes can be inspirational, or politically divisive. It doesn’t matter. They are almost always wrong. The person in the photo never uttered the quote. Imagine a grimy village idiot in 16th century England yelling out biblical passages to shopkeepers and attributing them to the wrong biblical character.
2) You like a certain type of music so every now and then you post a YouTube link to a song you fancy. Nobody gives a shit and you look like an moron — because you are. This is made even worse if you get a few “likes“ or comments. Imagine a filthy village idiot from ages ago singing a silly tune while villagers laugh and throw pennies at him. Got the picture? That’s you, Facebook moron, that’s you!
3) You post an inspirational (fake) story/video about a (fake) person with a (fake) illness or a (fake) tragedy and you add the comment, “If this doesn’t make you cry, nothing will.” The thing that should have made you cry is the fact that you simply could not keep this to yourself. You’re like an ancient moron sharing a sad story (which is usually fake anyway) because he doesn’t have any stories of his own to tell.
4) You take a studio picture of yourself, your child, your mother and your grandmother with the notation, “Four generations of….” Indeed, it’s four generations, but it’s four generations of village idiots — three of which are now Facebook morons — unless of course grandma is a Facebook user too. That makes four. If you have five generations, the proof of your genetic dumbness is greatly enhanced because it shows a family history of very young marriages or motherhood. Not good. This can also be a sign of white trash, or other fringe-cultural behavior.
5) You post stories from newspapers and magazine and you post your own commentary about the story. You add something like, “This is proof that our country is going down the tubes.” This is made even worse owing to the fact that you used the words “down the tubes” — that is really dumb — seriously.
6) You answer a death announcement with the comment, “God needed another angel” or “Now they’re in a better place.” Yes, it’s nice to offer condolences, but there is or there is not a limit to the amount of angels god needs, and he doesn’t need morons who do not know the answer to this question putting “vacancy” signs on his kingdom — if there even is a kingdom.
7) You do not know the difference between the words “there” – “they’re” and “their” and neither do your friends. Yes, you can sometimes make a mistake, but the average Facebook moron makes this mistake all the time and it’s a sure sign of profound stupidity. In olden days, a village idiot could only say those words. Nobody knew if he was using the wrong one, and in that case, the village idiot of old had one up on you.
8) You post sad stories about the death of someone you hardly knew. “Recently my sister’s secretary’s daughter passed away.” Okay maybe you kinda-sorta knew this person, but what adds to the Facebook moron aspect overall is the unbelievably stupid Facebook friend who comments: “Very sorry for your loss.” Unless it’s the death of a personal friend or family member, there is no need for the falsely maudlin story. If it’s a person that you knew and many of your Facebook friends knew, then it’s perfectly acceptable. But posting about your neighbor’s niece from Shanghai is just plain dumb. But it’s okay. You’re a Facebook moron and that’s okay.
9) You post a sickening photo of a seriously sick infant or person in a hospital with the comment: “One like equals a $1.00 donation. One comment equals a $5.00 donation.” Since you are a Facbook moron, you have no way of knowing that these donations will never happen, but still you clutter the pages of others who do not want to see photos of babies with tumors and heart transplants. I know it’s hard to understand that, but it’s true.
10) You can’t STOP posting those Victorian era postcards with the annoying remarks. Things like: “I would gladly help you with your homework honey, but I don’t give a rat’s ass about you.” Sometimes these postcards are funny and they apply to a recent situation or they are pertinent to the poster’s personality, but for the most part they are so 2010 — get over it.
Of course there are a hundred more Facebook habits that prove or suggest that you carry village idiot genes, but ain’t nobody got time for dat.” <—-if you recently posted that one, you might not be a village idiot or a Facebook moron, but you’re a year behind everyone else so you have to wonder about that.
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