Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oh the Poor Idiots

Okay so I think I finally have it straight as to the whole moron vs. imbecile vs. idiot thing. That’s how we used to officially refer to people with the lowest IQs. Or at least that’s how some people with really high IQs decided we all should officially refer to people with the lowest IQs.

After some refresher research I confirmed that the morons were on top because they had the highest IQs of those with the lowest IQs. The imbeciles were in the middle and the idiots were the lowest of the low. I always figured the morons were on top. Of  all those names, moron sounds most scholarly. It’s the only one that sounds vaguely redeemable. 

So from now on I will keep the former hierarchy of the low IQed straight in my mind by drawing upon a Three Stooges analogy: Moe = Moron, Larry = Imbecile, Curly = Idiot.

But I feel sorry for the poor idiots because I wonder where they turned when they were desperately in need of a boost of self-esteem. To whom could they feel smugly superior? This is probably the most popular survival mechanism of the oppressed and shat upon. When you’re sick of being oppressed and shat upon, you retaliate by seeking a population you can in turn look down on. And then you feel better knowing that there’s someone even more lowly than you. Now your task becomes making sure those people stay in that receded position because they are all that stands between you and the bottom. 

To illustrate this power dynamic, let us turn again to the Three Stooges. There’s a recurring Stooges scene where an authority figure slaps Moe. Moe is humiliated and retaliates by turning around and slapping Larry. Larry is humiliated and retaliates by turning around and slapping Curly. Curly is humiliated and retaliates by turning around and---.But there’s no one left to slap. Curly must own his humiliation.

That’s how the idiots must have felt. Because cripples play that slapping game as well as anybody. The cripples who can walk say, “Well at least I’m not in a wheelchair.” And the cripples in wheelchairs say, “Well at least I have all my limbs.” And the cripples who don’t have all their limbs say, “Well at least I’m not blind.” And all these cripples say, “Well at least there’s nothing wrong with our brains.”

So I’m sure the morons said, “Well at least we’re not imbeciles.” And I’m sure the imbeciles responded by saying, “Well at least we’re not idiots.” How did the idiots respond? There was no one left to slap. Maybe that’s how they became extinct.


  1. Yup, when someone, who wants to complain but wants to appear stoic, says "Ah, there's always someone worse off." I have wondered what the poor sap at the end of that line can say.

  2. Truth in a nutshell mate! It reminds me of Tom Lehrer's song National Brotherhood Week... if you aren't already a Lehrer fan check him out I'm sure his satire would appeal to you!