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by Howard Mortman MSNBC
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003 at 10:48 PM
If you?re an American, chances are there?s a celebrity who thinks you?re dumb. Maybe even stupid. Or an idiot. Or something worse, which we can?t print here.
YES, SHOW A celebrity an American, and that celebrity will show you an ignoramus.
Too sweeping a statement? Perhaps. But what about this Michael Moore screed about Americans in the London Mirror earlier this month? ?They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet. ...We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don?t know about anything that?s happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing.?
Until Michael Moore pointed it out, you probably didn?t know how embarrassingly stupid you are. In fact, you probably have so little intelligence you didn?t know that Moore isn?t the only celebrity who thinks you?re dumb. Indeed, Moore has colleagues in the celebrity kingdom who think the same thing.
So put on your well-worn dunce cap and check out what other celebrities say about your intelligence. And if the celebrities are correct in their analysis, you?re moving your lips as you read this.
Johnny Depp said a few months back, ?America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you.? (Depp later claimed he was quoted out of context and offered: ?I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it.? But still, we?re like dumb puppies?)
Ted Turner once said this about television-watchers: ?The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that; we know that.?
JANE SOUNDS OFF, TOO
Speaking of Ted Turner, Jane Fonda was in Canada this past April and said: ?I don?t know if a country where the people are so ignorant of reality and of history, if you can call that a free world.?
Also in Canada, Martin Sheen said recently: ?Every time I cross this border, I feel like I?ve left the land of lunatics. You are not armed and dangerous. You do not shoot each other. I always feel a bit more human when I come here.?
Lunatics, ignorant people, dummies ? even dumb puppies. Yes, we got ?em all here.
Where does this superior celebrity intellect come from? It?s actually part of a larger phenomenon, one involving the president. Celebrities sneer at President Bush?s intelligence. And then they think we?re all the same, just dumb Bush-boosters.
For evidence of how much smarter celebrities think they are than the president, we start again with super-smart guy Michael Moore. A year ago, he told the London Mirror (he loves those British papers), ?I really do believe Bush is dumber than s@?*. What?s odd about all this is that Blair is a smart guy. What?s he doing hanging out with a dumb guy? Back at school if you were smart, you hung out with the other kids that were smart.?
Sticking with the European press, earlier this year Larry Hagman told a German newspaper that Bush was a ?sad figure: not too well-educated, who doesn?t get out of America much.? And Sheen told the BBC after Bush became president: ?George W. Bush is like a bad comic working the crowd. A moron, if you?ll pardon the expression.?
I?m not sure which expression we should be pardoning there, mind you. Maybe it?s because I?m a moron-American (we?re such a hyphenated nation these days).
But the hits continue. In April, Edward Norton said of Bush: ?As an actor, I know in my mind, watching him, what a low-quality mind he has.? And during the 2000 campaign, Cher said, ?I don?t like Bush. I don?t trust him. I don?t like his record. He?s stupid. He?s lazy.?
SNAP OUT OF IT!
Yikes! Stupid and lazy? C?mon, Cher! Snap out of it!
Also during the 2000 campaign, Rob Reiner said, ?We have the single most unqualified man running for president in our lifetime. I?m not making this up! I?m not making this up! The man has no experience, and worse than that, he has no intellectual curiosity.? Gee, he makes Bush sound like a, well, like a meathead.
No celebrity said it smarter than Sandra Bernhard. She asserted her intelligence and belittled Bush at the same time to the Washington Post in March 2002: ?I?m an intelligent person from America. I was born in Michigan and raised in Arizona, and while I do reside in New York, I travel the country extensively. Any thinking person who lives in the world would be disturbed at what?s going on right now. I think Bush is amateurish and self-serving, and, frankly, it?s disgusting.?
I would offer a retort to Bernhard, but I can?t think of anything smart to say. I?ve never been to Michigan
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