If intelligence is something that is quantifiable and can be ranked, then the last week's news cycle is an apt reminder that half the population has below-average intelligence.
The metamorphosis of the ridiculous non-happening of a yob at a soccer game shouting an obscene phrase into a microphone into a maelstrom of collective sanctimony demonstrates that there is a surfeit of stupid Canadians. And I'm not just talking about the yob and his ilk.
By any objective measure, someone wearing his corporate uniform and furiously, sincerely calling for the genocide of an entire people in public, on television, would be greater cause for dismissal than someone who, when questioned about a stupid sexist phrase, made some stupid sexist remarks.
But that's not how it worked in Canada last week. When a Toronto public transit employee, while wearing his Toronto Transit Commission uniform, called for a genocide of Jews in Israel, there was no massive movement by Social Justice Wankers to have criminal charges brought against him or to have him fired. All that happened to him was that he was told to take three Rae days, as unpaid vacation time in the Ontario civil service has come to be called.
Meanwhile, some stupid schmuck, who didn't even shout the vulgar "FHRITP" phrase on camera, but was unfortunate enough to be questioned by a reporter about it, and was dumb enough to voice his support for the idiotic trend, has been fired from his six-figure salaried job. That fool narrowly evaded criminal charges, only because the reporter refused to file a criminal complaint. The reporter, CP 24's Shauna Hunt, is the only person who has emerged from this brouhaha looking reasonable. Hordes of others are competing to outdo each other in hyperbole and overreaction, like the Calgary Police force, which charged a man who shouted the "FHRITP" phrase from a passing truck.
I'm not making excuses for the "FHRITP" morons. The people who do it are clearly imbeciles. But what's worse is the self-righteous posturing and the piling on to denounce them as if the entire arena of Canadian social and mainstream media has devolved into a Stalinist show trial.
"Hey ladies, I just want you to know that all men aren't like those scum. There are guys like me who respect women and would never do anything like that. I'm glad one was fired and they should face charges." That's the type of comment that's been appearing on facebook threads throughout Canada and in some ways, it's even creepier than the "FHRITP" stupidity. Anyone who's familiar with these ostentatious male feminists knows that they're slimy characters who are as sexist as the droogs in A Clockwork Orange, but because they're beta male douchebags, rely on Grima Wormtongue sleaziness to try to lure women.
Of course, most men aren't running around shouting vulgarities at women. Almost all women already know that.
However a little more perspective and a lot less hypocrisy would be nice. Plenty of the exact same people who are enthusiastic supporters of Omar Khadr, and are apoplectic that the Harper government would want to keep him in prison, are now leading the charge to pillory some imbecile just for making asinine comments supporting a vulgarian. Think about it. They are not just forgiving, but outright supportive of an unrepentant murderer and terrorist jihadi, yet are completely outraged and want the full force of the justice system and social ostracism to descend on a halfwit for pulling the equivalent of a frat-boy prank.
It's natural that TV media would want to shame the "FHRITP" attention-seekers out of existence. They have become a significant inconvenience for TV news reporters. But a vulgar joke trend is hardly a major issue, and the way that so many gullible Canadians were so easily manipulated into outrage in order to serve the media's interest reaffirms that Orwell was indeed right about us.
If municipal and provincial election results throughout Canada over the last year weren't proof enough, this is just more evidence that we live in a society of idiots. Not that we should be surprised by that in any way, since we live in a society that glorifies idiots like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. We make stupid people rich and famous just for being stupid in public, and you know we do, because you recognize the names Mama June and Honey Boo Boo. We have only ourselves to blame that there are throngs anxious to join the ranks of celebrity morons by any means possible.
Some people thought Andy Warhol was being facetious in 1968 when he wrote, "in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes." As it turned out, thanks to YouTube and the Internet, Warhol overestimated the duration of fame by a couple of orders of magnitude. Today, everyone gets to be famous for eight seconds, which is the attention span of the average Canadian. Really. A new study by Microsoft established that the average Canadian's attention span has declined to eight seconds, which is one second less than the attention span of the average goldfish.
A year ago, I'd have thought something like that must be a made-up joke from the satirical website, The Onion. Now it's just confirmation of the obvious.