Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Am With Stupid

I recently ran across a bad cliché that began many years ago. I recall a picture on the Internet that had started a multi-million dollar industry with every entrepreneur copying it in some fashion. It depicted a woman walking toward the photographer. She wore a tee-shirt somewhat like this I am with stupid. To her left and slightly behind her walked a man carrying purchases apparently for her. The arrow was pointing to him, and their position in the situation was perfect as far as that went.

On first glance I was amused at the apparent humor. Then I quickly became irritated. Now, many years and millions of dollars cashing in on the “I am with stupid” phrase by people (not me) not connected to the original idea I feel the need to say this. I would never advertise being with a stupid person. If he or she were indeed stupid, I would try to minimize the effect and try to pass as a normal person. The reason is, I would not want to embarrass the stupid person or the on-lookers by pointing out this fact. On the other hand, if he or she were not really stupid, then I would be doing a cruel thing by calling this person stupid. In either case, it is not something that a reasonable person would do. I know that the basis of jokes and humor is cruelty, but this is not one where I would go.

The premise of this humorous depiction is flawed. It is impossible to tell which person, the woman or the man is stupid. Interestingly, I have never seen a depiction of the stupid arrow pointing to a woman. I guess that would not be politically corrrect, although it would be just as stupid as the arrow pointing to a man. If the man is stupid, at least he has an excuse to be exploited by a supposedly smart female. She can flaunt her smartness by claiming her man’s stupidity. In any weak scenario we can try to look smart when standing next to a stupid person. That works about as well as in political campaigns where one accuses the opponent of bad deeds, and by comparison, the mudslinger looks good. We all know how well that works.

In the original picture, if the woman is smart, then why is she dealing with stupid? Is it because she needs someone stupid next to her so that she can look relatively smart? Is it because she is stupid and can’t figure out the implications of this lame depiction? As I said, the premise is flawed.

If there are any of you out there who received one of these tee shirts or posters as a gift you might consider burning them.

1 comment:

ServingB said...

Susan's Pet:

You are a good man.