Sunday, April 25, 2021

Variants of Stupidity


The smartest people I know never call anyone else stupid. Perhaps they are just intelligent enough to recognize how much they have to learn.

Conversely, the most appalling mouth-breathers of my acquaintance are quick to accuse others of imbecility for no better reason than being at odds with their precise opinion. Little knowledge being a dangerous thing, they lash themselves to the mast of the first fact they hear, particularly if it confirms their preferences, and cling to it like grim death.

Like most people, I consider myself somewhere between those two groups; in the parlance of Costanza, not showing off, not falling behind, right in that sweet spot.

As the threat of Covid, such as it ever was, loses its wind, those who live, breathe, and pray to this happening cast about for ways to keep it alive. Since the approved narrative itself does not hang together – the same cohort who cautioned against wearing masks last year now insist they are the talisman to salvation, you must prove your goodness by injecting yourself with an experimental “vaccine” that is nothing of the sort by any previously held definition, etc. – adherents must seal off parts of their minds to contain their demons of doubt.

“Variants of concern” is a recent formulation, meant to convey a sense of next-level danger. But as the sheer illogic of their story accumulates, the willful benightedness of those who need this nonsense to rouse themselves from bed each morning necessitates variants of stupidity.

For example, I have heretofore enjoyed chit-chatting with an older lady I encounter on my bi-weekly visits to the grocery store. Most recently, however, our discussion turned to the Covid regime – as is the tiresome wont of every conversation nowadays – and the ridiculous cloth on our faces.

Whether this woman was once normal or was always one of them, I do not know, but a slyness slipped into her eyes, as though what she was about to say were gangbusters.

“Okay, BUT – were you sick this winter?”

That was it. She stepped back slightly, as though I needed space to recover. I needed no more than a moment, however, to understand her meaning: While masks may be unnecessary for Covid, they are probably good for something, so we must all wear them indefinitely.

I responded, truthfully, that I am never sick (being Irish, I yearn for death, but my perfect health is a tragic fact), adding that even if her argument were airtight, I do not want to live like this. Off the top of my head, I mentioned recent writings from the CDC, Stanford, and even the New York Times (which I suddenly supposed she might read unironically) averring that masks and “social distance” were performative at most.

“Everyone has their own opinion,” she replied in the sing-song tone one might take with a slow-learning child.

Notwithstanding my place in the sweet spot, noted above, to be patronized by someone of middling intelligence is its own chapter of infuriation.

Perhaps so, I answered, though that is of little practical value, since those of us with differing opinions, no matter how well-founded, are beholden to the opinions of those who demand we cover our faces if we wish to buy food for our families.

“Well, I need to get back to it,” she said. The words were polite enough, but she applied just enough edge to her tone to convey we shan’t speak again.

I am intellectually humble enough to accept I might be wrong about all this. But I suspect what irritated her most was that, on some level, she suspects I am right.

Covid is merely the latest religion for people who believe in nothing. In the tradition of “climate change” and identity politics, it is tailor-made for the jagged, spacey sort who send prayers “out to the Universe” because they’d rather die roaring than say the name of God.

It is often said that this godless religion has no answer for death, and so people are afraid. I waver on this, inasmuch as I see plenty of power-tripping, conformity, and self-satisfaction, but precious little fear.

It is akin to how media reflexively blame this or that recent privation on “the pandemic,” rather than the true culprit of capricious tyranny.

At this point, is anyone primarily afraid of the disease itself? Perhaps some are but, to those with a lick of perspicacity, the chief concern ought to be the medical prison being erected around us.

Covidians are strangers to both purpose and fear, which makes them fanatical. Their role-playing adventure, in which the rest of us are compelled to participate, furnishes them with meaning and power, yet they are no more afraid of death than Barack Obama is of his waterfront mansion slipping into the rising sea.

As each of their tenets is disproved – from masks and distance, as noted, to death rates, dancing Tik-Tok nurses in supposedly overrun hospitals, the notion of “asymptomatic” (previously, “healthy”), and the recently exploded myth of surface transmission – their justifications will mutate as swiftly and dangerously as they claim the virus does.

Each new strain of nonsense will be more absurd than the last, as fewer rational arguments remain available to them. Even so, they will persist, for they can do no other – at least, until some new secular shrine presents itself. When it does, the same people who moved seamlessly from saying you couldn’t use a plastic straw to demanding that everything be covered in plastic, including you, will go and worship there.

Returning to the smartest people I know, albeit subjectively assessed, it is noteworthy that none of them is a medical doctor (with one exception, though he was so brilliant it was as though he earned an MD in his spare time). I myself am not a doctor, nor did I attend an Ivy League school, but I am acquainted with a sufficient number who satisfy one or both of those criteria to know that not only should one not be intimidated by their judgment – one should be outright suspicious of it.

Intelligence and credentials are worse than useless when decoupled from humility and common sense. Medicine, like any other field, requires the marriage of specific training to good judgment. And to it all, there is a bounded rationality. I would no more defer to a doctor on how society should run than allow my mechanic to dictate what times and on which roads I may drive my car.

Some medical professionals understand this perfectly well. Others – some famous and some on Facebook – seem to be enjoying this moment a tad too much.

The upshot remains that if you refuse to accept you may be wrong, allowing ego and power-lust to override reason, no matter how many post-nominals you possess, you may as well sign your name with an X.

Be warned, however: Unintelligent creatures can still be dangerous. A polar bear may be hopeless at arithmetic, but he can still rip your head off. The science is settled.

We are using low intelligence as shorthand to encompass genuinely dumb bunnies as well those who could be smart but refuse to be, but the salient factor is their religious zeal. As with the causes that preceded this one, and whatever follows, they will never cease seeking their personal fulfilment at your expense.

These people, remember, in the explicit terms of the World Economic Forum and other globalist busybodies, want you eating bugs and owning nothing by the end of the decade. They may be ridiculous, but they are still a threat.

Nevertheless, despite the daily discouragements of seeing healthy kids wearing masks in the sunshine, or neighborhood dads to whom I’d have previously considered loaning lawn equipment do the same, I remain optimistic we shall prevail. I have two reasons; one general and one specific.

First, all things, good and bad, must come to an end. The Covid hysteria is one of the great mass delusions in human history (and one could not help be impressed if it were truly planned by Bill Gates and fellow lizard-people, as some suggest) but, whether adored or abhorred, it cannot last forever, for no other reason than nothing made by man or lizard ever does.

Second, the absurdities, indignities, and internal inconsistencies of the Covid regime are impossible to sustain. Resistance and dissent may not appear on mainstream news outlets or your curated social media feed, but they are strong and determined. In cities around the world, massive rallies are regular occurrences. In private moments and everyday rebellions, people demonstrate what they truly believe. As I type, I sit in Canada’s “most vaccinated” neighborhood and yet, even here, outdoor-mask fanatics and my grocery store interlocutor are the exception, not the rule.

They are a large and powerful minority, represented as the only voice in the media we were accustomed to venerate. Even so, the traffic is all one-way. Perusal of my own social media feed will show me wearing a mask over a year ago, long before we were instructed to do so. Now, simply through observation of moving goal posts and shifting narratives, I do not believe a single word of the official Covid story, prepositions included.

Take heart and be not afraid. Time is on our side and, not for nothing, so is the truth.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at