Make stupid people smarter using DNA

Matt Sussman and Matt Sussman

If you do the math correctly, you will discover that this year, 2003, is the 50th anniversary of anything that happened in 1953. Capitalists celebrate 1953 for the passing of Joseph Stalin. Perverts celebrate 1953 for the first ever issue of Playboy. Science nerds celebrate 1953 for the discovery of the DNA structure by James Watson and Francis Crick. This was the year we all learned about DNA’s famous double-helix structure. It strengthened the theory of evolution and was arguably the most significant discovery in terms of biology — the science of cutting up dead animals.

Fifty years to the day of this discovery, New Scientist magazine reported James Watson’s latest suggestion. This theory created a stir in the scientific community, as well as informed me that this guy’s still alive. He contends that stupidity is a genetic disorder and can be classified as a disease. In improper English, Watson said, “The lower ten percent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what’s the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, ‘Well, poverty, things like that.’ It probably isn’t. So I’d like to get rid of that, to help the lower ten percent.”

Just the lower ten percent? Elementary, Watson. Have you taken a look around you? The BG News reported last November that a survey concluded only 13 percent of Americans could find Iraq on a map. Our society is being exposed to stupidity through the likes of MTV, the people arrested on “COPS,” and anything starring Rob Schneider. Even our fearless president is inventing a new vocabulary comprised of words like “subliminable” and, my personal favorite, “Hispanically.” You say stupidity is a disease? I say it is an epidemic.

I suppose the big debate here is to actually define stupidity. Is it determined by IQ? Nah, because those tests are always biased. Standardized testing only proves how well one does on standardized tests. What must be done is to study individual cases. It would be nice to define the dumbest ten percent of the population, but that is as likely to happen as Ted Nugent signing an endorsement deal with Greenpeace. There are a lot of people out there with tendencies to be nincompoops. This is an excellent opportunity for me to point some out.

Let’s start with Peter Angelos, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. He gave a five-year, $65 million contract to mean old Albert Belle. He retired with a degenerative hip and only played two years of his contract, making him a very rich man. Make Peter Angelos smarter.

Moving on, let us recall that failed TV special, “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” I actually watched this, as I was as naïve as Darva Conger, the nurse proposed to by Rick Rockwell, an unfunny comedian. Not only did these two lovebirds file for an annulment days after the show aired, but it set a standard for horrible, horrible reality television which is still being aired today. Now, let us revisit the world of sports, a hotbed of stupid people.

There are several idiots in this profession, and one of those people is Mike Tyson. You should know by now of at least three completely stupid acts by Iron Mike. His innovative lexicon rivals that of President Bush. Sometimes I wish Tyson would follow up with what he once said and “fade into Bolivian.”

These are just famous people I’m mentioning. I’m sure you can think of countless numbskulls in your life. Maybe there is one sitting next to you. Maybe you are one yourself. You might even be thinking that I am one. Well, I am not one to run away from allegations, so perhaps I am stupid. After all, I have locked my keys in my car before. Twice.

Bill Engvall’s trademark phrase is, “Stupid people should have signs,” so we know where they are. The problem is, they are everywhere, and if James Watson doesn’t die on us, he should develop a system to enhance the intelligence of the world’s population. Sure, we can’t pick off a lower echelon of dumbness, but should that matter? Couldn’t we all use a brain boost?

Mathematically, there will always be a bottom ten percent. Even if we were all genetically engineered to be brighter, those poor souls will continue to entertain us with their antics. That is, everyone except for Rob Schneider.