A favorite MAGA memory? Hearing broke-ass folks who don’t own stocks declare, “The stock market is doing great…take that, libs!”
Willful ignorance is ‘in’ these days.
It’s so fashionable, not using your brain. Especially if you’re white and convinced that your idea of America is endangered.
If you happen to feel this way, then the best approach is to not get educated about those issues that vex you. Instead, remove IQ points from your skull. If half-baked existential threat dominates your psyche because your Jew-hating, dead great uncle wouldn’t like the country nowadays, go ahead and remain dumb as rocks. Cry crocodile tears and scream that the vision of your country is under attack.
You got the skin color. You’ll be fine.
It’s strange, looking at the 2010s. While Bill O’Reilly got booted from prime-time for being a rapist, his method of examining the world’s issues using his most judgmental and non-inquisitive frame of mind seems to still be alive and well.
Want to sound smarter than you really are? Mask over your genuine lack of curiosity? Would you like people to think of you as a discerning, piercing intellect when you are in fact more of a judgmental, privileged dullard?
If you are white in America, all you have to do is summon your mildly-dissatisfied voice and a condescending sneer, then practice saying these six words:
“What do you mean by that?”
Once you get comfortable delivering these words ominously, practice interrupting conversations with this question. Watch people cower and second-guess themselves in front of you. Almost makes a person feel like a billionaire.
The question itself is nothing more than a mature version of the “why?” that two-year-olds say. Yet, expressed using the right tone of voice, it can come across as universal and meaningless at the same time. Which makes it so effective. It fits into any conversation, yet adds not even one bit of substance to that conversation. While it takes zero intelligence to say, this phrase conveys a sense of intelligence that not many other words can follow.
This phrase—related to a manipulative technique known as sealioning—can serve as the perfect mask for any white person who feels out of their element. (I say “white” because if a POC repeats this phrase one-too-many times, people will think that they are stupid. White people are confused and people of color are stupid. White people’s lack of comprehension is our problem and POCs’ lack of comprehension is their problem. Ain’t America great?)
A verbal exchange of ideas should move forward. Said with a snippy enough tone, What do you mean by that? keeps every exchange in a holding pattern.
Billionaires use this loaded-yet-unloaded question to scare money out of dupes who believe in American Exceptionalism and Trickle-down Economics. CEOs ask it to gloss over their own lack of comprehension.
When said properly, along with leveraging the right amount of emotional disgust, a white person in America can deploy the words “What do you mean by that?” and surf through any evening full of more inquisitive, curious people appearing to be one dissatisfied step ahead of everyone else.
What a super-duperpower: a person filled with doubt…using this question and a whiny tone of voice to create feelings of doubt in others.
In a country flirting with fascism, questions like “What do you mean by that?” help a bro stand out without standing out. Which makes him feel a teensy, weensy bit like a billionaire. And that’s all that Fox News-types seem to want out of life these days.
What a decade, huh? Corporations insisted on dumbing their communications down to keep investors happy while education costs kept rising. But look on the bright side: lots and lots of broke-ass mofos ended the 2010s still believing in trickle-down economics and the benevolence of the 1%.
These days, white dudes boastfully defend the Laffer Curve by uttering statements like “Never had no poor man give me a job…” and their boastings burst with testosterone. Deconstruct their words: they are the words of a billionaire’s bitch. But they are the words of a masculine billionaire’s bitch, dammit. Fox News says so.
These days, the biggest trumpeters of positive stock market news seem to be folks who don’t own stock. Newsflash: investor-friendly numbers like high worker productivity indexes mean that the owners are getting more work out of their employees without compensating them for the extra effort.
Then again…whatever it takes to own the libs, right?
Looking at #maga and what I call the Petting Zoo Bourgeoisie class, it’s obvious that the 1% likes ‘em obedient, unquestioning and mentally shut down.
But some folks seem to have gotten a little too carried away when it comes to removing IQ points from their minds.
You folks might need some of those little fellers for necessary functions, like the regulation of breathing and food digestion.
Vulture capitalism. Git some.
Also check out these posts:
• When we go smart, they go dumb.
• When things get tense, whites get dense.
• Don’t get mad at them. They’re just being white.
• The Petting Zoo Bourgeoisie went to the polls.
My sci-fi series.
I also post at Medium.