The Collective Intellect of the U.S.

Some of you may already have seen the YouTube video documenting American intellectual prowess, but in case not, it’s worth a view. Watch it and decide if it’s depressing or hilarious….

It’s called Americans Are Not Stupid, with Subtitles. It’s a few minutes long.

This reminds me of a funny story. Or a depressing story. Definitely a related story. Yesterday a member of my family sent a petition to other members of my family (not me). The petition was one of those bogus right-wing scare tactic petitions talking about how the bad “illegals” are trying to steal good, patriotic Americans’ jobs and social security and so on. The petition also claimed Congress recently passed a bill allowing “illegals” to have social security benefits. A false rumor that’s well-worn. The e-mail’s even in Snopes.

Anyway, the petition demands that only U.S. CITIZENS be allowed social security benefits, or any social services. My relative who sent it was born in the United States. Her husband (my brother) and parents-in-law (my parents) were not. They’re all legal residents (who’ve long paid social security taxes), but not citizens. So my relative SIGNED MY BROTHER’S NAME to a petition that demands he lose his social security benefits. Brilliant. Then she forwarded it to his non-citizen parents, suggesting they sign it too. Double brilliant.

I asked her about this later and she told me she forgot that we (including her husband) are all “aliens.” She then pointed out that either way, the petition is how a lot of people feel. Then she said not to worry because no one is referring to us. Apparently, she doesn’t understand what the word “citizen” means.

The upside to this…. Well, ok, there isn’t an upside to this. But in my fantasy resolution, my relative is disqualified from voting. That’s because to become a citizen and voter, you have to take a basic citizenship test and have half a brain. And I figure if you’re an English speaker with half a brain, you know what the word “citizen” means. That’s what you’re taking a test for! So in my fantasy, she fails the test, I make an uncitizen’s arrest, and the feds consider Guantanamo.

Ok, silly fantasy and bad to make jokes about Guantanamo, one of the more depraved entities in modern U.S. history. And of course, if I believe in equal rights for all, I have to allow room for dumb people. This does, however, bring me back to the above video. My relative belongs in it.

Do some of you have relatives who belong in it?

4 Responses to The Collective Intellect of the U.S.

  1. Pulao says:


    I think what your sister-in-law did is funnier than anything in the video. (Though it’s fun to see people asserting that a triangle has four, or no, sides.)

  2. Kris says:

    She meant the more brownish-type of non-citizens. Jeez, dbay, don’t be so touchy.

    This is hilarious; again, as Pulao pointed out, sister-in-law the most hilarious. As for the video, I take offense that someone misidentified “Mississippi” as a member of the axis of evil. Come on! If there’s one thing you can NOT accuse Mississippi of it’s, you know, being its own hostile nation instead of a part of this one.

  3. karah says:

    Well, I have one relative who emailed me a petition in 2004 warning people not to vote for Kerry because his Purple Hearts were fake and he was therefore a dangerous choice to be Commander In Chief of the U. S. military.

    He was urging me to vote instead for a guy who had never been in the military, who joined the Coast Guard to avoid being drafted into Vietnam, and who apparently skipped out on most of his training and duties in said Coast Guard. And look what a great job that guy has done in leading our armed forces.

    To make it weirder, said relative was a member of the military who did serve overseas.

    I don’t know what was weirder: his seriously flawed argument or the fact that he sent ME the email. He does know me.

  4. Matt says:

    Huffffffffffffffffffff. (Protracted sigh.)

    When I see these types of videos, I always wonder how many people answered the questions correctly and got edited out of the final cut. (This is the latent social scientist in me. Sample size! Margin of error! Woo!) For the sake of my good nights’ sleep, I hope the answer to that one is “the population of the Twin Cities.”

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