Anti-Intellectualism : The Celebration Of Stupidity

antiintellectualism

By: B Goode

After reading some of the alternative news sites such as the now defunct TRS and KNN, and their replacement, ASS, along with others such as TOC, TI-SG, WUS and a few more, you could not help but feel your intellect dropping a few notches.

In the case of me, because my intellect is already kind of low, it dropped to zero and then I had to spend a few hours reading Kahlil Gibran to get it back up.

And that is just by reading the articles. The comments section is a different kettle of fish altogether. After reading them, you’d feel like you had been blasted by a cosmic energy of stupidity so strong that it caused your brain to develop cancer.

And it seems like this plague of inanity is spreading everywhere; the forums, the comments section of MSM pages, social media postings and the latest; the NUS perverted orientation camp.

It is however not limited to Singapore. It is in fact, a global phenomenon.

Social scientists have branded this new social wonder as anti-intellectualism; the need to look stupid in order to be cool. It is like a badge of honour to be accepted into the coolkids club. Logic, reasons and facts are thrown out of the window to be replaced by sheer stupidity.

It is all fine and dandy if it is just for some giggles and entertainment. I mean, who hadn’t post a stupid comment or two in the internet just to troll.

But when politicians and people in authority exhibit this kind of behaviour and believe in their own stupidity and having people believing in that stupidity, then we are in for trouble.

Cue Donald Trump.

And our very own village idiots:

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The problem is accentuated when the government and policy-makers cannot distinguish between anti-intellectualism and real issues and grievances, and start to react to purposefully stupid opinions as though they are relevant and real. This explains why the government PR department is lately grappling with trying to counter some of the criticisms leveled at them.

Take for example the case of Minister Tan Chuan Jin and his durian trip to Johor.

Amidst the swirl of stupid comments, lay the pertinent question of why were he and his entourage accorded special treatment by immigration? He should have just tackled this issue instead of attacking the accuser, WP Mp Png.

He should have just explained that whether we like it or not, he is a Minister after all and Ministers all over the world, not only Singapore, are accorded certain privileges and that includes pre-clearance for them and their entourage when visiting other countries. Period.

Anti-intellectualism is no doubt fun. It is a new form of comedic relief. The government however, must recognise this and not to be side-tracked by non-issues that were meant to be nonsensical irreverence.

In short, don’t get trolled.

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One Response to Anti-Intellectualism : The Celebration Of Stupidity

  1. george says:

    A couple of observations:

    1. I note that you have excluded Minister Tan from your pictures of so-called ‘village idiots’. I think the manner he had chosen to reply to MP Png makes him one, well within your lament about anti-intellectualism; as you rightly pointed out he should had replied in a straightforward manner.

    2. Commonsense dictates that it is NOT in fact universal that everyone in a VIP’s entourage is automatically granted the same entry privilege. It would be more like being contingent upon circumstances and on a case by case basis.

    3. It was a political party activity and the grassroots (who were not members of a government delegation) travelling in the same bus as Tan are by no stretch of the imagination a member of his ‘entourage’. By that loose definition, all the 9 bus loads of PAP political grassroot members (and I am sure they would include a significant number of family members of the grassroots) should have been let through on the same basis, BUT THEY WERE NOT. The rest still have to go through in the prescribed manner. So it is more like the custom and immigration officials at Tuas has exercised their discretion wrongly or indiscriminately perhaps in order to give ‘face’ to Tan more than anything valid reasons. In the absence of any clear instructions from their superiors and it is clear that there had never been and never would be such instructions (note the silence of the Home Affairs and Law Minister in support of his cabinet colleague) for the sake of the primacy and integrity of proper border control and security over accorded privileges. By the way, by being silent and holding back his comment, the MHA cum Law minister can also be described as being ‘anti-intellectual’.

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