Friday, July 23, 2010

Stupidest State Contest - Midyear Update

The race for 2010's Stupidest State award has been a nail-biter, even at the 6-month mark. Let's take a look at the field of competitors and see if we will have any breakthroughs in the quest for this coveted, prestigious award. But first, a word or two about the competition itself:

The Stupidest State award is given each year to one of the 50 United States (Guam and Puerto Rico don't count because they are in their own category of stupid) that has shown a staggering, mind-boggling level of idiocy in a whole array of objectionable and completely subjective measurements. These measurements are:

1) General level of innate stupidity among residents. This is when stupidity is the result of some large-scale genetic abnormality or environmental catastrophe which automatically dooms everyone in that state to a profound level of dopiness. It also includes some kind of cultural mandate or a completely degraded educational system, which will guarantee that even if you're born with normal intelligence, you will grow up really dumb no matter what. Example: Texas.

2) Venal, corrupt or insane governor/executive branch. When the head honcho of state government is a classless, raving idiot (don't try to hide, Rod Blagojevich, we see you) it's tough for a state to get out from under that. Unless the state legislature has the intelligence, integrity and morality to force the governor into taking the right actions. HAHAHAHA! Example: Illinois.

3) Prevailing religious tyranny. When a state is influenced in every aspect by a toxic, malignant religious mind-control cult, you can be sure that everything they do will be completely idiotic and counter to any kind of common sense. Example: Utah

4) Batshit-crazy or fundamentalist-controlled regulators or legislature. Regulators and legislators at the state level exercise a frightening amount of control over the lives of the residents and can enforce a dense haze of stupidity which blankets the entire state. This can lead to the passage of stunningly stupid laws and/or denial of the theory of evolution, global warming or a million other issues which everyone learns in the third grade and which normal people around the world regard as valid and serious. Example: Kansas

5) Potential for global embarrassment or species degradation. Often a state will collectively reach a level of idiocy that everyone on earth notices and leads to that state being held up as an universal example of the very worst qualities of humanity. In fact the entire human race is negatively affected by the overwhelming, blinding stupidity of this one group of people. Examples: Alabama, Mississippi

So, with the categories in mind, let's take a look (in alphabetical order) at the slate of contenders we have in the running for 2010's Stupidest State, and their current ratings on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being mildly annoying dumbness and 5 being poisonous, terminal stupidity:

ALASKA: There are some states that you can expect to be in the competition every year, such is the depth and breadth of their inborn, ingrained dumbness. Alaska certainly qualifies on its own merits, but its level of stupid has been catapulted to stratospheric levels by its most prominent citizen, the execrable Sarah Palin. Absolutely everything that comes out of this wretched, ignorant woman's trap is light-years beyond stupid and pathetic. It's as if profound mental retardation has become something to be celebrated and publicized. Hailing from Wasilla - "Where you can smell the stupid in the air" - Palin's continued blight of an existence will ensure that Alaska always has a place near the top of this competition.
General level of stupid in the population: 4 (They have to be stupid to elect Palin)
Really stupid governor/executive: 2 (Palin is ex-governor)
Prevailing religious tyranny: 1 (Worshiping polar bears is not a religion)
Batshit-crazy legislature: 2 (I'm sure they are, but at least they're quiet)
Potential for global embarrassment: 5
Overall Score: 2.8

ARIZONA: I suppose I should be ashamed that my adoptive home state is in the running, but how can I possibly deny it? After being here for 17 years I am still amazed and confounded by how incredibly stupid and ignorant this state is. First of all I am continually appalled by the number of really disgusting dirtbags, meth-heads and general burn-outs that populate this state. Arizona really is the septic tank for the entire nation; every rabid redneck and drug burn-out case find their way here after they are thrown out of their own state. When they're not stealing copper tubing to feed their substance-abuse habit, some of these scumbags vote and this results in the most unqualified, corrupt and just plain evil people being elected to every single office in this state, from the governor to the state legislature and on down the line to local sheriffs and city council members. This also means you can absolutely count on the legislature to pass the most deadheaded, moronic laws possible, such as the law to allow bar patrons to carry guns and illegal-immigration bill SB 1070, currently embroiling this state in the most destructive, divisive debate ever.
General level of stupid in the population: 5
Really stupid governor/executive: 5 (Governor-without-a-mandate Jan Brewer is possibly the most incompetent, stupid and just plain loathsome governor since Fife Symington)
Prevailing religious tyranny: 1 (Would be 5 if stupidity was a religion)
Batshit-crazy legislature: 5
Potential for global embarrassment: 4
Overall Score: 4.0

Another state we can count on being in the competition every year is Florida, the Great-Granddaddy of Crazy. Florida has been batshit-crazy longer than anyone can remember. I guess all the crazy old people from all over the country move down there, and that just makes everything crazier. It's recent selection of governors (Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist) make it clear that the populace has a keen eye for the really stupid and gleefully vote the Crazy Ticket each and every time. Whether passing laws to deny adoption privileges to perfectly fine, qualified gay couples, or blaming the last hurricane on the lack of prayer in public schools, Floridians have shown a level of stupidity and staying-power which is truly world-class.
General level of stupid in the population: 4
Really stupid governor/executive: 4
Prevailing religious tyranny: 3 (Way too many Southern Baptists)
Batshit-crazy legislature: 4
Potential for global embarrassment: 4
Overall Score: 3.8

NEW JERSEY: Sad little New Jersey hasn't been in the running for a while, not since The Sopranos finished up, but unfortunately for them the recent elevation of "guido culture" in the form of an astonishingly awful reality show Jersey Shore has popped them back into the contest. This has rocketed the perception of New Jersey residents as a bunch of really annoying buffoons. Now everyone in the world thinks the state is overrun by short, stubby women with enormous fake boobs and an exaggerated sense of their own self-worth, and meat-headed men with the brains and maturity level of foul-mouthed ten-year-olds. Even worse, some of these Jersey Shore people weren't even from New Jersey - they were from New York - but that doesn't matter, New Jersey gets the blame for these idiots.
General level of stupid in the population: 3 (5 near the ocean or in Atlantic City)
Really stupid governor/executive: 0 (I don't even know who the governor is)
Prevailing religious tyranny: 2 (Overly-teased hair and obnoxious accents don't really count as religion)
Batshit-crazy legislature: 2
Potential for global embarrassment: 5
Overall Score: 2.2

SOUTH CAROLINA: This is so exciting, because every so often a new state will pop up in the contest, seemingly out of nowhere. South Carolina had been previously written off as a huge parking lot/trash dump for North Carolina and a support system for moderately interesting places like Myrtle Beach and Charleston. But they have shown a dazzling talent for pure idiocy in a very short time. Their breathtaking rise to the top of the stupid heap started with their hormone-driven ex-governor Mark Sanford who deftly combined a talent for lying and cheating on his wife when he told everyone he went hiking in the Appalachians and instead took a detour way south to go bump nasties with some Argentine strumpet. Then he had the audacity to come back, tail between his legs, and wonder why everyone wanted him to step down from the governorship. Those are some balls you got (or had) there, Mr. Sanford. Then there is Senator Jim Demint, who would love to make kissy-face with all those ignorant racists in the Tea Party and who has never passed up a single opportunity to advance the wishes of his wealthy Republican puppet-masters. And there's much more, but I'll just throw in the little tidbit about South Carolina being the home of Bob Jones University. Look them up, you will be appalled.
General level of stupid in the population: 5 (There has to be very high lead levels in the water)
Really stupid governor/executive: 5
Prevailing religious tyranny: 5 (Fundamentalist heaven)
Batshit-crazy legislature: 4
Potential for global embarrassment: 5
Overall Score: 4.8

Well, there you have it, the race so far. Alaska and Florida are hanging in there strong, perennial competitors that they are. Arizona is making a full-court press and is a force with which to be reckoned. New Jersey is being dragged into the competition somewhat reluctantly but that's okay, and South Carolina is making an amazingly strong bid for Stupid Supremacy. It will be an interesting time now through the end of the year as the midterm elections come up, and we should always be alert for a state to swoop in out of the blue with a level of stupidity that will dwarf anything we've seen so far. Isn't life grand?

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