The Selling of Stupid: A very stupid, and kind of sad, Situation
Diesel jeans has a promotion (and website, of course) dedicated to stupid. On it, they make a pretty compelling case for genuflecting at the altar of stupid. And statements like “Smart may have the brains but stupid has the balls” and “Smart critiques, stupid creates” do sound almost convincing on their face, so long as you don’t dwell on them too long. Objectively, It’s a pretty good ad campaign for an apparel company that tags itself an outsider. They need the rebel scent to adhere to them because nobody pays $300 for GWG’s. No, Diesel must possess enough rebellious cool to attract the hipster wannabes out there. And what could be more rebellious than embracing stupidity, right?
Personally, I think they may have overshot the market a wee bit. As I see it, the ship of stupid has already sailed and Diesel is painting itself as something of a rank amateur when it comes to using stupidity to sell stuff. Nobody uses stupidity to sell things anymore. That’s so yesterday. Today stupid is a commodity unto itself.
Stupid is officially on the shelf and available for sale. Don’t laugh, (well actually, do, that’s kind if why I’m here) stupid is not only for sale but it comes in so many different versions that consumers are able to choose their favourite brand. There is Brody Jenner’s form of stupid showcased in Bromance and Tila Tequila’s version in anything she does. What about the stupid on sale in Date My Mom or The Bachelor? Heck, MTV is an entire network that has dedicated itself to stupid. Music left the building years ago at Moron TV. Stupid is in demand and what the public wants, the public gets.
Who tunes into these televised embarrassments to learn something? To be challenged? No one. We’re all looking for the next biggest idiot out there. Who is truly the purest personification of stupid? What brand of stupid is the best brand? Currently I would suggest the crew of Jersey Shore wears that crown but if some smart producer gives a newly unemployed Charlie Sheen regular access to an open mic he might have a shot too. Like it or not, stupid is big business and we are buying.
Look at the Kardashians. They are an empire, claiming income of some $65 million dollars last year. Who are they really? What have they ever done? They took Paris Hilton’s brand of stupid, but pretty and improved on it. Now they’re stupid, but pretty….times three! And what do they actually do? Swan about their lives doing relatively stupid things on camera whilst looking pretty. Their product is their behavior, which is almost always stupid. Jersey Shore is one long infomercial for stupid. No one is watching is seeking life lessons. They watch to see what level of stupidity these moronic cretins will reach for next. Snooki? The Situation? Please – that semi-adults can call themselves by these names with straight faces is ludicrous. Yet Mr Abilicious can’t resist any urge to prove his absolute corner on the stupid market. In exchange he gets some $60,000 per episode. It may seem crazy but it really isn’t. It’s just stupid.
I watched The Situation on Conan the other night. I have to admit, I kind of felt sorry for him. Sure, he’s being well paid and all but here he was pushing his book (pages of stupid) and he felt it was necessary to note that he doesn’t like to take his shirt off so much any more. He hopes to somehow prove he’s more than just “that.” If he thinks he’s going to transition from the stupid business I fear he’s in for a let down. Conan mocked him during the interview, and after it. In fact, we all do. That’s sort of the deal. We’ll make sure you get lots of cash but you have to play your part. The Situation’s part is stupid, whether he likes it or not. Kind of sick, don’t you think?
I feel for the guy. For all of them actually. What’s the shelf life on Snooki’s brand of stupid? Eighteen months? A few years? More? Less? At what point does the pain of realizing you are nothing more than a marketed version of stupid start to require constant, heavy medication? Mr. Sheen, advice? I don’t actually know but you can rest assured that whatever happens to these folks individually, canny producers will continue sweeping the streets (and gutters) for new and better versions of stupid so long as supposedly smart folks like us keep watching. And that’s one situation I don’t think is ever going to change.