It’s been a stellar week  if you’re looking for more evidence that we are sliding full tilt into an age of rather remarkable stupidity, writes Michael McGuire.
It’s been a stellar week if you’re looking for more evidence that we are sliding full tilt into an age of rather remarkable stupidity, writes Michael McGuire.

Age of dumb celebrity opinions is upon us

It's been a stellar week or two if you're looking for more evidence that we are sliding full tilt into an age of rather remarkable stupidity.

This isn't even about politics, although that particular field does produce some doozies from time to time. It's more about judgment.

Maybe it's just a function of the era we are living in. People have become so used to not only speaking their mind but broadcasting it to the world that their filter between thought and action has been almost entirely removed.

It's easy enough to argue that, despite the wailings and gnashings of those who think we are all suffering under the yoke of the woke and being crushed by the altar of political correctness, that this is the golden age of free speech.

Apparently there are more than two billion people who use Facebook every month, 126 million use Twitter every day. Another one billion use Instagram each month. That's a lot of shouty noise right there.

Prince Andrew has been widely condemned for his weekend interview. Picture: Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP
Prince Andrew has been widely condemned for his weekend interview. Picture: Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP

But, even a decade ago, where did these people go if they wanted to shout abuse at a stranger or minor celebrity? Or to inform them they are fat, ugly, a racist, a Nazi, a fascist, a snowflake, PC, a leftard, a nutjob, a loser, a moron, or a social justice warrior?

The unexpressed thought has become that rarest of species. Of course, plenty still complain about all the things they are apparently not allowed to say anymore because of all that PC stuff. You have to wonder what else they want to say.

Which brings us to Prince Andrew and Israel Folau. People who confirm a deep and abiding stupidity every time they open their mouth.

Prince Andrew, the friend of a dead paedophile who was accused and convicted of all sorts of depravity, went on the BBC this week to admit to his big failure. Which, surprisingly, wasn't just his decision to stay with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at his New York sex pad some years after Epstein had been sent to jail for having sex with underage girls.

"I admit fully my judgment was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that's just the way it is," said the deluded Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor.

Maybe you have to grow up in the gilt cage that is the English monarchy to understand such high ideals of honour. Maybe you just have to grow up around a coterie of sycophants who address you as "your royal highness'' to entirely lose touch with any sense of reality. Or maybe, you're just not that bright.

Israel Folau linked gay marriage to bushfires. Picture: supplied
Israel Folau linked gay marriage to bushfires. Picture: supplied

Which brings us nicely to Israel Folau. Folau lost his Australian Rugby contract after saying gay people, among others, were destined for hell.

Those worried that Folau being flicked from the Wallabies for making those comments would have been gratified this week when he blamed the passing of same-sex marriage legislation for last week's bushfires on the east coast. Turns out his right to free speech hasn't been impinged after all.

Free speech is a beautiful and precious thing. Doesn't mean it should always be used.

Donald Trump could be the first US president to impeach himself by handing over the evidence that will convict him, without even being asked. Trump's release of the transcript of his phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky is a special kind of nuttiness.

"I would like you to do us a favour,'' Trump said to Zelensky, just after the Ukraine President started talking about buying missiles from the Americans. His attempts to subsequently portray this obvious strongarming of the Ukrainians as a "perfect'' conversation makes you wonder whether Trump thinks everyone else is as dumb as he apparently is.

Trump, of course, is something of a special case. Very little of what he says could be classified under the banner of "good judgment''. Or even the truth.

Trump didn't start the slide into this age of stupidity but there's no doubt he has his foot on the accelerator.

Michael McGuire is a columnist for the Adelaide Advertiser.



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