Stuck on Stupid

by David Glenn Cox

Hello, everyone. My name is Dave and I’m a news junkie.

“Hi, Dave,” the room answers.


come from a family of addicts. Even as a child my parents gave me books

and magazines, and even a dictionary. So at this stage in my life I

feel I’m too far gone for help. It started innocently enough, sports

trivia, but before I knew it I was hooked on facts. I read

encyclopedias in the dark under my blanket with a flashlight, and when

I found a name that I’d never heard of I would remember it and study up

on it.

Benjamin Disraeli, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill,

Richard Nixon. Then I started having trouble in school. The teacher

would ask a question and when I would raise my hand the teacher would

say, “Would anyone besides David like to answer the question?” It was

only facts that I was hooked on, and I wasn’t so bad.

But I

was terrible in math, so didn’t that balance it out? I was ok in

science; I knew that Madame Curie discovered radium and died from

radiation sickness. I knew that Louis Pasture invented pasteurization

and that the cure for small pox came from studying cow pox, but when

you started to do the math problems, I became very quiet.


when I was in high school I got a job at the high school radio station.

News copy straight off the feed. Before I knew it I was main lining the

Associated Press. Reams of copy and it was free!

I read that

Churchill’s favorite book was Gibbon’s, “Decline and Fall of the Roman

Empire,” so I went to the library and read the first volume. When I

went back the second volume was checked out; that’s when I knew that I

was hooked. I had to have that book! I woke up in the morning wondering

if it had been checked back in. I went to sleep at night thinking, you

moron! Finish the damn book!

Then I did the unthinkable, I asked

for it for Christmas. My parents thought it was so funny, when they

were the ones who had gotten me hooked on this shit in the first place.

“Wouldn’t you rather have a new baseball glove or a basketball?”


got the books; I’ve read them twice. Then I found Churchill’s five

volume “The Second World War.” From there I went to “Rise and Fall of

the Third Reich” which took me to “Berlin Diary” and finally back to

Albert Spear’s “Spandau Diary.”

Then it was on to the Etruscans

and the Greeks, and that led me to prehistory because once they’ve got

you hooked on facts you stay hooked. I was on a steady diet of an

ever-expanding maze of history and facts. I took the National

Geographic geography test and correctly named all the world capitals,

but a closer investigation of the instructions prompted me to slow down

as they only wanted the name of the country and not the capitals.


was no fun at parties. As soon as they pulled out Trivial Pursuit I had

to leave or else I would be discovered. For fun I once entered a trivia

contest in a bar. It was just for fun, right? I won fifty bar bucks but

had to spend it another night because of all the hard looks I was

getting. I can’t help it! My parents made me this way! If you say

longest river in the world, I can’t help myself. It just pops out, “the

Nile.” Or tallest mountain in North America? Mount McKinley, discovered

by George Vancouver in 1794, the same Vancouver that the city is named

after. Oh God, I can’t stop. I need help!

Then, when the

Internet was invented I, like millions of Americans, found myself

searching websites for… Who said porn? No, I was hanging out in the

Louvre and checking out items from the Vatican library. I began to read

newspapers from all over the world. That’s when it all started to go

bad and began to spiral out of control. American news sites started

cutting the good stuff with infotainment. I just couldn’t get off on it

anymore, and I started going into withdrawal.

I wanted the war

news and the news from the budget hearings, but all I could get were

stories about Roman Polanski and his thirty-year-old rape charges. I

wanted stories about the guy being prosecuted who left office ten

months ago. Then I saw a story, “Will Miley Cyrus bump off The Black

Eyed Peas?” Oh, God, I think I’m going to be sick. Miley Cyrus was

invented by Disney! She’s a character like Scooby Doo; reasonable

adults don’t ask if Scooby Doo could be the next Hollywood break out

artist. He’s a cartoon, for God sakes.

I watched the tea baggers

and the birthers and all I could think was that maybe someone is

putting something in the water. Maybe those chem-trails that they are

always talking about are full of stupid dust? I admit it, I read the

story about the desecration of Ted Williams corpse. I’m guilty but what

was more shocking than corpse desecration was the attitude of a New

York newspaper that thought it was funny because Williams played for

the Red Sox! Come here, let me slap you like your mother should have!

It’s a dead body and it doesn’t matter who it played baseball for in

life, because only sick people desecrate dead bodies!


Letterman sex scandal! What sex scandal? He had consensual sex with a

woman and they tried to blackmail him. That’s not a scandal, it’s a

crime! Letterman is a comedian, not the Pope. People are going to tell

jokes about him and like a comedian he will laugh them off. He’s in the

comedy business; he knows how the game is played.

But just when

you think that the Republicans have reached rock bottom, they dive even

deeper. After screaming about birth certificates and what his wife

wears and his alleged connection to corrupt Chicago politicians, now

it’s how Obama lost the Olympics. I get pretty tired of the corrupt

Chicago angle. I was born and raised in Chicago. The garbage got picked

up, the streets were clean, and crime was lower than a lot of other

places. But it’s always about the corrupt Chicago politics. I’ve been

all around this big old world, north, south, east and west, and

anything that is going on in Chicago is going on in your town, too.


days ago the Republican pundits claimed Obama didn’t need to go to

Denmark because the crooked Chicago politicians had the deal already in

the bag. Now honestly, if Houston had been trying to get the Olympics

would anyone have faulted George Bush for trying to assist in getting

the games for Texas? If Sarah Palin had been trying to get the 2016

summer games for Alaska, would it have been wrong if she took the state

Greyhound Bus to Denmark? No one would have complained until she

announced that she would try again next year to bring the 2017 games to


Even the so-called real news sites are buying in with

stories about Knute the polar bear and his birthday party, or the stray

cat that became the stationmaster for a Japanese railroad. You’ve got

to help me! I need a fix! I need real news! News about people and not

just their sex organs. If you want to know about fashion week in Milan,

read a fashion magazine. That’s not news! Jon & Kate, get baked;

there are millions of divorces each year. Sorry to hear about yours,

but it’s not news.

“Intelligent people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.” (Dear Abby)


are not a nation of idiots despite the media’s best efforts to make us

into such. There’s a song written by George Jackson and performed by

Shirley Brown with the lyrics, “I’d have to be stuck on stupid, in a

super market, shopping for brain.” Exactly.

So, that’s my story. Do you think your group can help me?

“Did they really make a stray cat into a stationmaster?”

“I think Jon’s an asshole!”

“Yeah, but Kate’s a bitch!”

Oh, God no! This isn’t happening! I’m going to wake up now! I’m going to wake up now!

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.