Robert Kirby: The stupidest person in the world may surprise you

Robert Kirby

If you haven’t heard by now — and I hadn’t until five minutes ago — late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has identified who he believes is the world’s dumbest person.

I won’t identify the person other than to say that it isn’t me.

During an anti-mask rally in St. George, this person — with a perfectly straight face — told a KTVX reporter:

“When George Floyd was saying, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and then he died. And now we’re wearing a mask and we say, ‘I can’t breathe,’ but we’re being forced to wear it anyway.”

[Insert cricket noise here.]

OK, what? Comparing Floyd’s death with a requirement to wear an inconvenient mask? That’s about as ridiculous an analogy as I’ve heard in a long time. But does this make that person world-class brainless?

Not really. Kimmel himself is currently in trouble with things he’s said and done in the past, which some are now calling anywhere from horribly impolite to potentially genocidal. It’s the reactionary times in which we live.

Kimmel’s past (alleged) offensiveness includes the use of blackface in comedic sketches performed years ago, for which some now want him fired from his show.

I don’t watch Kimmel’s show. Being old, I’m usually asleep by then. So I have no idea if he’s a terrible person, an incautious one, or simply a guy some people don’t find all that nice or funny.

What I do know is that the person down in St. George is NOT the world’s stupidest person. And neither is Jimmy.

It isn’t even me, although I’ve spent a lifetime trying. I’m rather proud of that, by the way, because it puts me in an excellent position to say who is.

It’s you.

Not all the time. But you have moments, including some that last for hours or even days, where your mental acuity is on par with that of a hamburger. You say and do things that prove it.

Get mad if you want. It merely proves my point. The good news is you have plenty of company: the entire human race. Stupidity works on a sliding scale.

See, humans are all deeply flawed. Some of our most witless moments occur when we think we have all our wits about us but, in fact, are unaware that they have crawled out a window and gone … somewhere else.

Moments like this happen most often when we’re angry but also when we’re drunk, in love, running for public office, or debating religion.

So, if you want to see just how imbecilic you can be compared to the rest of humanity, you’ll have to stand in line. Be patient, though. It’s a long one.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.