Like a lot of basically happy people, I believe the general public is getting stupider over time. It’s not a novel idea. In the Odes, Horace complains that “our fathers, viler than our grandfathers, begot us who are even viler, and we bring forth a progeny more degenerate still.” That was in like 12 BC, and we can only imagine how he would have felt had he lived to see everyone adopt Christianity a couple generations later. The future always looks weird and scary. Since the present is basically a broke-ass version of the future, it follows that it should appear gross and dumb. Or maybe—and I’m just spitballing here—the people alive now really are exceptionally lazy and stupid. The very notion of human progress implies the possibility of regress, so some iterations of society must be more inept than others, right? If only there were some way to measure it. Incidentally, airline boarding times have doubled since 1970.
Unless you are Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s elderly grandmother, chances are you have already heard about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to detonate explosives on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit on Christmas day. First of all, in order to save time and space, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will henceforth be referred to as the Underwear Bomber. Second of all, in order to save American lives, a man with a GED will henceforth put his finger in your anus every time you fly on a plane. Does that sound like a demeaning invasion of your privacy? Well, do you want to live? Okay, then, let me just get a fresh latex sheath and…we’re in. Enjoy your flight!