You may not think this about me, but I love seeing people post articles on Facebook. Like Jack Donaghy said, “It’s like seeing a dog wearing clothes.” I get to not only read an article that is silly and uninspiring, but also see which of my idiot friends think said article is actually insightful. It’s not that good articles don’t exist, it’s that approximately 0% of articles posted to Facebook are not stupid.
Today, thanks to one of my Facebook friends, we’ll take a broadstroke, superficial, and probably equally uninsightful look at one man’s interpretation of Friends.
Western Civilization started its downfall long before Friends, my friend. Friends is not the catalyst of the downfall of Western Civilization, it’s just a symbol of the downfall; a sad little microcosm for the sad lives of our people.
Let’s recap the show: 6 idiots live in one of the most expensive cities in the world because they’re too focused on trying to be trendy than actually getting on with their lives and pursuing worthwhile things. The men live like college boys well into their thirties and move from one fruitless enterprise to the next while ruining their relationships because they can’t grow up. The women spend their daytime hours convincing themselves they can achieve fulfillment if only they had the right job and their nighttime hours messing up every one of their relationships because they can’t get their priorities right. Although I guess one character dumps Tom Selleck because she wants kids and he doesn’t but that doesn’t excuse the year or so she wasted with him.
So did Friends trigger the downfall of society or is it just a showcase of everything stupid in our society that produces so many unfulfilled, immature, and miserable young people?
What does this medium.com author want? For all the people to sit around and read books? Ugh. As if that will fix anything. It’s OK, dude. Ross can have stupid friends. You can have stupid friends. Everyone can have stupid friends. In fact, you probably are a stupid friend.
Ross doesn’t waste his life because he hangs out with fun people who aren’t intellectual, he wastes his life because he picked a bitch of a first wife. Then, he fucked up his subsequent relationships because he dated insecure and immature women instead of the family-oriented type he should have pursued seeing as he had a child. Now maybe his dumb friends contributed to that pattern but I give them a pass. I see the whole bunch as victims of a society in decline.
Now let’s play armchair psychologist for the author and call this his article what it is: something “provocative” to get clicks.
Fine, that’s every article on the internet about 90’s pop culture.
But if it’s two things, the other thing is this: a self-high-five for how smart the author is. “Oh, what’s wrong with society? Too many stupid people. Look how they bullied Ross. I wish more people could be smart like me. I sit around all the time thinking how much better the world would be if everyone could just understand Science™ and not be so anti-intellectual. The fact that I have this complaint makes me super intellectual. And everyone who tells me my article is interesting is also intellectual because they see how intellectual I am (and thereby also pat themselves on the back).”
I’m going to do this author one better. The problem with the world isn’t too many anti-intellectuals, it’s too many people who think they are intellectuals but are actually dumbshits. Now maybe that sounds like a reframed “too many dumb people” argument but I like to think that it isn’t. People are as smart and as dumb as they ever have been and ever will be.
There’s too much “thinking” going on these days. Everyone needs to just relax, pursue the right things, and try to follow their parents’ examples. Western Civilization didn’t become #1 because we worshipped at the feet of Leonardo da Vinci and it won’t stay number one because we write blogs about useless sitcoms from 10 years ago.