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Stupid Is the New Smart!

Updated on December 29, 2012

Watch this short video first...

When you think about it, it's a pretty smart (stupid?) advertising campaign.

The above video is a promo by Diesel, merchants of bad-boy cutting edge fashion. They seem to have tapped into a pretty remarkable concept: dare to be stupid.

Consider it for a second. Stupidity is how anything of real significance gets done in the world.  It takes a daring spirit to create things that seem impossible, to reinvent oneself, to make a radical difference in the world.  You must embrace stupidity to gain greatness.

Every rock star had to be stupid enough to think he had a worthy song to sing, and then have the guts to go out and perform it before others. Every writer who ever achieved national or international acclaim had to be stupid enough to take risks and put her thoughts down in words.  Every inventor had to have a stupid idea and repeat failed experiments until he finally got it right. 

Stupid, my friends, is the new smart.

I'm sure she's not a "dodo" in the usual sense, but she looks pretty brave.  Photo Credit: tibchris on Flickr
I'm sure she's not a "dodo" in the usual sense, but she looks pretty brave. Photo Credit: tibchris on Flickr

Are you brave enough to be a complete dodo?

Some of the most remarkable inventions in the world came about as a result of this special kind of "stupidity." Someone must have thought Philo Farnsworth, inventor of the television, was out of his mind when he speculated that firing electrons can create moving images. Many called the Wright Brothers bluffers in their aspirations to build a safe and workable flying machine.

In order to be a truly successful stupid person, you can't be afraid of words. You can't collapse at the threat of unpopularity. You have to be bold enough to explore possibilities that others won't. You have to be brave enough to create art. You have to dare to relentlessly pursue your wildest dreams.

Here's a checklist that'll help you determine if you're dumb enough to be brilliant:

  • Are you willing to try new things in your life? Read books that you've never touched? Listen to music that you're unfamiliar with? Consider ideas and issues from another person's vantage point? Are you willing to think on a higher level?
  • Do you yearn to create things? Would you try your hand at creative writing, playing an instrument, painting a landscape? If your interests run more towards science than art, would you consider trying to invent something new and useful? Would you apply your knowledge (or thirst for it) to discovering a new, better therapy or cure for a disease?
  • Do you like to laugh? Do you like to really have fun?
  • Are you determined to challenge your beliefs, doubts, and fears?
  • Do you take pleasure in simplicity? Do you stop and smell the flowers, enjoy the simple things in life (family, friends, nature, health, happiness, life itself)?
  • Are you willing to do the right thing in every situation in life, no matter how hard or unpopular it might be? Are you willing to be a trendsetter, an example to follow, a leader?

If so, hat's off to you, stupid!

(By the way, that IS a compliment.)

Photo Credit: ayalon on Flickr
Photo Credit: ayalon on Flickr
Photo Credit: Kevin Lawver on Flickr
Photo Credit: Kevin Lawver on Flickr

How to be a proper idiot

1. Drop your inhibitions and have some fun

That's right. You should actually learn how to enjoy life. If something seems fun, do it. If you think up something funny, say it. Hang out with friends. Make new ones. Laugh like you mean it. Love like you'd want to be loved.

Drop your inhibitions. Do and say silly things to entertain yourself and others. Stop being so formal. Stop doing things for the approval of others. Stop being so shy, little by little. Express yourself (in a friendly, innocuous way, but let it be a pure, unadulterated expression nontheless). Watch some funny movies. Tell some jokes. Make some silly faces. Clown around a bit.

Then, see how much better you feel.

Photo Credit: -mrsraggle- on Flickr
Photo Credit: -mrsraggle- on Flickr
Photo Credit: martuka41 on Flickr
Photo Credit: martuka41 on Flickr

2. Make yourself do uncomfortable and scary things

For some, this may involve meeting new people in new social situations. For others, it might involve resolving some past conflict with someone that you still know, deep inside, needs to be resolved. For yet others, it might involve finally going back to school, starting that new business, writing that novel or screenplay that's been in your head for years. For yet others, it might involve going bungee jumping or skydiving.*

Whatever it is that's nagging you, do it. If it's a problem, fix it. If it's a curiosity, indulge it. The more uncharted a territory it is, the better. You'll find yourself a stronger, stupider person for it.

* Consider that part of "dropping your inhibitions." But please, don't just run off like a knucklehead into extreme sports unprepared. Be safe out there. I don't want you to win a Darwin award on my account. That's the wrong kind of stupid.

3. Dare to pursue your wildest dreams

When you were a kid, and pesky adults asked you the predictable-yet-thought-provoking question "what do you want to be when you grow up?", how did you answer? Did you have a definite answer for them, or something you "came up with" just to get them off your back?

Whether you knew your purpose as a kid or not, maybe you've been diverted away from it on the course of the long and winding road of life. Maybe you were distracted by other, shorter-term desires. Maybe other pressing concerns took you away, or perhaps you felt that your dreams were too lofty or unattainable.

In any case, the time to go after your dreams is NOW, even if daily life demands that you take small steps. In order to be a proper fool, you have to dare to dream, and then dare to achieve.

4. Do the right thing, no matter what it takes

It takes real courage, real conviction, real character...real stupidity to do right. The easy way out of hard situations and ethical dilemmas is to do whatever pleases us at the moment, whether or not it's morally right, whether or not we're hurting another person, whether or not others are looking up to us as an example. Self-preservation seems to make the most sense, In some cases, it seems more practical than altruism or morality. Take care of yourself first. Some might even say that it's even the smart way to go about things.

But we don't want to be smart, right? We prefer to be stupid. Therefore, in pursuit of that most honorable goal, we must keep our eyes open and our hearts sensitive to the needs of those around us. We must live our everyday lives with a view toward making the world a better place.

You're alive, and that's a miracle. Now LIVE, darnit.

It just so happens that the best way to really "live" is to be stupid and forget, to a reasonable extent, about being smart. Now, on a somewhat more serious note: we should never eschew intelligence. We should never throw out reason, logic, and common sense; they're necessary for functioning in this crazy world, and they're a part of every great contribution to society. But you shouldn't be shackled by those things either. Dare to question. Dare to innovate. Dare to think differently about things and consider reality from new angles.

Dare to lose your inhibitions and have fun. Dare to embrace simplicity. Dare to do good in the world.

Dare to be stupid. It truly is the new smart.

Join me, won't you?

Fascinating studies in stupidity, handpicked by yours truly. Check 'em out!

Wanna be an idiot?

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      9 years ago from New York

      You've elevated stupid to a whole new level with an entirely new outlook and perspective! Innovative idea that I'm sure will encourage many to try the concept. Brilliantly 'stupid'.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Unleashed Freedom profile image

      Unleashed Freedom 

      9 years ago from star dust, planet Gaia.

      brilliantly written! fun to read too.

      i once made a t shirt that said. i am super intellediligoat...err you get what i mean.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks for your comment JRChase! The title of this hub just came to me after watching that video, and I thought what an interesting idea...perhaps I can write about that! (Not referring so much to intelligence as to the idea that we shouldn't let pride get in the way of achieving our dreams.) I'll definitely check out the Weird Al song; he always puts a satisfyingly wacky spin on things!

    • JRChase profile image


      10 years ago

      This hub is well crafted and I really liked that first video. It made me laugh! It was the title that drew me in. I think that Weird Al guy did a song on the subject once, "Dare to be stupid", funny song. It is definitely an interesting concept, yet amazingly simple. I don't know if I really believe in smart and stupid though. I just think that you are either more or less knowledgeable about any given subject, circumstance or situation.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks for stopping by amanda_rose! I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying. Self-confidence ultimately trumps all notions of the "proper" way to be or the "normal" way to live your life. We should go after what we want in life, regardless of the "stupidity" of doing so. With that attitude, the sky is the limit!

    • amanda_rose profile image


      10 years ago from NewJersey

      this was really quite interesting. i never thought of it this way... the 5 things that determine if you are dumb or not was awesome. (i said yes to all 5). people try so hard to be awesome and smart and perfect but in reality, it doesn't matter. all that matters is self confidence. if youre doing something stupid that you want to do, thats the best thing for yourself. if you hate what your doing but you know it's what you "should" do, there's no fufilment there.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      epigramman: Hey, between you and me...let's hope those aliens observed the "right" kind of stupidity! Or else we're in trouble...they're probably plotting to take over now...

      But in any case, thanks for stopping by and offering kind words!

    • epigramman profile image


      10 years ago

      ..I really gotta revist this hub of genius by one!

      And it reminds me of what one alien said to the other alien as they passed us by - "now there's a place where stupidity was born" ......note - I guess they forgot to come here at your hubs and know there's wisdom too!!

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Glad it was "stupid" enough to suit your tastes, Jake! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Jake Gene Barnes 

      10 years ago

      Awesome hub here. Really enjoyed it.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      bruzzbuzz: Thank you! Stupidity (the right kind) is where it's at!

    • bruzzbuzz profile image


      10 years ago from Texas , USA

      Stupid enough to live life in a fun way. May I always be stupid. Great hub. Thanks.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Lynda: A fine line indeed! Thanks for stopping by.

    • lmmartin profile image


      10 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Stupidity or genius -- it's a fine line. Lynda

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks epigramman! I was hoping it was smart (stupid?) enough!

    • epigramman profile image


      10 years ago

      . a fun fun fun hub - and I ain't stupid - I'm here at this very inventive and witty hub - and that's smart!

      Really smart!!!

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      lctodd1947, thanks so much for your friendship and kind words. It's an extremely powerful concept once you embrace it. I can't tell you how many times I've felt "stupid" for not following what society says is right, but come to find out, being your true self is the only way to lead a maximally productive, fulfilling life. Besides, following society's trends is too boring anyway :)

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      Linda Todd 

      10 years ago from Charleston

      BennyTheWriter; talk about awesome...this is a true challenge to get ones life in a more positive state. It is about gowing into being an individual who stands out in the crowd even when others think you are stupid. Your writing is excellent as well. Thank you for sharing this challenge to become a more powerful individual. Linda

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      katiem2 and BumptiousQ: Thanks for the read; glad it was "stupid" enough to earn your approval!

    • BumptiousQ profile image


      10 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Love it!!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Oh my what weve all been thinking but try to over look it but it is alive and well, lets just hope stupid is the new smart is short lived. But stupid is as stupid does... Great read thanks!

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      hubpageswriter: Well, there's nothing better than making money at being stupid! Thanks for the comment.

      abigail33: Glad you can relate :) At least I'm not alone in my high esteem of stupidity (the right kind)!

      raychard: Thanks for sharing! That's pretty interesting. It's amazing how the most unconventional, unorthodox (some would say, stupid) experiences in life can be the ones that end up teaching you the most.

    • raychard profile image


      10 years ago from Galway Bay, Ireland

      The best fun (and life) I ever had was when I worked as a Mime clown.... Stupid then was living. And boy did I learn a lot about people...

    • abigail33 profile image


      10 years ago from Dallas, TX

      finally a hub that I completely relate too. Nice Video!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a smart hub, indeed. Stupid is the new in thing and it really allows people to make some money too while being at it. Great hub.:)

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      To my friends Ms Dee, carolina muscle and kingkhan78: I'm glad you can appreciate a little stupidity :) Thanks for your kind words.

    • kingkhan78 profile image


      10 years ago

      Amazing hub thanks for sharing hub page community

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      A very fun post to read - thanks!!

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      10 years ago from Texas, USA

      Hey, this is great! Yes! Now I'll love to be stupid :-)

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks Mentalist acer for your elaboration :)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      10 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Stupid expounds on the idea that we learn more from failure than success and what is a novel idea is usually thought of as un-intelligent at first;)

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      jambo87: Thanks bro! I admire your stupidity as well ;)

      Vern: Maybe we've got to start up that group! Stupid Anonymous...or should I say Stoops Anonymous? Thanks for stopping by my friend, glad you liked it!

      Jai: Well I'm glad to be doing such a good deed :) Ah, let us rejoice in stupidity...thanks for the read my friend, glad you found it inspiring.

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 

      10 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      If stupidity is being curious, adventurous, creative and fearless, I'm an imbecile! Fear of failure and embarrassment hold so many people back from discovering their true purpose in life. And, your Hub gives them permission. Thanks Benny! Ciao.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 

      10 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hey Stupid!

      Where's the local 12 step meeting of Stupid Anonymoous. I can hardly wait to go to a meeting. Hi, my name is Vern, and I'm stupid!

      My Dad, God bless him, was forever saying to us, "What are you a stupe?"

      I did not realize till this moment that he was really inviting us to go beyond his "smartness." So THANKS DAD!

      And what is really really hilarious, my niece married a wonder filled young man with the last name STOOPS! So now, she can really tell Grandpa, Yes, I am a Stoop!!

      Hey, Benny. This is awesome stuff. Yes, very very stupid, but awesome!!

      Thanks for the refresher course!


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Benny, how terribly stupid of you!!! Thanks for having the stupidity to write this! : )

      Useful and amusing.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks for your insight someonewhoknows! Never seen it as that acronym before. It's true, vanity is one of the "smart" trends in society. But true stupidity is to humbly know how stupid one really is!

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      10 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      S tay

      T uned

      U til

      P eople

      I nvolved

      D ecide

      that stupid is really smart is like redefining what smart really is! Now that is stupid and humbling.

      I recall Einstein wasn't vain in the least.In fact I think he was a very humble individual.

      One definition of smart is someone who thinks they know everything.No one knows everything.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      I don't entirely know...then again maybe I'm too "smart" to get it...Hopefully Mentalist acer will come back and expound on it! I take it to mean that failure humbles us and shows us that our intelligence is limited. Even so, pressing on in spite of that is key to success.

    • SilentReed profile image


      10 years ago from Philippines

      "Stupid is as stupid does" -Forrest Gump, Still can't fathom what this statement meant. Does this mean I'm not, I mean smart?

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Mentalist acer: Had to think about that for a minute but...well said :)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      10 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Stupid is as failure teaches;)

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      samsons1: Haha, yes...politicians often serve as great examples of how smart one should NOT be...

      equealla: Thanks for the read and comment! Yes, the youth have a way of taking such unusual advice to the extreme, often embracing the wrong kind of "stupid"...but hopefully any young person with good sense will read and understand the meaning behind my words :)

    • equealla profile image


      10 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I think a lot of smart people are doing the fun things in any way. The others that do not, is perhaps suffering from smartness-mix-false-pride.

      Rather an open minded person, I will not be stupid enough to let the brains spill out. This is a bit dangerous video for the youth, they will take on any challenge!

      Great write, I loved the read.

    • samsons1 profile image


      10 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up & funny! Hey, and we have our politicians as examples...

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks for reading and commenting breakfastpop! Yes, fear of failure is an obstacle too; it can really prevent a person from realizing his or her full potential. But I see it as part of being "too smart for your own good" sometimes; things that might be unfamiliar to you, or uncharted territory becomes a frightening thing and so we avoid it. But if we really want to make progress in life, we shouldn't avoid the scary or unconventional things, even when they arise as thoughts or ideas in our own minds.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      10 years ago

      Interesting concept. For me it's less about being stupid than about not being afraid to fail.


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