fat earth theory Because menopause never melted my brain, I do not watch The View. Besides, I haven't the time, haven't the energy, and haven't the need, because I go to a state school, and if I wanted to hear stupid people speak with the utmost authority regarding things which they know nothing about I just need to walk around campus. State universities are special in that they are quite possibly the only place where a self-proclaimed environmentalist will earnestly lecture you about the problems of fossil fuels while nonchalantly holding a plastic bottle filled with exotic water harvested from Fiji or Zanzibar or the center of the moon and rocketed by a lake of jet fuel to the local convenience store all because it has exotic minerals and comes in a bottle which looks like an exotic erotic device.
I've pondered, but never known, whether stupid people cause stupid culture or if stupid culture causes stupid people or if the two play off one another and pull us all down in a spiraling vortex of learned retardation. Then someone sent me this clip from The View, during which cohost Sherri Shepherd admits she had no idea whether or not the world was flat. First I watched it. Then I took some aspirin to ease the aneurysm screaming between my ears. Should we, in the future, ever face a population crisis, and have the need to prioritize the people by order of intellectual importance, I believe we should simply euthanize people who watch daytime television, because it is impossible to watch this video without suffering severe mental distress.
In this clip, Whoopi Goldberg prefaces her introduction of evolution by saying she's going to "make this in the way that I speak so it's fun." Somewhere, Charles Darwin is hand-jiving in his grave as the star of Sister Act compares the complex wonders of the world to God sneezing and snapping his fingers. The sad thing, of course, is that Whoopi Goldberg--a high school dropout whose most articulate contribution to the social discourse has been to attend NARAL rallies holding coat hangers aloft in righteous indignation--is the voice of reason in this video.
Whoopi tries to make the (relatively) nuanced argument that neither science nor religion offer all the answers to life's questions, and that the trick lies in finding the middle ground between fact and faith. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd, who has just stated that she doesn't believe in evolution, grins like the Cheshire Cat, possibly because she ate him and the rest of the cast from Alice in Wonderland. Watching her wobble while she talked was morbidly fascinating. I tried to count her chins but I stopped after infinity. During the entire segment I kept expecting the coffee cups and then the cohosts to slowly rise into the air and drift into asynchronous orbit around her waist. Watch out Jupiter, Sherri Shepherd is about to overtake you as the celestial object with the most moons in the solar system.
Whoopi notices the empty expression in Sherri's eyes, and, in a courageous move, asks her opinion. I say courageous because the last thing I'd want someone with that sort of mental vacuum to do is open her maw for fear I might be sucked inside and imprisoned for millenia like that barbarian warlord from Return to Castle Wolfenstein. What followed can only be described as mind-numbing.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Is the world flat? SHERRI SHEPHERD: Is the world flat?
SHEPHERD: ...I don't know.
GOLDBERG: What do you think?
SHEPHERD: I... I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.
BARBARA WALTERS: You've never thought about whether the world was round or flat?
SHEPHERD: I tell you what I've thought about. How I'm going to feed my child-
WALTERS: Well you can do both.
SHEPERD: ...how I'm going to take care of my family. The world, is the world flat has never entered into, like that has not been an important thing to me.
ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: You'll teach your son, Jeffery, right?
SHEPHERD: If my son, Jeffery, asks me 'is the world flat,' I guess I would go, 'baby we gotta go to the library!'
Go to the library? My guess is that Sherri has never willingly gone to a library. My guess is that Sherri has never willingly gone to an elementary school. My guess is that Sherri has never willingly gone anywhere other than a supermarket or a shoe store or some sort of futuristic hybrid which sells edible footwear to flexible fat women who find themselves with foot in mouth and in need of something to munch on between meals. Shepherd later explained that she was so confused by being asked to question her faith--something, she alleged, that she had never before had to do--that she was tricked into appearing stupid on national television. Sherri, my gelatinous gal, let me explain something to you. When you say something so unbelievably dimwitted that Elizabeth Hasselbeck, whose I.Q. is dwarfed by your BMI, stares at you in stunned disbelief, there's no tricking necessary.
In which an all-out barbarian war is fought over a chair that will probably kill you.
About This Column
News You Needn't Know provides coverage and commentary on some of the strangest stories the Internet has to offer. After the advent of cable news, it might appear as if everything that occurs is awarded an audience with Larry King and a book deal to boot. There are, however, stories which still slip into--or fail to arise from--obscurity. So, like a chimp combing crumbs from his mate's hirsute backside, in this feature we scrabble through the dregs of the Internet news machine to find the silliest, strangest, or hairiest articles out there and dissemble them to their comedic core.