On the dubious theory that you can’t get too much of a good thing, I’m going to follow up I’VE GOT A SECRET and TO TELL THE TRUTH (my last post) with a take-off from another old radio (1940s) and TV (1950s) panel show called IT PAYS TO BE IGNORANT. Never let it be said, however, that I don’t have standards. Thus, I found 1940s-50s IGNORANT clips to be a bit beneath my readers’ level of sophistication, so I have opted instead for an updated 2013 spoof of the original program (the word “Alawite” in the clip refers to a religious sect in Syria):

Now, friends, we’ve all heard the old saying that ignorance is the sincerest form of flattery (or something to that effect). Therefore, in order to showcase certain public figures, past and present, in the revealing light of their own words, let us take a look at some of the more outstanding (though not necessarily funny) examples of why it pays to be ignorant (except when it doesn’t):

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the dumbest of you all? –Anne Robinson, British TV host, who “asked for it” when she left herself open to the answer on her own show:

Adolf Hitler was a Jeanne d’Arc, a saint. He was a martyr. Like many martyrs, he held extreme views. –Ezra Pound

Rural Americans are real Americans. There’s no doubt about that. You can’t always be sure with other Americans. Not all of them are real.Dan Quayle, former U.S. V Pres

My fear is that the whole island [Guam] will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize. –Hank Johnson, Democratic Congressman from Georgia

Everything that can be invented has been invented. –Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Patent Office, 1899

Hurray, Boys! We’ve got them. We’ll finish them up and then go home to our station. –General George Armstrong Custer, before battle at Little Big Horn

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. –John Wayne

Son, looks to me like you’re spending too much time on one subject. –Shelby Metcalf, former Texas A&M Head Coach to one of his players who got a D and four F’s.

Saving the most classless and gratuitous example for last, this comes with our best wishes for a full recovery from brain cancer for the object of this quote:






10 comments on “IT PAYS TO BE IGNORANT

  1. Ricardo says:

    Well, at least your last example isn’t spending too much time on one subject, Sr. Muse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mistermuse says:

    If you’re referring to The Donald, Ricardo, it seems to me that all his time is spent preoccupied with one subject: namely, himself. I fear the ‘poor’ man is a head case in need of serious help before he comes completely unglued

    Liked by 4 people

  3. RMW says:

    The clip with Anne Robinson sent me on a quest for the dumbest answers on The Weakest Link. I was laughing but it is amazing that people can be that ignorant. Having said that, in front of a TV camera I’m not sure how I would do. Anne Robinson hosted the show in the UK for 15 years, that’s how popular she was there. I don’t think her sarcastic style went down too well in the US!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      I appreciate your quest regarding The Weakest Link” because, although I heard of the show, I’d never seen it….and judging by what you say, I didn’t miss much! But, cynic that I am, it doesn’t surprise me “that people can be that ignorant” (though I think the only kind of ignorance that’s inexcusable is WILLFUL ignorance).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m shaking my head. Help us! And the only nice thing I can say about Donald is, uh, um…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Joseph Nebus says:

    So the patent office quote about everything that could be invented having been? It turns out to have an interesting origin: a joke in Punch magazine from 1899, and one of those rare old jokes in Punch magazine where you can make out what’s supposed to be funny and imagine it being done in a way that it was. Not to distract from stuff, just that, isn’t that neat?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mistermuse says:

    Wikipedia’s article on Charles H. Duell suggests that the origin of the quote may go back to the first Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, Henry Ellsworth, in 1843. Here’s what Ellsworth reportedly said: “The advancement of the arts, from year to year, stretches our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.” Whether this quote was misrepresented and later attributed to Duell, as the article suggests, perhaps itself stretches credulity….but who knows (or, as some might say, who cares?). But “neat” nonetheless, and I appreciate your comment.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. restlessjo says:

    Ignorance is bliss? It’s also very scary! Thank you for your diligent research. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mistermuse says:

    You got that right! Ignorance is indeed scary, especially when it abounds in the Oval Office. 😦


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