i used to believe that a lot of these people were just talking over my head, their discourse too lofty for a regular guy like myself. but that isn't true. they're just stupid.
— oliver willis, "margaret carlson had a column to fill"
funny thing — while i cannot point to a specific time or day or season, by the time i left high school i had reached this same epiphany about all the figures that had been held before me as authorities: parents and teachers and all those they pointed to as "leaders".
while i would hestitate to call them to a person all stupid, at the heart of my transformation was the realization that, despite what i had been brought up to believe and had dutifully absorbed as a force of nature, like the pull of the earth, these purportedly omniscient beings were actually no more intelligent than i was. that the politicos and the pundits who propagandized the iraq war — and who even at this late date continue to debase our public discourse — are now openly mocked as "grown-ups", "very serious people" and "the wise old men of washington" is no product of simple bush-deranged whimsy.
ironically, i considered my development to have been one true sign that i had reached a degree of maturity. except that i didn't become one of the "grown-ups".