And that brings me to my fifth and final form of stupid. It’s the biggest one of all, and it’s psychological. Denial. We are in deep, profound denial about…everything, more or less. Take America again. Just a few weeks ago, kids were massacred with a machine gun. The nation went hysterical — and now it’s back to mostly caring about TV shows. Denial. Nobody can pretend they don’t know kids massacring each other is terrible — they can only be in denial, no? But I could extend that example endlessly — because my first four forms of stupid are really also forms of denial. Nationalism, extremism, demagoguery, the rebirth of literal Nazism, salvationism, determinism — all the manifold, maddening forms of stupidity that define this age of globally catastrophic stupid — these are all strategies of denial. Denying someone else rights, dignity, a chance, a future, belonging, a self.