1) A quick thread on what we, in TV writing, call the Idiot Ball. This is a term used to describe when one character, in order to make the show work, has to behave, uncharacteristically, like a complete idiot. It is usually a different character each week. https://t.co/UVAmmxcJpj
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) March 8, 2021
This term was coined, I heard, by actor Hank Azaria, who was complaining about a show he was on and asked “who’s carrying the idiot ball this week?” The modern conservative intellectual movement is now reduced to passing around the idiot ball.
Dr. Seuss is this week’s idiot ball, and in order to be part of the show, you have to carry it. You have to make bad faith or stupid arguments to be part of the show. The difference is, now, *everybody* has to pass the idiot ball around, all episode.
Freedom Fries. Antifa. Dr. Seuss. Millions of missing ballots. Neanderthals. Ordinarily smart people have to pretend to be earnestly dumb and make idiotic arguments about each of these, or be tossed from the show.
Ross absolutely knows that this was a decision by the rights holder to pull books with illustrations which are racist by even lax standards. This is their right, and is actually just smart capitalism. But he has to carry the Idiot Ball.
So now, you have the shorthand. Whenever you hear some ridiculous fake scandal or outrage, you can just chalk it up to “Oh, it’s this week’s Idiot Ball” and it says everything you need to know about both the subject, and the person carrying it.
But remember, the ball’s just the ball. The person carrying it’s the idiot.
So… who’s carrying the Idiot Ball, today? Or battling for possession of same?