Thursday, January 22, 2009

The standards for genius have certainly changed....

... if Matt Groening and George Soros outrank Steven Hawking.

That's what a poll of 4,000 Britons conducted by the Telegraph found, anyway.

The number one genius slot was tied between Albert Hoffman (creator of LSD) and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. However, since Hoffman died in April, and the poll was to count only living geniuses, Hoffman was technically disqualified.

Berners-Lee, if you have never heard of him, was the fellow attributed the major share of the creation of the World-wide Web.

Here are the top ten, along with my selected highlights from later in the list:

1 (tie) Tim Berners-Lee and Albert Hoffman
3 George Soros
4 Matt Groening
5 (tie) Nelson Mandela and Frederick Sanger
7 (tie) Dario Fo and Steven Hawking
9 (tie) Oscar Niemeyer, Philip Glass, and Grigory Perelman

Quick--how many of the top ten have you actually heard of?

Would you have thought that creating the Simpsons qualified you to be ranked the world's fourth greatest living genius?

Here are other interesting selections:

Richard Dawkins and Rupert Murdoch were among those tied for number 25.

Prince, Noam Chomsky, and several others tied for number 32.

Mohammed Ali, Bill Gates, and Osama bin Laden were among those tied for number 43.

Brian Wilson (of Beach Boys fame) tied with Henry Kissinger and several others for number 49.

Dolly Parton (I can't make this shit up) was in a multi-way tie for the 97th greatest living genius in the world.

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jo-lene, I'm begging of you please, don't take my man....

I know that every time I hear it, I think, pure f**king genius.

Waldo, I know, will realize that only his recent death probably kept John Mortimer off the list--and, frankly, comparing Rumpole of the Old Bailey to the Accidental Death of an Anarchist, it's pretty obvious that standards of literary acclaim are ... somewhat different in Europe.

Dolly Parton?

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