In Defense of Beavis & Butthead
Beavis and Butt-head fighting.
Beavis and Butt-head fighting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, I was going to say: It’s easy to dismiss that series as just ‘idiots on TV watching idiots on TV‘ but if you really stop to appreciate what Mike Judge is laying down there, we’d see that what’s so appealing about those two guys, and funny, is not so much that they are idiots, but they are innocents, in ways the ‘real world’ can’t be.

They wander through the world like babes in the woods and it’s cute, because while all the ‘normal’ people around them are bored, and harried and out of sorts, and taking things way too seriously and everything is just ‘business as usual’ to them: everything to Beavis and Butt-head is like, ‘w-h-oah! Check this out’. And it could be something very mundane that they come across which everyone else takes for granted and doesn‘t even notice.

They don’t try put on airs (at least not very successfully) and try to be something they’re not. They never get laid. They never take drugs (at least not intentionally) and yet they’re in a constant state of astonishment. At everything.

To them, as these eternal children, it’s simple, everything is either ‘cool‘ or ‘it sucks’. And as Butt-Head so wisely says ‘If everything were cool, and nothing sucked. How would we know if it were cool?’

We sort of in a way, us as adults (who after all have to be responsible and can’t go in for that sort of nonsense) kind of envy them in an ‘ignorance is bliss’ kind of way, even as we roll our eyes at them, because they have the time of their lives and able to look at very ordinary things like they’re seeing them for the first time.

Imagine how beautiful a flower would be if we could see it through those eyes. Or anything. We think of them as idiots but they are having fun. They are having adventures, in a world we see as boring and dull and routine.

So, I’d say we could learn a lesson from these guys and realize that everybody is ignorant of something. We all have these eternal children inside of us. And at times, we’re all stupid, in some way or another. Even Einstein, who’s name is synonymous with ‘genius’ would go outside sometimes forgetting to put his pants on.

So, why not have fun with it? And laugh at ourselves the way we laugh at them?

That’d be cool.


You can find Phineas Narco on the web at You can find lots of cool stuff there, including essays, audio pieces, podcasts, radio shows and what-have-you.



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