When Homer Jackson hung the I DUNNO sign in the window of his diner, Homer’s Haven, he never thought it would spark a nationwide movement in support of ignorance. “All I was trying to do,” he says, “is to get people to stop asking me what I thought. Truth is, I don’t think much about anything. Long as business is okay and I have some free time to hang out with the guys, I don’t much care about anything else. Why should I waste my friggin’ time trying to learn about all that other stuff people are always squawking about? I don’t know and I don’t care.” But Mr. Jackson’s small protest struck a chord with many of his customers. Business at Homer’s Haven doubled within a few months. He soon found himself selling I DUNNO buttons and bumper stickers along with plain old food. Pictures of his sign hit the web and went viral. A movement was born.
In the last few years, I DUNNO has become a rallying cry around the nation. A national rally in support of ignorance is scheduled to take place in Washington on Saturday. The presence here of on-air personalities from all the major news networks is a testament to the strength and momentum this movement has gained. This writer has had the privilege of interviewing a few of the citizens who have come here to attend this weekend’s rally.
Jack and Jill are an engaged couple from Kansas who arrived here this morning. “I used to call myself a conservative Republican,” says Jack. “Not because I really knew what that meant but mostly because my family is all Republican. I would throw words like LIEberal and lefty into my conversations with other people so they would think I knew something, that I had an opinion. But I really had no clue. I DUNNO has allowed me to stop pretending that I care about all that crap.” “Yeah,” chimes in Jill. “Same for me except that I called myself a liberal Democrat and used words like Rethug and fascist. It’s such a relief to stop thinking. Jack and I would never have talked to each other before I DUNNO came along. Now we’re engaged and committed to raising our future children to ignore all that nonsense. Work only as much as you have to and spend the money. That’s what we believe.”
Ashley is a single woman from New York who came here to support frivolity. “I used to feel so guilty,” she says. “I would go out to the clubs and party and people would ask me why I wasn’t doing something more useful. Same with shopping. I mean, Kim Kardashian is my idol, ya know, but mean people tried to make me feel bad about that. They’d say I should care more. About what? I didn’t get it. Now I can just point to my I DUNNO button and tell them to leave me alone. Love you, Kim!”
Nate is a retired businessman and former voter from California who is now staunch in his support of apathy. “All my life,” he says, “I had people telling me how important it was to vote. Do you know how much work you have to do to know anything about the junk on the ballot? I used to stand there and stare at it and then start checking boxes at random. I didn’t know who or what to vote for. Because of I DUNNO, I can give up voting and remove that stress from my life. It’s wonderful.”
Though the formal I DUNNO rally will not take place until Saturday, groups of people have been gathering here every day. The stories from these I DUNNO supporters are all similar: stop trying to learn about complicated issues and concentrate on having fun. Knowledge, it seems, has become archaic. As I look around me, I’m awed by the intensity of commitment to this movement. It remains to be seen how much of an impact I DUNNO will have on the political process in America and what it will mean for the future but the man who started it all isn’t concerned. “If people are honest,” says Homer, “most of them will admit they never knew anything in the first place. So why pretend? Some people will get by and some won’t. That’s how it’s always been. Knowing stuff won’t change a damn thing.”
*Note: I wrote this a few years back and gee, look where we are today…
© 2016 Karen Kleis – All Rights Reserved
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