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Polis Report

Marilyn vos Satan

By Ami Chen Mills

There's something suspiciously inane about Smartest Babe in the World Marilyn vos Savant. Something about that just-so hairdo and those puzzles that even the above-average brain can't solve. And the thought that people spend time solving them while land mines kill small children in Serbia. Shouldn't vos Savant be using that genius gray matter to, like, save the world or something?

The Web is seething with vos Savant­theme sites by folks who are consumed to distraction with vos-Savant loathing. The "Marilyn is Wrong" site at wiskit.com/marilyn.html--composed by one Herb Weiner, who is suffering from a Smartest Babe burr in his smarty pants--lists alternative answers to Marilyn's conundrums. After Herb's page, I decided anti­vos Savant sentiment might be a machismo thing. Then I found Diane's "Marilyn vos Savant Challenge" page, which asserts "the dreaded" Marilyn's list of unanswerable questions (Is there a significant reason for having gums? Do fish ever get thirsty?) are, indeed, answerable. Another site reduces Marilyn's name to the numbers 666.

Despite the virtual vitriol, linking vos Savant with Satan may be a bit of a stretch. Maybe we should even feel sorry for her. But reading the irascible spawn of her column on the Web is better than reading the real thing in Parade. Which proves the point of another genius--that imagination is more important than knowledge.

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From the July 11-17, 1996 issue of Metro

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