Smart people are officially permitted to like “Jackass 3D”

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New Yorker readers, self-proclaimed film buffs, and college students at liberal arts colleges across the country are in a state of confusion over Jackass 3D — the newest stuntfest from Johnny Knoxville and the crew. The film opened this weekend as a box-office smash, sweeping the top spot and bringing in more than fifty-million dollars. Plus, it's about a bunch of now forty-year-old guys whose careers are made off their willingness to inflict weird corporal damage on themselves and show America their penises — often at the same time.

Popular success plus fart jokes — seems open-and-shut. And yet, it premiered at MoMa. That's right, the Museum of Modern….Art. Home of the high-culture, the celestial, the bespectacled. And early reviews are good. As a result, lots of people are feeling confused.

This morning, Gawker ran a post poking fun at Americans who gave Jackass their hard-earned money ("jerks" as they called those of you who went) — as you'd expect them to. The surprise was the explosive reaction — in defense of Jackass. Everybody really liked it.  So much so that they ran a retraction of sorts:

Jackass 3-D premiered at the MOMA. It's a beautifully shot piece of work and it's anarchic fun is a triumph of the human spirit. 

A triumph of the human spirit, eh? And, lest you accuse me of giving one site too much authority, reviews across the board seem to say that it's indulgent, silly — and kind of great. So, there we have it. Jackass, it's art.