I’m tired of discussing politics. Let’s discuss stupid.
George Carlin once said (using language I have to euphemize) he loved living in the U.S., and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but that love for country didn’t change the fact that way too many Americans are just plain stupid. As you might expect, the audience cheered the line raucously, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the people cheering realized he very well could’ve been talking about them.
That’s the thing about stupid people. They rarely if ever know they’re stupid, and if you go to the trouble to, out of the goodness of your big old heart, try to tell them they’re stupid, they’ll most likely reply, “No, YOU’RE stupid.”
(Not sure, but I think the previous paragraph perfectly sums up modern American politics, but I digress.)
When you get right down to it, though, stupidity is a universal congenital disease. We’re all stupid about something, and oftentimes, we’re all stupid by accident.
Using myself as an example, a far-from-complete list of the things I’m stupid about includes math, science, fixing stuff, auto mechanics and the mind of a woman. I am, however, proud to say there are times when I at least try to work on these shortcomings. For instance, a few years ago, when scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland announced that they had discovered the Higgs Boson, I wanted to write a column about it. So, through connections, I was able to get in touch with a physicist who was working at the LHC, who very kindly sent me an email, wherein he tried to explain The Standard Model of Particle Physics to me. Sadly, it was like trying to explain Jeffersonian Democracy to a raccoon, but I keep that email on my bulletin board and I often read it, because 1. He’s a busy man with a real life, who took the time to try to explain his incredible work to me, and 2. It’s so elegantly written, it always brings tears to my eyes.
As for the other stuff I’m stupid about, I think it’s important to acknowledge your weaknesses, so when faced with my unavoidable stupid, I have a strict consult the experts policy. So, when my car breaks down or something breaks, I hire the best people I can find to remedy the situation, and I’m wise enough to know I’ll never understand women, so I just do what Lovely Wife tells me to do. (And nobody gets hurt.)
As for accidentally stupid, well, that’s the human condition. Using myself as an example again, as you may know, I ride a bicycle almost everywhere I go, and judging from the occasional honking horns, yelling and obscene gestures, I’ve occasionally been stupid by accident. However, this helps me understand the accidental stupidity of others. Hence, when someone danged near forces me off the road, or doesn’t look as they back out of their driveway, I try to remember the irrefutable fact that to the maniac who danged near just killed me, I’m the idiot, who, for some ungodly reason, is yelling and making obscene gestures. (I said I TRY to understand.)
And then there are the areas in which we think we’re brilliant, but we’re actually very stupid. Most notably, we all think we’re experts on how others should do their jobs, live their lives and solve their problems, but that’s just stupidly ignoring or own jobs, lives and problems. (In other words, mind your own, fool!)
And now I find myself struggling for an ending to this missive. I considered trying to connect the talk of stupid to the president, but that’d be cheap, way too far to go for a bad joke, and like I said earlier, I’m tired of politics. (Even though politics and stupid are twins separated at birth, but once again, I digress.)
So, I shall end this by advocating we all realize our own stupid, be understanding of the stupid in others, mind your business and try not to be stupid on purpose. (An ironically stupid way to end a stupid column about stupidity. Take from it what you will.)
Craig Carter is an Ontario resident and can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Argus Observer.