Ignorance and Stupidity

It seems there’s a burning question about stupidity. A question actually posed to me during a mini (with heavy emphasis on “mini”) symposium I attended a few days ago on Perplexing Characters Traits in Today’s Society. Stupidity is not actually a trait, but a lamentable character flaw. Nonetheless, I did bask in my fifteen minutes of answering pressing queries on stupers (short, yet again, for unabidingly stupid persons) and their unbecoming behavior.

I spoke in front of a small crowd that teetered somewhere in their mid-twenties and early thirties; they regarded me as a sage relic of sorts on stupidity. The burning question was “Is ignorance bliss?” or “Are stupers happy?”

Some of my extremely sharp-minded readers are sighing profoundly right about now and politely wondering, was this perchance asked by a stuper? Because ignorance and stupidity are not synonyms. Not even part of the same family, let alone species. As you know, I don’t even count stupers as humans, deeming them counterfeit. Real humans flip on their mental switches and diligently keep them on, with only minor slip-ups now and then. Stupers don’t take the effort to turn this mental switch on. They’ve not used it in so long, they’ve forgotten of its very existence.

One can be ignorant without being an idiot. For instance, if you asked me to explain the inner workings of a carburetor for an internal combustion engine of a hand-held working tool, I would plead complete ignorance and be completely unable to explain about the suction channel and the throttle connected to the suction channel to make it pivotable and know nothing of the control chamber. (Yes, I am a modest, self-taught, know-it-all). However, if I dug a deep hole, jumped into it, was unable to come out and refused all offers of assistance, I’d qualify as a stuper. Ignorance is not knowing; stupidity is knowing and doing it anyway.

So the question went like this: “Isn’t it true that ignorance is bliss? Don’t we often see stupid people, like, looking all happy?”

My reply: Absolutely not. Stupers usually appear miserable and discontented. They are gloomy by nature, hence perpetuating their affliction of stupidity.

Sometimes those with actual, medically diagnosed disorders and/or abnormal development of mental faculties such as mental retardation, autism, and various psychological issues are mistakenly regarded as stupid. They are usually regarded as such by stupers who take no time out for understanding or tolerance. Additionally, sometimes those with disorders as above described may appear happy. I’ve met many a Down’s Syndrome (a genetic disorder) sufferer who seemed quite happy, and in fact, may be happy. I’m afraid my unpracticed audience member mistook that for stupidity.

I carefully explained that stupers have a working mind and yet abstain from utilizing it. Thought is virtually nonexistent. It’s almost a kind of selfishness where the idiot’s interests are entirely within himself. This is caused by imperfect understanding as well as an almost permanent sense of confusion. A person who can govern his thinking determines the course of his life.

I noticed several pairs of glassy eyes after my speech so I summarized my talk with this statement and quote:

Thinking is to the mind what a fine cool pair of jeans is to the posterior a*s (when in Rome, you know), and

The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right. ~Mark Twain



6 Responses to “Ignorance and Stupidity”

  1. Ferd says:

    I would have loved hearing you talk on the subject! Maybe one of these days you’ll have to do a little voki so we can hear your passion first hand! (voki.com)

    I DO see you as a sage. I know I’m much older, but I’m grateful I can recognize wisdom when I see and hear it. You’re the REAL deal!

  2. Keli says:

    You are too kind! You are instantly moved up to the top of my list just for saying you’re “much older.”
    One of these days, I hope to get my whole self out there. I’m working on it!

  3. Sarah says:

    There are countless stupers who do mistake mental retardation and other mental illnesses as stupidity. I remember a teacher I had in high school who cringed when kids called each other “retard!” She had a younger sibling who was retarded so the word had a whole different meaning for her. You did a good job of enlightening your audience!

  4. MC says:

    Oh gee! Was this clarification necessary! I’ve never met a happy stuper.
    PS I wish I’d been at your talk!

  5. Agnes Mildew says:

    And as Albert Einstein said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”

    Ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is floundering in the dark, not knowing where to go. And ignorance causes way too much damage.

    Kudos for delivering such a well thought out piece, Keli!

  6. Keli says:

    Thank you! It’s true. Most stupers take the easy way out.
    I kept trying to think of any stupers I know (and I’ve come across many!) who are content, and I couldn’t come up with any. They need to shed their stupidity first.
    Every time you read my posts, it’s like being at my talk. Only better, because you don’t risk hearing me rambling on. At least I don’t think you do!
    I love Einstein’s quotes on stupidity! Interestingly enough, my next post mentions this.
    Thank you, Agnes!

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