Archive for December, 2008

Slipping In and Out of Stupidity

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Some of us thinkers, despite valiant efforts to the contrary, may periodically slip into temporary states of stupidity. Inadvertent stupidity, one might call it, where we may say and do things that could immediately demote us to stuper (short, once more, for a dreadfully stupid person) status. Even me. Mind you, such bouts are increasingly rare for me, thanks to my herculean efforts to remain perpetually aware of all my actions and words.

If any of my dear readers should find themselves the accidental perpetrator of an inane word or deed, I can assure and reassure you that there is help. Here are a few simple tips for lifting yourself out of a stuper funk:

  • Apologize without hesitation for your guffaw. This creates unhesitating sympathy in your victim, making it clear to all that you are not a repeat offender since you caught yourself, if not on time, at least quickly thereafter and tried to make amends.
  • If it’s too late for apologies (meaning you left the scene of your idiocy and afterward realized you behaved like an imbecile), befriend an intelligent person. Study after study shows the company we keep impacts us greatly. If you hang out with a smart crowd, one whose members continuously use their minds in a positive fashion, some of it’s likely to rub off on you.
  • Take thinking up as a hobby. If you treat thinking as a hobby, like knitting or turning PCs into miniature greenhouses to better understand global warming, you can gradually expand thinking time so that it overtakes all else and soon is so ingrained that it becomes a natural occurrence. Second nature, if you will, which is as it should be. Stupidity will cease to exist for you.

  • If you missed out on making the world a better place by behaving stupidly, worry not. Transcend your dumb deed or words by doing good for some one else, thereby continuing to improve the human condition and making up for your idiocy. It’s a balancing act of sorts.

In this way, bona fide thinkers may continue with their mission of ridding the world of stupers (or at least ignoring them).

Just think.


Merry Christmas and No Stupidity

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’d like to wish all of my dear readers the Merriest Christmas and the happiest of holidays!

Please take the time to acknowledge the thinking, non-stupers (short for persons who actually exercise thought prior to speaking or acting) in your lives, for without them, well, you know what kind of world we’d live in.

May you exercise only clear, calm, positive, happy thoughts each of your days so that together we can stifle the stupid among us and maintain our collective sanity. We have so much potential and such a powerful tool in the machinery of our incredible minds, it would be a pity to squander any of it.

~ Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. ~ Alexander Dumas


Stupidity is Intolerant

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I’ve been blissfully enjoying stuper (short for an uncontrollably stupid person) free days lately. I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve become so expert, so fine-tuned to their inane ways and so staggeringly tolerant, that I have achieved the immunity that I’ve longed for. Then I received an e-mail from my cousin, Pauline, about an idiot relation. Immediately, my lukewarm blood boiled to molten lava temperatures. I virtually had to take an ice bath before I could sit and write this post, as a cool head and hand are required to be most effective (a cool hand to deter the possibility of strangulation of the stuper involved).

Pauline’s ten-year-old, Kara, is mildly autistic. Pauline has been beset by many trials in her life, so most of my authentic family members try to help her. Before I continue, please allow me to reiterate for new readers and my old, highly devoted readers who may need reminding: I consider religion to be a potentially wondrous and comforting guide to living life. However, in the hands of an idiot, it’s an open invitation for a sound whipping.

Aunt Hexaba is a well-known, much avoided, religious zealot. She is married to my uncle whose wealth is only surpassed by his wife’s miserliness and stupidity. Hexaba is avoided by most of our relatives, as her reputation is quite tarnished through every fault of her own. It’s impossible to converse with her and not be subjected to certain key terms: “sinner” “sins” and “sinful.” A broad vocabulary she has not. She’s has been doing jail ministries for years and gives numerous talks on how to help the downtrodden. Yet she perpetually leaves everyone who crosses her path feeling downtrodden in spirit if not outright enraged.

At a family gathering, Pauline’s daughter, Kara, wished to play with Hexaba’s granddaughter, Ruth-Esther, a sweet ten-year-old. After a few minutes of playing, Hexaba told Pauline that Kara was bothering Ruth-Esther and asked that she be taken away. I’ve witnessed their playing. Kara is a little loud. Ruth is quiet. Kara is excitable. Ruth is quiet. Kara is easily frightened. Ruth is quiet. For the remainder of the evening. Hexaba primly sat guard next to a silent Ruth. Kara sat nearby, rocking herself back and forth in distress. Pauline tried to coax her to play with other kids, but Kara wanted to stay near Ruth, much to Hexaba’s chagrin.

Hexaba puts up with prison inmates, atheists and an assorted variety of miserable sinners, yet she couldn’t manage to tolerate a little girl suffering from a legitimate intellectual impairment. I hold Hexaba up to the highest moral standards as she continually quotes from the Bible and reminds one and all that she is a Godly woman. She should set a superior example if she indeed wishes to convince others of the rightness of her beliefs. What is of importance is not mere faith, but a life of love, reason and justice based on good principles often found in the world’s religions. As it is, I personally contemplate atheism, paganism, communism and swift kickisms in the buttism whenever I’m in Hexaba’s presence. Even common houseflies hurriedly speed away when they catch wind of her.

If Ruth-Esther was bothered by Kara, the best course of action would have been for an intelligent adult (I use these terms strictly) to sit with the two little girls and gently monitor their behavior. At a past gathering, they’d played nicely together with an adult present. If Hexaba truly did not want Kara near her granddaughter, a white lie would have been appropriate.

“Ruth isn’t feeling too well today.”

That way Pauline’s feelings would have been spared and my blood pressure would have stayed at normal levels because I would not have received the e-mail from Pauline. Possibly too, at the hint of thought, Hexaba’s thimble size mind would have expanded just a tad, instilling hope in those around her.

I have tried being extra rude to Hexaba to get her mind to function; my sister has even been more insulting. I believe Hexaba has been subjected to a moderate dose of bodily harm. But alas! Her skin is as thick as the distance between Minneapolis and Lima, Peru. Nothing is able to penetrate.

I e-mailed Pauline back and suggested she keep her distance from Hexaba in the future as is customary among my thinking relatives. Hexaba’s unkind reaction to Kara was the result of Hexaba’s small mind. Intolerance shrinks the mind until there’s nothing left but a small, barely functioning remnant.

~ At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity. ~ Aldous Huxley

Why not think?


No Stupidity in Sight

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

‘Twas a fortnight before Christmas when all through the city, lots of people were stirring with no sign of stupidity….

It’s rare, but true. Sometimes this happens. Like the Perseid meteor shower, a Pitt-Jolie-Aniston-free headline day, a clearance sale on last season’s Louis Vuitton wallets or my successfully writing poetry. I went out among the masses, or at least among a scattered, but determined crowd, without any run-ins with stupers (short as you know, for unfalteringly stupid persons). And I liked what I found.

As many of my long term and especially dear readers know, I am an errant public library volunteer. I really do want to help. Really. However, I have trouble getting myself in there to nobly display my willingness. So today I did triple time to make up for my absences. Each and every time the wonderful librarians see me (none of whom is a spinster or even remotely spinster-like), they act wholeheartedly delighted, making me feel like they’d been awaiting my arrival with bated breath and fingers crossed. As I helped with the check-in of books (I am not allowed to check-out; that requires sweeter, more specialized skills), I overheard the young (twenty-three-year old) librarian, Marcia, conversing with an elderly, friendly chap, Herbert, who asked her what she wanted for Christmas. She hesitated a moment and replied,

“I’d like a pair of socks.”

Herbert looked astonished and asked, “What else?”

Marcia explained that was all. When pressed, she added that two pairs would be nice. She said she felt like she had everything she needed already. Marcia does not come from a wealthy family. She lives with her parents (yes, she still lives at home and yes, I am still slightly bitter over my last post) who work on a large ranch.

In this day of excess, superficiality and perpetual need, it was sobering and comforting to find a person in her twenties not longing for the latest designer purse or diamond earrings to show off to her friends (note to self: do you really need to have that Ferrari Scaglietti?). The best part about Marcia is that every time I see her, she looks and acts like the happiest person on earth. This is not to say that wanting things is wrong or makes for unhappiness. It’s imperative not to be consumed by wanting or we may become shortsighted, even blinded, missing opportunities to seize happiness.

I assisted also in the library book sale, where everyone gladly, enthusiastically insisted on overpaying for books in order to help the library. I didn’t come across one stuper attempting to stiff the library or argue that they were being overcharged. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of all buyers, no matter their ages, shapes or sizes.

When we intentionally set out to do good works by helping others, we not only help ourselves become better persons, but we set the stage for our personal happiness. If ever we feel overwhelmed by obstacles, I suggest finding a person or organization who could use some assistance and chipping in. It revives and clarifies our purpose in life and provides tremendous satisfaction. Most importantly, it ensures the virtual absence of stupidity.

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself ~ Emerson

We are formed by our thoughts.


Stupidity is a thief to the mind, robbing it of careful thought.

When Stupidity Sits at Your Table and Courtesy is Required

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

When attending a large, boisterous Christmas party, it’s positively guaranteed that a stuper (short for a prodigiously stupid person) will be seated at your otherwise cheery table. And so it was for this seasoned, stupidity specialist.

Husband (H) and I sat at a circular table of ten revelers at what promised to be an elegant, festive evening thrown by a noteworthy charitable organization. I chose to overlook…er, undersmell, the lingering odor of horse manure suspended over the parking lot; it is, after all, the countryside in which I live.

I sat between H and the delightfully pleasant Carter. Carter’s expression, demeanor and words oozed sincere kindness. Next to him sat his wife, Kimmie. Inflexible, blunt and tarnished, Kimmie had all the charm of a used kitchen knife that’s been relocated to the garden shed and used for stabbing stubborn bags of topsoil and chubby, slow-moving gophers. I don’t like gophers.

Loud music and shouting were the norm as the evening unfolded. I am relatively soft spoken and lack a necessary “sending” voice (which is reserved solely for yelling at my children on rare occasions); I find it exhausting to perpetually holler my words over thunderous, front row seat, rock concert-like noise. Consequently, I mostly listen at such gatherings. But Kimmie insisted I speak.

The conversation started out harmless enough. Kimmie’s interrogation went like this:

“What do you do? What do you do when you’re not doing that? Where do you live? What is your street address? How old are your kids? Do they live at home?”

When I answered yes to the last query, Kimmie practically went into labor. “THEY BOTH LIVE AT HOME?”

One of my kids is in high school and the other in college, located thirty-five minutes away. They both still live at home which makes me quite happy. They’ll be moving out soon enough. Apparently, my child-infested domicile greatly disturbed Kimmie. I later learned that her thirty-year-old daughter moved out at age eighteen to attend an east coast college and since stayed far away. Please note: this was not Kimmie’s display of seismic stupidity. That came later.

Carter fanned Kimmie at great length, finally calming her; then she switched tactics. She elected to inform me that she was a former teacher and high school guidance counselor who extensively knew the ins and outs of applying to colleges. Learning that my Son #2 is in the throes of college applications, she asked me which ones he showed interest in. I fell for the bait and gave her the list. She responded,

“Oh, no. He won’t want to apply to the University of California in Irvine.”

I was genuinely puzzled. The school garnered rave reviews. She continued,

“The cafeteria… it serves…”

I immediately thought, the food is bad? Then she explained,

“They serve mostly Asian food! They’re all Asians there. You don’t want him at a school filled with Asians.”

I’ve been working industriously, tirelessly, on raising my tolerance level, having to deal with stupers on an ongoing basis, in order to provide valuable suggestions for my dear readers and to set a stellar example. Consequently, this wholly idiotic comment barely affected me. I merely sighed and discreetly rolled my eyes while feigning a sneeze.

Then the ever insensitive, inane Kimmie asked what high school Son #2 attended. I grudgingly told her it was a small, private school, and this is what she said, without hesitation,

“That is a bogus school. He’s not going to get into college.”

At that moment, I grabbed H’s thigh so fiercely beneath the table, he winced in pain, nearly falling off his chair. Don’t worry, dear readers, I caught him before he hit the ground. I’d had enough.

I took a good, long, hard look at Carter; how could he be married to the very embodiment of stupidity? Then I considered seizing the nearest microphone (my voice was hoarse by this time) and blasting Kimmie with a wide array of articulate expletives or just staying put and pulling out her strangly hair. Since I wasn’t leaving the party anytime soon, I decided to maintain my unblemished reputation. I had to employ a different tactic.

Some of my astute readers may recall the looks I reserve for stupers: Look #1 – A kindly stare, (think Mona Lisa), indicating great tolerance and just a touch of exasperation. Look #2 – a stern, reproachful gaze; one that subtly promises at least a pinch of action if the stupidity continues. For Kimmie, I quickly devised Look #3 – a dazzling smile on the lower half of my face, but my eyes…

assured instant pain if the stuper so much as looked my way. The rest of the evening was passed in glorious silence by Kimmie.

Stupers lack the requisite intent that accompanies malice or wickedness. They are merely and utterly moronic. Such idiocy is amplified by unhappiness. If Kimmie was a happy person, she would not have engaged in such unbecoming, distasteful and rude behavior. For the rest of us to live happily among the stupid, we must be free from mindless behavior. Happiness is a mental state which can be attained by thinking first, then using our words in the most positive manner.

Just think.


Stupidity – Cause and Effect

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Lately, I’ve found myself pondering vital, life-altering issues such as: which came first, the chicken or the egg the stuper (short for a provokingly stupid person) or the recurring, nerve wrenching, imbecilic acts of stupidity? To find the answer, I decided to revisit a monumental idiot featured in an earlier post to see how his life has since fared and hopefully, to witness an awakening, or at least an enlargement, of the walnut size, meager mind.

Mr. Z, a dimwit of the highest caliber on whom I once was forced to perform a makeshift surgical brain analysis, was my case study this past weekend. Regrettably, the insufferable fool has engaged in an unending series of blundering, ruinous events since my original encounter with him. I can’t help but wonder if he became a stuper as a result of such events or if his uninterrupted idiocy caused the many missteps in his life. I stepped back in time, mentally recalling personal interactions with Mr. Z.

Once, in his role as junior golf dad and leader of the local league, he was requested by a private golf club official to clean up the course after his team finished playing. I happened to be within earshot of Mr. Z. After the official left, Mr Z. announced,

“We’re not gonna cleanup. We’ll just play at a different course next time.”

Then Mr Z grinned maniacally for an extended period of time, as stupers are wont to do, at the sheer genius of his unvirtuous plan.

Mr Z is the type who excels in pointing out the obvious. When a woman who closely resembled a Pacific walrus crossed his path, he loudly stated,

“Wow! Did you see how fat she is!” in a volume sure to stir even the remotest villages of Papua New Guinea.

I saw Mr Z at the gas station a few weeks ago. He stood a full ten feet away from me, squinting his beady, crow-like eyes in my direction. Perhaps he did harbor a shred of wisdom fear, after all, correctly assuming that I was capable of swinging my always overloaded, heavier than a bowling ball, Dolce & Gabbana leopard satchel over my head, lasso style, letting it loose at precisely the right moment to smack him squarely on the left side of his empty head, should he dare open his mouth. Observing him convinced me that spending most of one’s adult life as a stuper cements stupidity in place, making it virtually impossible to change without some drastic life-altering event, and even then…I’ve met mentally afflicted persons who’ve been persistently unresponsive and firmly remained stupers well into senior citizenship and possibly beyond.

A stuper perpetuates stupidity, leading it around like a stray, hungry dog with no other food source. Awareness obliterates stupidity, allowing one to see, and hopefully avoid, mistaken attitudes. The person who’s aware is conscious of his thoughts, words and actions. But awareness doesn’t suddenly happen. It must be carefully nurtured by a willing participant. Willingness requires effort. And this is where stupers get stuck in the mud.

We are the product of our mental processes.

Please think.


Stupidity Will Be Discussed Again Shortly

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

My dearest readers,

No, I’ve not been taken captive by a roving band of wild stupers (short for unshakably stupid persons) or fallen into a deep pothole in an effort to hurl myself out of the way of a moronic motorist. I’m just a bit behind in meeting deadlines and will be posting within the next few days. Simultaneously, I’m studying the concept of reformed stupers – do they exist or are they merely the stuff and nonsense of my imagination? We shall find out in my next installment.


‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. ~ Abraham Lincoln (even he was harassed by stupers).