Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Some stupid remarks have been on my mind today - I met them both yesterday, one in the finishing pages of a book & one at Celtic Rebels site in Prank Call of the Wild.
I wrote an article at the end of October that stemmed from a book called Catastrophobia that suggested that humanity is suffering from the collective trauma of a cataclysm that all but wiped out earth 11,500 years ago. Something in me responded to this idea. I've gotten a lot more wary of what I read over the years & will put a book down if it doesn't feel quite right. I have to say for the most part I got heaps out of this book & yesterday as I was winding it up I came across this -
"According to the wisdom of the sages, we are completing 11,500 years of a collective degeneration"
A short time later I happened upon the Rebel's latest Charge of the Tripe Brigade
"One thing that I think is can safely say after contemplating the topic, is that we [our generation] may very well be the dumbest, most ignorant lot to ever walk God’s Green Earth." Click on the link for the rest of the Rebel's blitzkrieg
So I've been thinking about stupidity today & finding some very comforting & hopefully useful thoughts.
If you are anything like me, you've got a shitload of past programming (from a multitude of sources) that you're endeavouring to release back into the wild - AND, if you're also like me also you may find that the bastards don't want to leave the nest. So what to do with all these monkeys on our backs.
I have tried, really! I've (attempted) to love them. forgive them, write them, draw them, positively out-think them, punch pillows etc, but like the cat in the song, they just come back the very next day.
Thanks to a chat with a friendly blogger I've been drawn to mulling over my 'coping mechanisms' for when things get rough - & I have to say I've not been impressed by what I've found so far. It seems my coping goes something like 'Oh well this is as good as it gets' & further thoughts or attempts to improve situations float off into never ever land.
So here's where I think stupidity can come & lend a very big hand. Personally I really appreciate intelligence, as in 'an enquiring mind that can grasp & play with ideas', I'm definitely not talking of egg-spurts.
So what would happen if we contemplated our past, our parents, our teachers,
our leaders, our experts, our society & our history as STUPID - whoa don't go getting defensive yet - why not just have a sneaky little play with the idea & no you can't leave your parents out. What if we are enormously stupid & as a race have been for a very long time.
What if the idea that we are advancing is a cover-story, to keep us from noticing that we are now in fact considerably dumber than our parents. Can we really say that technology is a sign of 'intelligence' - I think not - I've looked into WWI during this year - that was the first real test-run for technology - how many of your clan were wiped out in that little dummy-run.
Lets say that you & I are located somewhere near the top of the imbecilic score-card - how could we use that? Well for one thing if we can accept it as a working hypothesis, then we can look at ALL that we have learned in life thus far as a potential load of crap - and isn't it so much easier to leave a load of crap behind than it is to leave something we prize.
If your parents were dumb & dumber then perhaps you can look honestly at all those half-truths you've been carrying around out of loyalty & discretely tip them into the nearest rubbish bin.
I read a lovely book quite some time ago which suggested that children will go through unimaginable pain & twist themselves & their lives into unnatural shapes, simply out of love & loyalty to their parents. From what I have seen in my life, children give a humongous amount of devotion to their parents, we in return love & tend them, but all too often the focus of our adult eyes is towards the parents we loved (or hated) with our own humongous child's emotions. Now if we could look (lovingly or not) at our parents as dumb & dumber are we not freed in some way from having to follow the instructions that were handed down to them from their silly parents.
Angle the lens of stupidity a little wider and we can look with new eyes at our teachers & their teachers, our preachers, our 'health' professionals & all who proclaim expertise in the dazzling array of things that can surely only come about in a world where stupidity runs amok.
I was in the DVD shop earlier this evening, pondering stupidity & I looked at row upon row of 'movies' - are these not perhaps some of our society's most stupid claims to fame - in what intelligent world or dimension would beings abdicate their lives in order to watch other people doing the things they would most love to do.
In what intelligent world or dimension would beings allow themselves to be worked to death for rectangles of paper & plastic.
In what intelligent world or dimension would beings give up their individual sovereignty & allow themselves to be farmed in the same way we (stupidly) farm cattle.
We've been so captivated by the idea that we live in the 'Modern' world, that we haven't stopped to switch on the light inside that could tell us what's been hidden for far too long
A Hindu legend says that the gods hid man's godhead within him, because he would never think to look there him-herself. What if the key to unlocking this godhead is to see clearly & honestly within ourselves (& each other) that we have been well & truly tricked into thinking that we have evolved. I am very fond of Kenneth Branagh's version of Much Ado about Nothing. I have watched it many times & one thing that really surprised me was to find human beings of 400 years ago acting just the same as they do today. So surprised was I, at this, that I looked up the text of the play, feeling sure that Branagh must have 'modernised' the play - but no there was no difference at all - we had not evolved at all in those years.
The crowning glory to this little tale of idiocy was a tale from my son when I got home from work this evening. He is I believe a fairly normal 15 year old boy. Today he & some friends got hauled up to the Dean's office, were then berated & yelled at & received detentions (six for one of the boys) for the hideous crime of prank-drawing -a concerted effort had led to the creation of a penis on the cover of one of their books. In another time they may well have been lauded for drawing a sacred fertility symbol.
My son said he could understand the reactions of the teachers had they been caught committing a crime, but all the boys were at a loss to explain the extraordinary reaction to something so trivial. However if I re-label the scene as an example of stupidity then it makes perfect sense.
I must admit to a fear in my life of stupidity - of doing something 'stupid' or saying something stupid (I should really be over that by now!). As I went looking for images on the Internet I saw how common it is to label other people stupid - as a derogatory remark or as a foil to to someone else's 'cleverness'. It reminds me an awful lot of my previous jaunt into cowardice - where I was led to question just what a strangle-hold 'heroism' had on humanity. Now I see that 'cleverness' or 'intelligence' has been another such soul-crusher.
I think I can now embrace stupidity with relish, as a useful tool for releasing the vice-like grip of scholastic 'intelligence'. Here's how the Celtic Rebel worded it -
“I was ignorant before, I am less ignorant now, and my goal is to be even less ignorant tomorrow.”
Etymology of intellect c.1386, from L. intellectus "discernment, understanding," (note no mention of experts).