Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Simply Stupid

The Artful Dodger (or at least his vengeful ghost):
Stupid Thoughts While Pondering the Essence of Idiocy

It has come to my attention that some of you are stupid - that is, the slow, the dense, the willfully ignorant, the ones who just don't get it. I think we can all agree that the university, an institute of higher learning, is no place for you.

I am asking you to leave. Put down this newspaper (which you probably don't understand), abandon your textbooks (which you probably don't understand either) and leave the university forever.

Go on. Git.

Go to your refuges in the deep fry kitchens and the quarries and the places where your lack of intelligence is not a handicap but a standard.

You're still reading.

Maybe you think you're not stupid. You might be right; the truly stupid probably folded this fine publication into a little paper hat before they got through the front page. In any case, I hope the preceding edict weeded out a few of our weaker-minded fellow students. But yeah, like most people, I've got a problem with those I classify as stupid. They dent my car, they put mayonnaise on my hamburger when I ask them not to, and they waste my valuable time with aimless stories about bathmats and kittens and their days on the junior varsity badminton team.

A greater problem, however, is that I'm not sure how to define this term "stupid." It's a word I've used religiously since my elementary school years, when I decided to segregate the rest of the class from this kid who insisted upon foolish notions like the possibility of planting a Skittles tree and that his grandfather's ghost inhabited his Magna Doodle. Now that was stupid. And I'd wager he's still stupid, sitting in a dirty apartment somewhere, drooling, with bits of food on his face and a vague notion that life had dealt him a shitty hand.

Still, I can't come up with an objective definition of what stupid really is.

According to Webster, the stupid are "slow of mind" or "given to unintelligent decisions or acts." But since these definitions depend on one's opinion, I don't feel they really capture the essence of stupid. I suppose those who score low in an IQ test would classify as stupid, but one could argue that such tests are biased and only test certain kinds of intelligence. Besides, somebody with a low IQ could easily have enough common sense to function pleasantly among the non-stupid, and it's only the offensively stupid who irk me. Conversely, a perfectly rude person could pull straight A's, think eloquently and have more than his or her fair share of common sense.

Stupidity manifests itself on our campus today in poor decisions and the inability to learn at a satisfactory speed. However, even odious offences like treating the bikepath like Mario Kart racetracks — banana peel! red shell! turbo! turbo! turbo! — or wasting the professor's time with inane questions — "When did we have to start writing in complete sentences?" — could be attributed to momentary lapses of judgement and not true stupidity.

The more I think about it, the only indefensibly stupid people in the area I can think of are my front neighbors.

Despite my efforts to explain otherwise, these girls repeatedly block my and my roommate's cars in, even when there's plentiful streetside parking. They know we're going to bitch about it. They know they're going to pull out and then pull back in. And yet they do it every time, resentful and broken of the belief that this time they might pull it off. Thus, I can only conclude that my neighbors — who, now that I think about it, might actually go to Santa Barbara City College — are the perfect, objective personification of stupid.

I guess this means that none of the rest of you actually have to leave, seeing as how we can blame your stupid actions on one thing or another. But just think about that one guy who actually did put down the paper and walk away. Boy was he stupid.


Opinion editor Drew thinks the
Nexus should mention Mario Kart every Tuesday. Turbo! Turbo! Turbo! Aww... Green shell...

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