Am I stupid?



I need to ask myself this question every morning. Sometimes I forget to ask it, and inevitably those are the days when I’m stupid. I forget to ask myself whether I’m stupid because I’m stupid. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing, only on those days when I’m stupid, it’s a chicken-and-eggs-are-genetically-modified-by-the-government-to-eradicate-testosterone thing.

It’s important to check whether you’re stupid, because if you are stupid, you might want to avoid certain activities, like operating heavy machinery, running for office or using social media. You might also want to avoid sporting events or using a handgun or parenting, unless you’re counterbalanced by a spouse who is not stupid. She will let you know.

You may be saying to yourself, “Why should I ask myself whether I’m stupid? I know I’m not stupid. Asking myself whether I’m stupid is stupid.” But that’s just what a stupid person would say.

Sadly, stupid people don’t always know they’re stupid, and no amount of telling them otherwise will convince them of their stupidity. In fact, telling stupid people they are stupid only aggravates their stupidity to the point where they inevitably compare what they are being stupid about to Hitler. Hitler, by the way, was not stupid, although he was certainly not much fun.

So if stupid people don’t know they’re stupid, what is the point of asking yourself whether you’re stupid? Smart question. The very asking of that question is a good indicator that you are not, in fact, stupid, but that is no guarantee. Stupidity can be quite clever.

Take me, for example. Like many people, I enjoy being stupid on occasion. After a long week of thinking, I like to wind down by maybe posting a stupid opinion about gender politics on Facebook, because I am one of those – a gender, that is. But I don’t need to be stupid. I can quit being stupid any time I want. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Statistically, however, there are a lot – I mean a lot – of stupid people. The evidence is all around us, or at very least online. Yet I look at my day-to-day life and don’t see that many stupid people, and still stupidity exists. Therefore, I have to wonder: could it be me? Could I be statistically stupid? Demographically doltish? Empirically asinine?

That’s when I need to look myself in the eye – which isn’t easy without a mirror, let me tell you – and ask myself whether, for example, I have the background and expertise to non-stupidly state an opinion about domestic terrorism. Or should I instead be limiting my comments to lesser matters, like Renée Zelwegger’s new face? Not if I frame it as a gender issue, I shouldn’t. You know who else had gender issues? Nazis!

But surely that’s the beauty of democracy, you say: the freedom to express one’s opinions – unless, of course, it’s an unpopular opinion that questions, for example, whether a soldier murdered in cold blood is a hero, in which case we have the freedom to sign a petition to fire that person for freely expressing his opinion.

But you know what they say about opinions; they’re like a day at the dog track: you lie to your boss about a dentist appointment and then spend the day losing all your money while sitting around drinking warm beer and shovelling grey hot dogs into your sorry mouth, all the while watching manic, tormented dogs you can’t help but feel pity for, even as you curse them – curse them from the depths of your corroded soul – for their failure to bring you any satisfaction, only to realize in the end that you’re not much different, you and those greyhounds. Wait, that’s not what they say about opinions at all. Stupid of me.

The problem with expressing an opinion when you’re stupid is that it attracts other stupid people like bees to honey (except that bees are being systematically killed off by Monsanto and Ebola). Civil discourse becomes muddled in stupidity. Next thing you know, all those stupid people are organizing. And that’s how the Tea Party was formed.

So when I suspect I’m stupid – and it’s easy to tell if my primary news source for that day contains the word “Buzz,” “Huffington,” “Ya,” “Hoo” or “ISIS Coming to Get You!” – I try to keep to myself. I try to avoid engaging in conversations that might end up being about gender politics (ah, who am I kidding; everything ends up being about gender politics). I try to keep my knee from jerking over complex topics. I try to stay away from open mics, television cameras and vendettas. I try to avoid young people, even when I’m not stupid, because with young people I’m always stupid. And I try not to write stupid blog posts. I’m not always successful.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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44 Responses to Am I stupid?

  1. Scott says:

    Wherever you go, there stupid people are.

  2. Stupid is relative, of course, so as society skews toward more stupid, it’s easier to be stupid yet appear normal and fit right in. Those of us who are not objectively stupid will appear to be stupid in that context, so it’s all one big wonderful Möbius strip of stupidity!

    Does that sound stupid?

  3. Ned's Blog says:

    Don’t confuse stupidity with simply being naïve. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

  4. ksbeth says:

    we do what we can.

  5. Bell curve. That is all.

  6. And you can’t cure stupid….I’ve tried.

  7. Yahooey says:

    Everyone can be stupid sometimes. I am grateful that I have options even if I haven’t chosen the right one.

  8. Letizia says:

    A quiet moment in the week to be stupid, it’s true, it’s nice from time to time when it’s a choice. It’s the moments when we don’t choose it that are tough, haha!

  9. TheLastWord says:

    Nope! I’ve been meaning to rant about the need to call anyone and everyone a “hero”. We’ve totally diminished the value this word. It is sad, very sad, shocking that the poor innocent soldier was murdered. But he is not a hero. He did nothing “heroic”.

    We’ve also devalued “Like”, “Friend”, “epic” and we’re easily awed and feel the need to sublimate everything. It makes us feel better for being ignorant and uncaring. We fill up social media with our outrage and then we go about our business, guilt assuaged.

  10. pinklightsabre says:

    Dipshit central here, grab a cup and a stool. Makes me think of a drinking game featuring smurfs, the number of times you said stupid here. A good word stupid. Apt.

  11. As my brother always quotes, “And everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people.”
    Then I think to myself, was that…Greenday that sang that song? I don’t know.

    In other news, everything IS gender politics nowadays, isn’t it? How irritating. (Tempting, in light of the post, to say, how stupid.)

  12. Your neighbor to the south is chocked-full of incredibly stupid citizens who use handguns, are addicted to social media, give uneducated opinions based on emotion instead of facts and are even, believe it or not, raising children. It doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. Why so introspective? Knock it off. You’re rocking the boat.

    Where’s the beard? The show’s over.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Same up north, friend.
      Back to the usual nonsense next time. Not surprising, this is my worst-performing post in a long time.
      My workplace/school doesn’t want teachers/staff showing up for work mid-scruff. I can grow it back at the Christmas break. I may.

  13. Paul says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. That’s my motto – so I figure if I do nothing then I can’t be stupid. Can I? Wait a minute maybe that means that if I do nothing I’m stupid? Who wrote that stupid line anyway?

  14. markbialczak says:

    Just whisper, Ross. Nobody will hear you hear. Hahahaha. Everything we “put up” can make us look stupid, sound stupid and … wax stupendously. Wise post today.

  15. pieterk515 says:

    With all the advances of modern medical science, I’m surprised they haven’t gotten a cure for stupidity yet, as a lot of famous people seems to suffer from this condition.

  16. calahan says:

    Stupidity is stupid.

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