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Stupidity On A Road To Nowhere

“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“Stupidity, outrage, vanity, cruelty, iniquity, bad faith, falsehood – we fail to see the whole array when it is facing in the same direction as we.
Jean Rostand

 

I was asked a great question the other day by one of my Twitter followers.

“Am I noticing stupidity more as I get older or is [it] becoming more common?”

I thought about that for moment because I don’t think I’m all that more aware these days than I was twenty years ago. I may be a little more experienced but I’m also a little more absent-minded. Consequently, it seems to me that it isn’t that I’ve become more astute at spotting stupidity as I grow older; it’s just so prevalent these days that you’d have to be – well – stupid, not to notice it.

There is so much of stupidity around that it is literally breath taking.

facebook-likeSomeone posted a comment on Facebook criticizing the mainstream media for showing sympathy for the two high school football players in the Steubenville rape but none for the victim. I tend to agree with him. I find it disgraceful that the victim, in cases like this, is too often victimized a second time by the courts, the media and the public.

The following day, however, he posted a second comment about a British tourist who was raped in India. He criticized her for being so stupid as to think she could cycle across India without getting hurt and blamed her for putting herself in a position where she could be attacked.

He failed to see that there is no difference between blaming a rape victim for dressing provocatively with blaming her for going on a cycling tour. The irony of his contradictory opinions was completely lost on him.

How does someone reconcile the contradiction in their own mind? Or perhaps they don’t. Perhaps they live in that mindless state that has become the biggest part of social media these days.

“I tweet, therefore I am.”

I’ve read countless tweets and posts comparing Barack Obama to the actor who plays Satan in the TV series, The Bible, to the pointimages where some tweeted that the similarity in appearance is not coincidental and that the President is actually the Anti-Christ. I suppose when you base your values on a television show at some point you begin to believe that Jerry Springer is an intellectual.

I happen to think that President Obama is a terrible president. He is glib, unfocused and totally out of touch with the real issues. I base that opinion on his inability to unify his nation, his inconsistent foreign policy and his terrible economic record – but – I don’t think he’s the Anti-Christ, I just don’t think he’s a very good president.

We have always had stupid people around. I went to school with a few and bumped into more than my share during my career but, my friends, we are up to our proverbial asses in stupidity these days. It’s everywhere.

As difficult as it is for you to believe, I’ve even done some stupid things myself like the time I tried to fix a television without unplugging it. I didn’t know anything about fixing televisions and didn’t fix it but it wasn’t a complete lost cause. I did learn that a Phillips screwdriver can fly more than twenty feet through the air and embed itself in the dining room wall when you have 110 volts course through your arm.

It seems that we have more than our share of folks these days who act like they’ve had electroshock.

The arguments about tax fairness and the environment have become so absurd that I refuse to participate anymore. People sling mindless opinion around like it had deep and profound meaning. Facts are ignored, contradictory facts are not discussed intelligently; whatever contradicts the firmly held belief is simply discarded and avoided.

You can’t have an informed discussion with people like that let alone a civil discussion. All too quickly it degenerates into name calling and personal attacks.

I had the gall to write about the President’s poor economic record during last fall’s election campaign and was immediately labeled a racist by people who only voted for him because of his race. These are people so stupid that they fail to see the racism in their own position.

French President Hollande

French President Hollande

For these folks, it isn’t considered greed to take more money from people but it is greed to want to keep more of the money you actually earned. In France, the courts have struck down President Hollande’s attempt to tax anyone earning $1 million or more at a 75% tax rate. They struck it down because they recognized and stated that it is unfair.

Undeterred, President Hollande will now tax companies 75% on every salary they pay over $1 million. Fairness is irrelevant to the President of France and to all those who continue to demand that someone else finance their entitlements.

It’s madness.

Unions have shut down companies rather than take rollbacks on wages based on the premise that it is better for their members to have no jobs than to have a job but make less than they were earning. The union leadership doesn’t lose its jobs, only the membership who continue to blindly support the very actions and opinions that undermine their employment security.

PETA kills 85% of the animals it ‘resucues’ in the bizarre belief that it is more ethical for an animal to die than to live a life where it is unloved.

The level of stupidity around us these days is awe inspiring.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark

The Premier of British Columbia has come out attacking the province’s Auditor General for revealing that her much vaunted plan to make the province carbon-neutral by 2010 has been an abject failure in much the same way that her jobs plan generated negative job growth. Rather than learn from the report, she has attacked the Auditor General; accusing him of not understanding the complexities of the program.

Whatever complexity their may be, it is only the politicians that are baffled by it.

In Quebec, French-speaking citizens are just waking up to the fact that when the rights of some are easily taken away, those same rights can just as easily be taken from them. The government of Premier Marois has stripped away the right of French students of military families to attend English schools which not only underscores how little regard this gang of elitist fanatics have for the rights of all citizens of the province but how poor is their understanding of the realities of the modern world.

Imagine the backwater life they are condemning their own young people to by denying them the opportunity to learn more than one language. Nonetheless, many blindly follow the PQ agenda without bothering to think of where it is leading them or what it will take from the lives they currently have.

And all the while, it never occurs to them that the language restriction laws directed at the English are actually predicated on a lack of trust in French-speaking citizens to be able to protect and preserve their language and culture without being overly regulated by narrow-minded, threatened bigots.

edjn_20130114_final_a9_101314_i001

Elizabeth May – the mouse that roared

Nobody has demonstrated less understanding of the real world than Green Party leader Elizabeth May who accused Prime Minister Harper of turning Canada into an environmental North Korea because the Canadian government has pulled out of the United Nations’ convention on drought prevention in Africa.

She tweeted:

“So upset Harper pulled us out of another global [environment] treaty. He’s making us a rogue nation. The North Korea of environmental law.”

Ms May is always calling for more civility in politics and less name calling. One would have thought that a former Anglican priest would have had a better understanding of the meaning of the word hypocrite.

We’re talking about $350,000 of which less than 20% actually goes into program spending. So basically Ms May thinks that Canada will be responsible for failing to fight drought in Africa because of $70,000.

The Canadian government has labeled the program a “talk fest” and there is more than just some truth to that.

The original agreement was signed and ratified in 1994 and with great pride; the UN announced that next month in Bonn, Germany it would announce plans to

“carry out the first ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of desertification, land degradation and drought. . . Also, for the very first time, governments will provide concrete data on the status of poverty and of land cover in the areas affected by desertification in their countries.”

If Ms May really cared about the environment and about drought relief she would be siding with common sense rather than continuing to support the ongoing failures of organizations, like the UN, that are long on sanctimony but short on delivery.

It is an organization that has some of the worst offenders of human rights sitting on its Committee For Human Rights, was responsible for ordering its peace keepers to stand by and do nothing as more than 100,000 Rwandans were slaughtered in front of them and which, apparently, is now just getting around to dealing with drought in Africa after 18 years of discussion and financial contributions from 194 countries, including Canada.

It’s small wonder we accomplish so little any more.

Nobody is ever wrong except the person at whom we’re pointing our fingers and we point our fingers only at those who disagree with us. Facts are irrelevant – opinion is all that matters and quite frankly, most of that opinion is increasingly becoming absurd.

We reward mediocrity today. A president is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize without having accomplished much other than being the first black president and especially without having accomplished peace.

We elevate the vacuous like Justin Trudeau while all but ignoring people of substance like Marc Garneau. How some people think isn’t scary – it’s that they can vote that’s scary

We stand on expediency rather than principle, encouraging our governments to give us more entitlements paid for with borrowed money and when the bill comes due, support taking more money from others to pay it.

We wallow in information rather than knowledge forming opinions based on the opinions of others rather than on universal truths and upon fact.

It doesn’t matter the issue; it doesn’t matter the nation – we are becoming stupid, intolerant societies unable to address even the simplest issues with continuity and decisiveness or to even discuss and debate them civilly.

We refuse to permit a reasoned discussion of abortion even as there is an alarming increase in the number of abortions being performed based solely on gender selection and unregulated abortion has now escalated to “aborting” newborns born-alive.

We flood Facebook and Twitter with quotes by Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and others who spoke from a profound spirituality and character based on principles and ethics while mocking and criticizing others for living their faith and holding true to their principles.

Our leaders are cowards in the face of controversy. They are weak and we are weaker for blindly following them.

Our political systems have been hijacked by consultants, political parties and strategists. Activists, unions and special interest have seized control of our national agendas virtually grinding development and growth to a halt. Technology has been overrun by geeks who continuously update existing software or creating more apps for our toys rather than the development of new, innovative breakthrough technologies.

We have become gullible, naïve, uniformed, prejudiced, arrogant, intolerant, impatient, racist, rude, self-absorbed and beyond stupid. We are going mad. It is a form of collective madness. It is a long road that leads nowhere but that is the road we’ve chosen.

We are sheep with guns when we should be wolves who don’t need them to be strong; thoughtless when we have been given the capability of profound thought. We are divided by empty opinion when we should be united by known fact. We are shallow societies filled with shallow thinking and angry rhetoric that has accomplished, and which continues to accomplish. nothing.

And the absurdity is that if we were asked to sit down and develop a society from scratch; I promise you that very few of us would build the one we have now – no matter in which society we currently live.

The real stupidity is that we have been here before.

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest [we] become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”  -Cicero, 55 BC

The Roman Empire collapsed under the weight of its own excesses and the stupidity of the society it had become. It appears that in more than 2,000 years, we have learned nothing beyond how to manufacture softer toilet paper and invent new tech toys.

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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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  • http://www.facebook.com/nicola.timmerman.1 Nicola Timmerman

    Have a Happy Easter.’ Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies is’.

    And to continue the positive vibe, what would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail?

    • MaggiesBear

      I probably would do what I do every day: write, spend time with Maggie, perhaps start a new painting or just “pick up my guitar and play – just like yesterday. :-)

  • Bert_1

    I’m not sure that I follow your logic 100% but in the article, you state:

    ”The following day, however, he posted a second comment about a British tourist who was raped in India. He criticized her for being so stupid as to think she could cycle across India without getting hurt and blamed her for putting herself in a position where she could be attacked.

    He failed to see that there is no difference between blaming a rape victim for dressing provocatively with blaming her for going on a cycling tour. The irony of his contradictory opinions was completely lost on him.

    How does someone reconcile the contradiction in their own mind? Or perhaps they don’t. Perhaps they live in that mindless state that has become the biggest part of social media these days.”

    To me, this sounds an awful lot like the protestations made by the “Slut Walk” folks. So, before I say anything further, can you please confirm to me what it is that you are trying to say about the guy who made that comment? Are you saying that the rape victim in this case shares some of the blame for the rape or that the guy who made the comment is stupid for suggesting that?

    • MaggiesBear

      In the Steubenville rape case, some people accused the victim of being drunk and acting provocatively as if that justifies her being raped. The person to whom I was referring in the post was outraged by it and I agree with him. Nothing justifies rape. The next day, however, instead of blaming the rapists as he had in the Steubenville case, he blamed the victim for being stupid in believing she should be able to cycle through a democratic country without the risk of being raped. In other words, he blamed the victim rather than the rapists. He was offended that she was getting the sympathy that the rape victim in the Steubenville case didn’t get. It’s a contradiction that demonstrates a lack of consistent thinking and principle. Either there is no justification for rape or the victim is responsible. It can’t be both and I personally think it is absurd to ever blame the victim.

      • Bert_1

        OK, that’s what I thought.

        I know nothing about the India rape case but, just to make sure that I have your complete perspective on it, if she had been warned that if she travelled through a certain town or neighborhood, she would most likely be accosted in some way – possibly even including being raped – but she went though anyway and was raped, is she in any way responsible for what happened to her?

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          It’s really simple. There is never an excuse for rape. It doesn’t matter if the woman is drunk dresses and acts provocatively or is cycling across India with her husband. There is no justification for raping her.

        • MaggiesBear

          It’s real simple. It doesn’t matter if a woman dresses or acts provocatively. It doesn’t matter if she is drunk or is cycling across India with her husband. There is never a justification for rape and my point in the post was that this particular person thought there was sometimes.

          • Bert_1

            No one was trying to justify rape and my question was not intended to justify it. My question was simply meant to point out that we are responsible for our own safety. If anyone is stupid enough to knowingly enter into a dangerous situation, then s/he bears some responsibility for anything that happens.

            • http://abearsrant.com thebear

              Bert. You have to stop being so defensive. My comment wasn’t directed at you personally. It was a general observation reinforcing my earlier comment.

            • MaggiesBear

              Bert. You have to stop being so defensive. My comment wasn’t directed at you personally. It was a general comment to reinforce the one I made earlier.

              • Bert_1

                I wasn’t being defensive, Bear. I was simply pointing out that no one, including me, was trying to justify rape. And, my question to you was not intended to try to justify rape. It is never justifiable. At the same time, I stand by what I said. If you want to go into an area that you were warned is not safe and something untoward happens to you, you are the author of your own fate.

                When my family and I go on holidays, I make sure that I never take them into an area deemed unsafe by the local authorities. Their safety is my responsibility and I take that responsibility seriously. And, if I were to do something stupid like take them into a known dangerous area and something were to happen, I would not scream that I was a victim. It would be my own damned fault for going there in the first place and I have no one to blame but myself for being so freaking stupid.

                If you want to slap a rabid dog, go for it. But, don’t yell at the dog when it bites you.

                • MaggiesBear

                  It wasn’t a high crime area although, as we are seeing lately in India, even a city bus can be labeled a high crime area these days.Last week a tourist in India was harrrassed by her hotel manager to the point that she had to call 911 and jump out of her window.

                  Anyway, I’m glad you’re not being defensive so that we can go back to being friends and debate issues back and forth. I like a good debate.and you throw out interesting challenges.

                  • Bert_1

                    I didn’t know that we had stopped being friends, Bear :-)

                    I find rape to be a difficult topic to discuss so I understand that, since I try to be very careful how I phrase my responses, I may come across as defensive. I do have some other observations that may be totally off the wall about the Steubenville case but I have been reluctant to share them because you seem to be very sensitive to the whole rape topic. I apologize if I misread you.

                    • MaggiesBear

                      We haven’t stopped being friends. I just had a feeling that perhaps you felt I was picking on you and was trying to clear the air. I find discussing rape difficult as well but what really causes me difficulty is the idea that the victim is somehow sometimes responsible for the violent criminal act of her attackers. Sexual assault and rape are a terrible violence that leaves long-lasting scars and anything that attempts to mitigate that violence offends me. While women are most often the victims, that isn’t always the case. Men and children (see link below) are raped as well. It is a horrific crime that we don’t take seriously enough in our society.

                      I appreciate your support of my blog Bert and that you take the time to leave comments. I may not always agree with you or you with me but I always welcome your comments and respect your opinion.

                      (http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/7-year-old-girl-raped-to-death-in-south-africa/)

                    • Bert_1

                      Well, Easter is pretty much over so I can take some time to try and formulate a response :-)

                      There are two items that I would like to address. The first is the twitter friend you mentioned in your article. To me, as I mentioned, this is very much like the “Slut Walk” folks. In my opinion, you would be very hard pressed to find anyone stupider or more moronic than them. The Toronto cop who started the whole thing did not say that if a woman dresses in a “slutty” manner and gets raped then it is her fault. What he said was that if a woman dresses in a slutty manner, she may attract the attention of someone who may rape her and it would be in her best interest to not dress that way. That sounds like pretty good advice to me. We don’t live in some sort of Utopian world. There are people out there who would rape a woman at the drop of the hat and who would kill that same woman if the notion fancies him. That is life. So, why would any woman want to antagonize that person or even draw his attention to her? It makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

                      Don’t think that this is only about women or rape, either. This applies to any situation that has the risk of some sort of violence. I mentioned in an earlier post about taking my family on vacation and avoiding any area of a city that carries the threat of violence. Why would I risk my family’s well being in such a way? The same is true of a black person walking through a white supremacist’s neighborhood. You could argue that the black person has every right to walk through whatever neighborhood s/he dam well wants to and you would be 100% correct. But, that doesn’t change the fact that should said black person walk through that white supremacist’s neighborhood, s/he could very easily end up dead. That does not justify the white supremacist’s position any more than saying that a sluttily dressed women who is raped caused the rape. Bullshit. But, if a person can take simple precautions to avoid known potentially dangerous situations, don’t you think that it would be prudent for that person to take those precautions?

                      Secondly is the whole Steubenville affair. I think that there are 2 important issues here that you may be missing:

                      1) You have stated a few times that rape is not about sex but about control. In many (most?) cases, I would agree with you. But, not in cases like Steubenville. At the risk of sounding crass, how controlled do you think the victim felt? She was unconscious so there is no way she would know what was going on. This was about sex and nothing more. Hell, from the accounts I read, she wasn’t even concerned that she had been raped, just that she was embarrassed that the videos of the “incident” ended up on youtube.

                      2) This is directly related to the first in that one of the biggest problems with what happened there – and I think that this is critical – is that very few of the people involved – including the victim – really thought that anything illegal or immoral had happened. I’m willing to be that if you had been there and interviewed all of the people – the boys who were eventually convicted of rape, the victim and anyone who witnessed the rape – and asked them if they thought that a rape had occurred, you would have received a resounding “NO!!!!”. The fact that a couple of teenaged girls were arrested for issuing threats against the victim after the conviction of the boys should tell us that there is something very seriously wrong here. And putting a couple of young boys in jail will fix nothing because the boys aren’t the problem. The system is. Think about it: How does it happen that a bunch of teenagers can witness or partake of an actual rape and think nothing of it?

                      The problem I see is what children are taught from a very earl age about sex. The perverts at the TDSB had (I think it has been removed) a section on their website explaining to prepubescent children that having sex with vegetables is “normal”. They even had a link to a website that explained HOW to have sex with vegetables. Now, I ask you: If a child is raised to believe that having sex with vegetables is normal, why would you expect that same child, when he is 15 or 16 and intoxicated, to believe that having sex with an unconscious girl is somehow unacceptable? Until we address THAT problem, situations like Steubenville will become more and more prevalent.

                    • Bert_1

                      Did I say something that offended you, Bear?

                    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

                      Nah. It isn’t you. We spent most of the day and night travelling to Ireland and I was pretty groggy when I read the comments. I was actually responding to another comment but hit reply under yours by mistake. Sorry Bert. My brain was fried last night. I’ve delighted the comment and the other yahoo’s as well. You raised some good points that we should discuss further when I catch up on some sleep. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I throw myself on the mercy of the court with the hope that today’s post will help clarify where my head was at yesterday.

                    • Bert_1

                      In any event, here’s an article that explains at least a part of what I was getting at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/16/american-teens-gripped-by-epidemic-that-crushes-empathy/

                    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

                      It’s a great article but I don’t see how it’s all that different from what I’ve been saying.

                    • Bert_1

                      One more: http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1122345-who-failed-rehtaeh-parsons

                      You can bet that the boys who raped this girl thought nothing of what they had done.

                    • MaggiesBear

                      I just got back to Canada this afternoon and caught something on the news about a case in Nova Scotia that led to the suicide of the victim. I really wonder, Bert, just what kind of a society we are building these days.