I hate stupid people. Unfortunately, I consider about 90 percent of the human population to be stupid, so that's a bit of weight to carry around. Okay, truth is, I don't hate them, I just (to quote Bukowski) find I like it better when they're not around. Realize that the concept of stupid covers a large scope. I consider inconsiderate people stupid. People who get angry over stupid shit are just as stupid as the shit they get angry over. People who don't take the time to think about things -- the world around them, life in general, ways of improving themselves -- yep, they're all stupid in my book. Close-minded people are stupid. People who live their life for the weekend are stupid.
Here's a great example of stupidity in action. I'm at the supermarket, probably buying a case of Oly stubbies (it's the water!) for night of cheap drinking (and because I want to get a cap with 4 dots to add to my collection -- I have tons of them -- one day I think I'll wallpaper my house with Oly caps). Anyway, I get in line at the express lane. Some guy or lady in front of me (there doesn't seem to be any particular gender to stupidity) unloads their cart onto the counter, and leaves it behind them. They pay for the groceries and head out, leaving an empty cart in my way, which I have to move before I can even reach the counter. Stupid stupid stupid! What? These people think their cart takes care of itself? They forgot that they had a cart? Or are they just trying to piss me off? (in which case, maybe they aren't as stupid as I think, because if that's what they were trying to do...)
People who have to have a girlfriend or a boyfriend to make them a whole person are stupid, in my book (hmm, maybe THAT'S why I'm single). Actually, some would probably call this co- dependency, but I call it stupid. There's nothing wrong with relationships, but I've seen so many people who get depressed simply because they don't have a s.o. to be with, it just makes me wonder. Why aren't these people doing something with themselves? Do they really have so much time on their hands that they can spend all day wishing they had something that would probably turn sour on them anyway, since they obviously think so little of themselves that they need someone else to make them whole? (Was that convoluted enough for you?)
People who go to college to get a degree are stupid. People who go to college to learn are not. I couldn't believe, in my years at Boise State University, the number of people who were there that hated school. What!? What the fuck were they doing wasting my time by filling up classes that I wanted to take when they didn't really want to be there? I use to give speeches in any class that I got a chance to (and, since I was a communication major, that was a lot) about how people who were in school just to get a piece of paper saying they graduated should drop out right then. I can only hope it worked on a few of them.
People who flip other people off while driving are stupid. Some of you might think this is punk. You are stupid. Even if the person you flipped off did something stupid to make you angry, there is no reason to flip them off. Here's the way I figure it. The person who screwed up, maybe cut you off or something, probably didn't do it intentionally. They probably are just stupid. Do they deserve to be flipped off, merely for being stupid? I don't think so. Your middle finger might ruin their whole day. It makes you just as stupid as them.
As someone who isn't stupid, but who still occasionally gets flipped off while driving (because I piss off the stupid people by maneuvering my car in such a way that they can't pull their stupid little driving maneuvers), I have a simple remedy to the middle finger situation. When someone gives me the bird, I blow them a kiss -- especially if they are male and are in a big truck which could easily crush my wimpy little Mazda hatchback. I pucker up, put my hand to my face, and blow a big old smoocheroo their way. You gotta love how stupid people are homophobic. It drives them nuts! I've almost been run off the road before because of such a simple little act. I figure that, since they gave me the middle finger and tried to ruin my day, I might as well turn the tables on them -- and they're stupid enough to fall for it. Try it -- it's fun and it's easy!
I also think that there are a lot of stupid people in punk rock. Luckily, however, there are also a lot of smart ones. In punk, there doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground. Either someone is really stupid, or they are really smart. I think, however, that punk rock in general has more smart people than society at large.
All the smart punks are putting out zines, playing in bands, doing punk rock radio shows, and generally being creative or doing something to help their community. All the stupid ones are paying their five to ten bucks to be entertained -- and that's all they do. Now, that's not to say that their aren't stupid bands and fanzines, because they aren't that hard to find. They are either being put out by smart people who have misdirected their energy into something stupid, or by stupid people who have somehow managed to get their shit together enough to put something together.
Do I consider myself smart? Yeah, sure, most of the time, otherwise why would I be writing this. But here's an idea -- even smart people are stupid every once in awhile, but the majority of people are stupid the majority of the time, and the stupid people are rarely ever smart.
So, do I consider you stupid or smart? I don't know. Take a look at yourself and make that judgement. (hint: if you think I'm talking about you specifically in the above rant, you are most definitely stupid).
That's all for now. Maybe I'll be back next issue with something even more enlightening to say, providing that Dan doesn't think this column is too stupid to print...
Contact me on the internet at firstname.lastname@example.org (if you don't know how to use a computer, it's time to learn... stupid).
Mark Hanford (5/95)