Monday, May 31, 2010

Stupid People

Stupid people are, unfortunately, all around us. I know. I spend more time with them than most, especially during The Exam Season. I hold my throbbing head in my hands and reflect on the fact that they might have gained more marks if the paper had been written in Serbo-Croat, feeling a momentary pang of guilt because nobody got the easy question on radioactive decay right.  Stupid people are those for whom the formation of words is little more than a maxillofacial contortion which produces farmyard noises, in fact, they speak only to draw attention to themselves. As an educator - the word is rather loose, I admit - my task is to attempt to make the sounds that come out, either out loud or on paper, carry some semblance of meaning. There’s a slight but distinct racial tinge to how one feels about stupid people and it’s all too easy to conjure a mental image of the Irish, for example, and ascribe quite unjustifiably low IQ’s to them, based purely on geographical proximity. How unfair it would be to laugh at the following..

A man was on a walking holiday in Ireland. Irish hospitality being legendary, he knocked on a cottage door to ask for something to drink. The lady of the house invited him in and served him a bowl of soup by the fire. There was a wee pig running around the kitchen, bounding up to the visitor and paying him a great deal of attention. The visitor commented that he had never seen such a friendly pig. The housewife replied: "Ah, he's not that friendly. That's his bowl you're using.”

Even the Americans, known for their egalitarian and non-judgemental outlook, seem, strangely, to have a blind spot for those from Indiana. We can all empathise with these people…

Shelly Madison, 30, of Worthington, accidentally tore off an extra day from her day-to-day calendar and for a moment, felt what it is like to live in the future.

Carpenter Karl Gartung from Galveston was pleased to find a pocket in his carpenter's pants just the right size for a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera.
His work colleagues teased him because he told them he was born in Texas.

Nearing the end of a heated game of Monopoly, Taylor Davis stopped short of purchasing his fourth railroad, realising that nobody really takes cross-country trains these days. Taylor was born in Russiaville, of mixed parentage.

Were this level of awareness present in my students, the scripts that I shall actually be able to read would be full, replete with meaning, and would doubtless make an old man very happy.

I didn't know there was a place called Warsaw "the orthpaedic manufacturing capital of the world"  right there in Indiana. Strange. I was convinced it was elsewhere....

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