“A minute’s thought would have shown him that it could not be true. But a minute is a long time and thought is difficult.” – A. E. Housman
I find myself increasingly annoyed by both ignorance and incompetence lately. Perhaps I’m just easily annoyed lately, with the stresses of finishing a thesis and finding a job. But there’s more to it than that. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that common sense is, in fact, not common at all anymore. It’s rare. It eludes most people we deal with on a daily basis.
I’m not talking about an occasional Homer Simpson-style “Doh!” moment. We all have those. I’m talking about individuals who, when faced with the simplest of tasks or requests, are unable to respond appropriately. Computer says “No”. Or perhaps, computer not even switched on.
We’ve all seen them. Usually in the service industry. Banks, cellular providers, retail etc. People who are supposedly there to help you, yet have lost (seemingly) not only the ability to reason, but in some cases also to speak like a human being. But there’s also a much more serious and tragic occurrence of this natural stupidity. Every now and then there are horror stories of tragic “accidents” in which some poor child was hurt (or, sadly, died) as a direct results of an idiot parent’s inability to apply common sense (see articles http://a11news.com/5013/10-day-old-baby-dies-in-washing-machine/ and http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20021079-504083.html). That’s a special kind of mentally deficient. I can’t even begin to write about how I feel about people like that, apart from maybe mentioning that I honestly believe they should not be allowed to breed.
I just wonder why these cretins are so abundant suddenly. Is it an epidemic? Can we blame the education system? Have they always been around? Or are we, as a species, becoming increasingly stupid?
Or is it perhaps that we’ve just become so comfortable with mediocrity, that we don’t really expect much. Have we just resigned to the idea that it’s not going to change and we might as well just live with it? Are we so accepting of others that we accept the accompanying idiocy?
I won’t accept it. I refuse. I have no idea what I’m going to do about it. Ranting about it on my blog is a nice way to blow off steam. But my grand plan of rounding up all the village idiots and shipping them off to their own island may be frowned upon. Something about human rights. Calling them out won’t help. They’ll just stare at you with that glazed look in their eyes. Nevertheless, I will fight this. Every day. It will be my crusade.
I’d love a little back-up.