Monday, November 21, 2005

On ignorance

I saw an interview a couple of years back with Sean Connery who proudly proclaimed that what bugged him the most about people was stupidity. This he could not abide, this he could not stay quiet about.

Um, aren't we all born starting at zero? And aren't we all raised in different environments, nay worlds? How can you hold everyone up to the same "intelligence" standard as yourself if the person didn't run the same course? (And maybe didn't start with the same model of equipment.)

I can remember many times in my life being mocked for my lack of knowledge in a certain arena. Now, I think this just reflects poorly on the "mocker", though at the time I wasn't smart enough to avoid feeling shitty about myself.

There was the time I was mocked for not knowing fashion when I switched from private (uniform wearing) school to public school in the 7th grade. There was the time I was mocked for talking in a bathhouse (during my first visit). There has been mocking for a lack of band and musician knowledge, mocking for my "taste" in things, mocking, mocking and mocking. (I like that word, can you tell?)

When people criticize or feel ill will toward others due to "stupidity", this is judgemental behaviour that helps no one. Be charitable and help someone learn something new, or laugh derisively at the person to make them feel like shit? Which one do you choose? If it's the latter, why the hell are you so stupid?


Eagle Eye said...

You are a very kind spirited person. Thanks for writing what you do.

St. Dickeybird said...

I think Connery also got stupid mixed up with ignorant.
Stupid Scot!

Lee said...


tornwordo said...

I always equated stupidity with ignorance with stupidity having more to do with actions and ignorance having more to do with a lack of education or experience. Let's look them up shall we?

Ignorance: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

Stupidity: The quality or condition of being stupid.

Stupid: 1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.

I don't know which one explains the kind of stupidity that comes with a desire NOT to know more about things or the refusal to question in any way one's beliefs. But I do tend to get frustrated by that as well.

r said...

You sound like you need a hug torn... tell me who mocked you and I'll go beat them up (unless it was me, of course).

Spider said...

What a great post - having spent my life teaching special education, doing vocational placement work with the brain injured, SCI patients and a general disabled population as well as working with alcohol/substance abuse/gambling problems... I have found that those who are the first to mock are usually the ones that lack the most important component of intelligence - compassion and understanding... keep posting ones like this Bro...

Adam said...

What about mockery that is used to underscore the absuridity of ones illogical actions. For example, satire is a literary way of embellishing the assinine? Where is the line drawn between contextual intellectual assesment of ones actions and gratuitous mockery?

Snooze said...

Sean Connery is the same man who told Barbara Walters that mental cruelty is worse than just slapping a woman. He claims it was taken out of context, but really, shouldn't a public figure encourage non-emotional/physical violence instead of making such a [dare I say it] stupid comment?

Anonymous said...

Have you forgotten the mounds of STUPID, let me repeat, STUPID morons that we used to wait on??
I hate to be the one to break it to you but there are states, and countries, full of really dumb people out there. Many people don't seem to be able to spell easy words anymore. Have any of you noticed the dumbing down of our culture as a whole? Maybe you are all focusing on how much you love everyone and how wonderful it is to take the high road.
Have a great holiday, give thanks that you are not stupid.