Present Tense

The Era of Stupid

I’ve begun to refer to this time in history as ‘the era of stupid’. To me, there is no other explanation for what is happening in our culture.

Watch enough cable news or read enough online postings and it becomes abundantly clear that the ‘enemies’ are smart, competent people.

We call them ‘elites’. Which to me, are people with decent educations, bright minds and a level of competency in their field.

But, in our current climate, that is considered suspect and even dangerous and a reason to toss them out of these positions.

God forbid that we have people in sensitive and importantant positions, who actually KNOW what they’re doing. Or have the ability to learn and innovate because they can ACTUALLY THINK and use big words. Oh, the horror.

We live in an era and a culture where people drive around with bumper stickers that say “My kid can beat up your Honor Student.”

The era of stupid.

When did we get to the point where education and brains became a liability? When did we get to the point where deep thinking and rational and interesting discussions became “Whoooooaaaa, egghead…that’s way too deep for me…here, have another beer and a jalapeño popper and chill…”

We are proudly ignorant! I hear it and read it all of the time.

And I guess we get what we want when it comes to leadership.

There is segment of us (that seems to be growing, sadly) who think that all we need is ‘hard work and common sense’, rather than those “Ivy League educated elites (code for egghead or anyone with a college degree…a derogatory term)” leading us.

Well, I’ve got news for you: 2017 was the year to realize that the ‘proudly ignorant’ (some of them with Ivy League educations) in positions of power, don’t always know best.

We’ve seen that “common sense” is relative and may not help solve a nuclear crisis that has been years in the making and that pronouncing that you can fix everything, without any previous experience, is probably merely a boast.

Walk into any bar and you’ll hear somebody sitting on a stool, carrying on about how he/she can solve the world’s problems or run the country or tell “Rocket Man” what’s what.

Most of us have the inner sense to know what we don’t know. I sure do. I have no idea how to solve most of our problems. Honestly, it’s waaaaay to complex for me and I know that I don’t have the background or experience to even unravel how we got here.

I do, however understand how we got here. How we fell into the ‘age of stupid’.

We had leaders in both government and media who appealed to our fears, our insecurities, our survival instincts.

They knew that there always has to be an enemy and they have played us like a fiddle. Most of us think that we’re not good enough, smart enough, fit enough, pretty enough, strong enough, wealthy enough….shall I go on?
That makes us easy to manipulate.

Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that you must have a college degree to be smart and competent. That’s not my point. My point is that there are people who just KNOW more than we do.

Journalists for one. For the most part, they DO have more information than I ever will. They swim in their jobs and are surrounded by the people that they report on. They ask questions, they hear things, they run down leads, they have sources. They KNOW STUFF.

Same for someone who has spent many years in any job, whether that’s government services or fixing air conditioners or trying cases in court. There is a level of expertise and competency that should be respected.

“Draining the swamp” has enormous unintended consequences that smart and competent people have been warning about.
I honestly am at the point where I don’t really care about Rs and Ds, Red or Blue; both sides are prone to corruption and manipulation. But, for the LOVE OF GOD, can we dig ourselves out of celebrating stupid?

Stop being so proudly ignorant. Stop making fun of the ‘brainiacs’ and deep thinkers. If something seems too “deep” or confusing or complex, take a minute to listen and think and even do a little research. Ask questions and attempt to grasp the concept. Learn something.

We have the entirety of the world’s knowledge in the palm of our hands on our phones, and yet, we revel in NOT KNOWING or even caring!!

So, it’s almost a new year. How about we try to make this new era, the “era of enlightenment”. You don’t need an Ivy League degree…It’s a little to late for many of us. But, let’s at least allow that smart is good.

Smart will save us.

December 28, 2017 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I had a very intelligent client, who is very engaged and doing well in his treatment tell me that his mother said this about me. Now, mother is not engaged in his treatment, and clearly the kid got his smarts from his parent (s). “My mom said that you have been doing this so long that you don’t think that anyone else knows anything about it and you are set in your ways “. I loved the post Jane. Some of the back and forth I see on Facebook is a argument against or for ignorance. Some folks have been given the green light to criticize the other side because they have a piece of paper or not. This culture has allowed everything to be questioned. One big reason why I have had to stop responding to certain posts. Anyways, look a Moose…..

    Comment by Tim Lankerd | December 28, 2017 | Reply

  2. Agreed! People are considered ‘experts’ in a field for a reason. Also, I just cannot understand why we keep repeating certain historical things (Reagonomics anyone?). But I also feel like it is also about common sense in conjunction with intelligence and knowing stuff (experts). I am frustrated that people who know nothing about their positions and do not have the common sense to ask those who are experts for help. It could be the person who is best for the country in the position is not an expert but if they have enough knowledge and can use common sense and advisors who are experts then hopefuloy it will not be catastrophic.

    Comment by Suzy In CO | December 31, 2017 | Reply


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