Unbelievable is correct. Ever since Jay Leno began doing his stupid "man on the street" interviews to illustrate how stupid Americans are, I couldn't
help but wonder just how long the interviewer and crew had to stand on a street corner to get enough footage to run 90 seconds of stupidity. How
long, I wonder? An hour? Less than an hour? More than an hour? Any thing longer than an hour and you have to wonder how stupid that is. Can you
imagine Jay Leno's crew on a street corner for a full day, interviewing people just to get 90 seconds of footage of stupid people? I can. Why can I?
It's not because I am so naive to think that every American that walks the streets of New York are erudite and wise, I just have a hard time
believing they're all stupid.
The fact of the matter is that I know some very intelligent people. I was just talking with a friend yesterday who is extremely intelligent, who
several times throughout our conversation suffered from "brain farts" and struggled to remember the name of this person, or find the word to describe
that thing. It frustrated him to know end, and I understand the frustration, but it didn't make him stupid. Some days we all struggle to remember
certain factoids, other days we do not struggle at all. Not all people I know are as smart as this friend I am referring to, and to be honest, I
don't have too many stupid friends. Which is actually the point of this thread.
Tonight I was talking to another friend who is an avid user of Twitter. I don't really know exactly what my aversion to Twitter is, but I know that
one aversion is I don't like the 140 character limitation. I know, I know, "So Duh!" Some of you are thinking, right? Go figure that JPZ would have
a problem with a site that expects you to communicate in 140 characters or less. Let's see if I can get this thread written in under a 140 paragraphs
or less. Anyway, he was telling me that there are features about the site that allow for longer posts, and then began defending the 140 character
limitation as a good thing, and I don't disagree. It wouldn't hurt me at all to spend some time in a site where I had to learn how to express a
thought in a 140 characters or less. Particularly since I am not so incline to rely on acronyms to do so. However, it didn't take him long, when I
was telling him about ATS, for him to acknowledge that there are some genuine knuckleheads on Twitter, and he felt that he had lurked in ATS long
enough to postulate that I don't have to deal with as many knuckleheads on this site as he does on Twitter.
This made sense to me. "So Duh!" What do you expect from a site where the average communication is expressed in 140 characters or less? What's my
point? My point is if you lie with dogs you shouldn't be surprised if you wake up with fleas. Is it really such a big surprise that Jay Leno would
put so much effort into finding stupid people on the streets of New York? It's not like Jay Leno is known for his highly intelligent humor and
discourse. George Carlin or Dennis Miller he ain't. Hell, he ain't even Johnny Carson...not by a long shot. I think I don't encounter many stupid
people in the course of any given day because stupid people have no interest in talking to me, and I have no interest in talking to stupid people. I
don't really remember Johnny Carson being so enamored with stupid people, and that makes sense to me, because Johnny Carson isn't stupid...not by a
long shot. Am I saying Jay Leno is stupid? Maybe I am, it's not really my point.
Relax, I've got a way to go before I reach that 140 paragraph limit. Sigh. I do encounter people that get frustrated with the fact that if they are
going to read my posts or threads, they can pretty much expect to settle in with some popcorn and a six pack. It is a frustration for me that there
are so many people that don't like to read. That's understandable being a writer. What writer would be happy or content with a nation of people
that hate to read? But, here's the thing; while occasionally I will encounter some member who takes me to task for my verbosity, most people that
don't like to read just avoid me...like the plague! Those few who do castigate me, I am assuming are doing so because I was interesting enough to be
read enough from start to finish, but long enough that they were maddeningly wondering just when the hell I was going to get to that finish and why I
couldn't just get there sooner.
Actually, I am a big fan of brevity. In screenwriting there is an axiom that goes, if you can say it in a sentence, good. If you can say it in a
word, better. If you can say it without saying it all, best! But that is screenwriting where the writer is writing for a visual medium, and this
axiom makes sense. There is also a thought from Eastern philosophy that goes; Speech is good. Less speech is better. Speechlessness is best. But
that makes sense, we're talking about those Zen guys and let's face it, those Zen Masters may be pretty enlightened and all, but for all of that
enlightenment they don't seem to have much to say. What is the sound of one hand clapping? Come on! Tell that to the tree, buddy! The problem with
me and brevity is that every time I put the effort into that, and I have crafted what I think are some damn fine thoughts written in just a few
sentences, this inevitably engenders more outrage than if I were to take my time and fully explain what I mean. I mean, I thought I had made myself
perfectly clear in the few sentences, but it never fails that people get angry with what I wrote and begin attacking my arguments in a way that, I
swear to God it seems that I have to spend more time writing responses than I would have spent writing if I just wrote a longer argument.
So for me it takes a little longer to get to my point than it does for others. Some people say potato, I say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
You can only imagine how those potatoes turn out. The thing is, I like to write. I like to play with words, and I like the way certain words dance
across the page, or screen. If this makes me "too verbose" then color me verbose. I once painted my whole kitchen verbose, and what the hell is
wrong with that? Better than hot pink, I'll tell you that! Not that I am judging people who paint their kitchen walls hot pink. Whatever floats
your boat, right? I'm just saying, that's all.
I guess the point I am trying to make here in my round about way is that stupid is as stupid does, and believe me, I am not happy with echoing Forest
Gump to make a point. In fact, I suspect that precisely because a movie that praised the simple mind won an Oscar is in a large part why Americans
are viewed as being stupid by people from other nations. I know this, I read plenty in this site and on other websites in this world wide web where
people from other countries seem to relish the idea of coloring Americans as stupid. I know people who come back after a stint in a foreign land and
will spend hours recounting how stupid Americans are compared to - place name of country visited here - but the thing is, and again I don't know too
many stupid people, but I do know some who might qualify as that, most of these people who have returned from foreign lands who spend hours trying to
convince me that Americans are stupid compared to - place name of country visited here - are not really all that bright. I can't help but wonder if
it ever occurred to these people that maybe...just maybe...Americans aren't as rude as people in - place name of country visited here - and don't put
a lot of effort into to trying to convince that person how stupid they are.
I can remember hanging out at this coffee house in L.A. right after Bush II sent the troops to Iraq, with his "shock and awe" campaign. The name of
the coffee house is the Bourgeois Pig, one of those pretentious coffee houses where the proprietors must demand that their employees treat the
customers with utter disgust and genuine disregard. Sort of like Amoeba Records which is another pretentious business that sells used records, cd's
and DVD's for a price that well exceeds what they would cost brand new at Best Buy or Wall Mart, and people must like spending more for used stuff at
the place because of the ambiance, which is being treated as rudely as one can imagine...anyway...there I was hanging out at the Bourgeois Pig with a
few friends and we met up with some foreigners. One guy from England, two from France, and one chick from Germany and another from Belgium. These
five foreigners were really angry at us Americans, and it wasn't for the bad coffee and even worse service, it was because of "shock and awe" and Bush
So, there we are sitting patiently listening to their diatribes about how all Americans were a bunch of cowboys, and we were showing quite a bit of
patience because the chicks were pretty cute, and they kept going on and on and on about cowboy this, and you American cowboys that. I was sitting
there watching this...listening to this in a sort of confused daze. One of the guys from France picked up on my stupefied look and didn't waste any
time pointing out how stupid we are and look, especially when confronted with our imperialism and other crap. Personally I think this French guy was
getting a little jealous at the way the chick from Belgium was looking at me and smiling quite a bit at me, who in my stupid American way would smile
and wink back, but what do I know? Maybe he was just really impressed with being French and couldn't resist telling me and my friends that he was
French and because of that more erudite and not at all a stupid cowboy. They would say cowboy in this disgustedly drawn out way as if they wanted to
spit on the very notion of the thought of cowboys, not to mention maybe kick a few actual cowboys in the cajones, just for being cowboys.
What had me genuinely stupefied, and as I explained it the French guy, was that they kept throwing the word "cowboy" out at us as if it were some kind
of insult. The reaction of everyone at the table when I said this was really interesting. My friends started laughing knowingly - David practically
spitting coffee through is nose, (good thing he wasn't drinking milk!) - and the foreigners were laughing as well, and even knowingly but in a
different knowing way than my friends were laughing, as the English guy rolled his eyes and went pffffttttt, the two French guys also sort of went
pfffffftttt but with a French accent, and the Belgium girls sort of giggled in a kind of guttural way. The French guy who was taking so much
pleasure in pointing out my stupidity answered; "Of course, you cowboy!" in that thick French accent that would make a compliment sound like an
This only made my friends laugh even harder, and these foreigners, not at all being stupid, began to suspect that the joke was on them. The other
French guy asked David why he thought this was so funny. However, David was still getting over the burn of coffee coming through his nose while still
laughing, so I politely explained that most Americans - at least those Americans who didn't live in Berkely - didn't really have a problem with the
cowboy image. The foreigners looked stupefied. We, being the polite Americans we are, but also being a bunch of guys, did our best to stop laughing
at these bufoons to explain to them a little about the cowboy way, which struck the English guy and the smart ass French guy as us threatening them.
I don't know, maybe in a way we were sort of making veiled threats in a cowboy sort of way. I'll tell you this, there was never any doubt that David,
Chris and myself could very easily kick the English guy and two French clowns butts. That's the cowboy way.
Needless to say it was shortly after explaining to them the cowboy way that they left and went back to their hostel, or wherever foreigners who come
to Los Angeles go after they've had enough of stupid Americans. No doubt they left smugly assured that this encounter only proved just how stupid
Americans really are, and I can assure you that once they left David, Chris and I agreed that English and French guys seemed to be pretty stupid, but
the Nordic chicks are hot. You know what I think? I think this whole "American's are really stupid" thing is a big conspiracy.
I think the British, and French, and yes, to some extent event the German and Belgium people have conspired to convince Americans that they are really
stupid. I think that all those noble students who went to school to learn how to teach, and before they accepted their proffessorships, went off to
Europe for the summer backpacking and met up with a bunch of Europeans who convinced them that American's are really stupid, so when they got back and
started teaching at Berkely they figured; "Why should I teach these stupid Americans anything, because they're so damn stupid, and a bunch of cowboys
anyway." So these world weary proffessors refused to teach these stupid cowboy Americans anything, and when these stupid cowboy American's didn't
learn anything this only confirmed how stupid American cowboys really were, so one day at some high faluting cocktail party a whole bunch of world
weary proffessors were mingling with Jay Leno and his wife, and they all told Jay Leno how stupdi American's really were, and he figured, "hey, that's
got to be worth a few laughs", and so he sent his crew out on to the streets of New York to spend 8 or 9 hours looking for stupid people, and made a
90 second clip of it, where Steven Colbert watched that clip and thought to himself; "Hey! That's pretty damn funny. Maybe I'll create a satire
about stupid news anchors", and this really pissed off Bill O'Reilly who didn't much appreciate that sort of liberal crap, because, after all,
O'Reilly being of the Irish American kind, is really just a cowboy, so he began telling people to "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!", and things just got
Now, the world loves to get online and tell Americans just how stupid they are, which really pisses of Americans who like to say "Nuh-unh", which
gives other people from other nations the chance to say; "Uh-huh", which in turn gives Americans the opportunity to say; "Nope", which then gives
people from other countries the chance to reply; "Yep", and then the Americans go; "Are not", and then the people from other countries go; "Are too",
and then the American's go; "Oh yeah?' which compels the people from other countries to go; "Yeah!" and so the Americans go "How about if I kick your
ass, would you say that then?", which gives people from other countries the chance to say; "See? You American's are just a bunch of cowboys!", and
all the while the Illuminati are going; "Bwaaaaahahahahahhahah"
Thinks about it. That's all I'm asking, just think about it.
edit on 19-2-2011 by Jean Paul Zodeaux because: (no reason given)