NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Ridding The World of Idiots?

October18

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” George Carlin

stu·pid adj \ˈstü-pəd, ˈstyü-\Definition 1 a : slow of mind : obtuse b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c : lacking intelligence or reason

id·i·ot noun \ˈi-dē-ət\ Definition 1 usually offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation 2 : a foolish or stupid person

I’m not calling anyone the above. I may call something or some action stupid or idiotic, but I rarely if ever call a person stupid or an idiot. Why? Because I could and have easily been called these. I have often heard people lament, “If only the country wasn’t run by a bunch of idiots!” or “voters are stupid and will vote as such.” I once endured a co-worker lamenting about a customer, “Gawd! Someone must not have gotten their high school diploma!” as though this was the lowest of the low. Things of this nature make me grimace.  I believe that you must come from a high place of privilege to point to someone, anyone, and give them these labels. If you were given the opportunity for higher education, you are privileged!

I knew from an early age that college just wasn’t a possibility for me. I never really wanted it anyway. While my friends wanted to be pediatricians and professors, I wanted to be a singer. I say this plainly and not to sell myself short, as they say, or to make it seem as though I have major regrets on the subject. I do not. While I may occasionally regret dropping out of high school, (it’s not for the lack of education, I regret the social aspects, mostly) college just seemed overrated and boring in my eyes. Still does. I see so many people put so much emphasis on the importance of education and getting into certain schools and what not. All in the hopes of some hefty degree. Often, this degree is never truly used for it’s original purposes. Most commonly, people carry a degree as a merit badge and little else. Heaps of personal debt before they turn 21, only to never enter a field for which they studied.

See? I use my words. I put thoughts together coherently. I believe I am of sound mind and intelligence. Yet to many, I would be considered an idiot or stupid or just plain old fashioned dumb. Why? Because I dropped out, because I never went to college (except for that one singing class, dropped out of that too), because I chose the life I have. Yes, I chose to work. I chose, at age 16, to drop out and work full-time when my high school counselor would not even listen to why I wanted out of mainstream high school. She barely raised her eyes, certainly never looked into mine, and said, “Okay, goodbye!” We’d never truly even met! I sought alternatives. I entered independent studies and always aced and finished my packets in a flash! When I was told my junior year that no matter what I did, no matter how much work or effort I put into it, I would never be able to graduate with my class (1995, yo!), I left and never looked back.

That decision doesn’t haunt me. What does is that system. I have been refused a total of one job (at TJ Max) because of my lack of a diploma. Whoopee! It has never held me back, never been an issue for me. Yet when I tell someone I not only don’t have a degree but that I’m a HS dropout? They freak! I had a friend who pleaded with me to get my GED. She insisted that, “you deserve it!” Deserve? Really? I think I deserve little if anything in this world. Deserve is such a gross word to me, usually. And I do love words. Ha-ha! But I have no desire for a piece of paper (let alone on that costs at least $70 and that’s if I pass the test) to tell me or anyone else the measure of my mind. I haven’t taken an SAT or IQ test. It really doesn’t matter to me.

So when people say that they would prefer to rid the world entirely of idiots or create some island for them to be relocated to and forgotten? I take great offense! By what measure would they determine who is or isn’t an idiot? Would that include me automatically or would there be some opportunity for redemption from my would-be idiocy? Would I be forced to leave my life, business and loved ones behind while I would be cast aside by society at large? How would this idiot-island-society function?  Honestly, it would function exactly the same as our society functions now. Because anyone can be an idiot. Anyone might be considered stupid. Yes, even you!

To blame someone for their ignorance is to cast off or poke fun at the over 40 million functioning illiterates in America. That’s over 40 million people who cannot read over a 4th grade level. These are people who either had no choice or the education system in this country let them down as it did me. So, you want an island of idiots?

Better be a big fucking island!

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16 Comments to

“Ridding The World of Idiots?”

  1. On October 18th, 2010 at 7:40 am vesta44 Says:

    An education/diploma/degree doesn’t have much to do with one’s intelligence, from what I’ve been able to see. I graduated from high school, but that sure as hell didn’t prepare me to enter the work force. I went to college and dropped out (I went 10 years after I graduated from high school). I was successful at every job I held in spite of my lack of “formal” education. My son dropped out of school when he was 16, and he’s an apprentice electrician. He’s never had any problems learning new jobs and being successful at them. He has an innate intelligence that impresses me, but it wouldn’t do him much good if he didn’t also have common sense to go along with it. I’ve met a lot of people who don’t have much in the way of degrees, but what they know and have learned through living more than makes up for that. And even people who don’t have a high IQ still have life experience and common sense and have learned to navigate the world we live in. Everyone, no matter what their level of intelligence, has something to teach, and we all would be better people if we listened and learned instead of calling names and putting people down for their perceived lack of “education”.

  2. On October 18th, 2010 at 8:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, precisely! And thank you for sharing your personal stories. This was something I’d wanted to write about for a long time and while it’s not fat related per se, it certainly gets brought up in the sphere when discussing fat myths such as fat = dumb, etc.

  3. On October 18th, 2010 at 10:45 am katy Says:

    Also, they might like to consider, if we got rid of all the “idiots”, they might end up not so far from the bottom themselves – and next in line for the chop!

  4. On October 18th, 2010 at 10:46 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Ha-ha! Ain’t that the truth. Thanks.

  5. On October 18th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Twistie Says:

    You know, I don’t have a college degree, either. Like you, I made my decision and never have seriously regretted it. I have a job I adore (I get paid to write!), a happy marriage to an amazing musician who wishes he’d been able to afford to go to college but was too busy trying to support his mother after his parents split up, plenty of friends, and more than enough material goods to bring me security and enjoyment.

    You know what else? Most people assume I have that college degree because I speak well and know things. And the stupidest man I ever met held a master’s degree in Ancient History. He couldn’t think his way in a straight line for two inches, but he’s got the piece of paper, so people think he must be smart.

    I have three brothers with degrees. One is using his higher education. He’s a doctor. He kind of had to have the paper for that, and he’s using it well. One got a Bachelor’s degree in business majoring in Accounting… and now runs an alpaca ranch. He does know how the keep the books, but he’s much happier caring for the animals. The third has a master’s in Medieval Studies. He works part time at a Borders and resents it. Then again, he never tried very hard to get a job that would use his degree, as far as I could tell. He’s very big on the word ‘deserve’ but doesn’t feel he has to do any of the lifting on his part.

    I did finish high school, but I didn’t dare even contemplate dropping out what with my mother being the president of the Board of Education at the time. All the same, while I love learning and stretching my mind, I never enjoyed much about formal schooling. I was hugely relieved to be able to wave goodbye to the classrooms forever at seventeen.

    If I ever stop being curious and wanting to learn, though, bury me before I start to stink too much.

  6. On October 18th, 2010 at 12:40 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh yes! The curiosity and desire to learn are always with me. Though I’ve come to embrace those qualities in me only recently. Thanks to FA for sure, but also to the internet for making research so much easier. I can’t stand silence and libraries, while I adore them, can be a bit too quiet for me. Thank you for sharing your personal story. I am so glad to find that I’m not the only one blogging without a degree (certainly no crime, eh?).
    I am forever grateful for all of my fellow bloggers, readers, commenters and general supporters. Now how did you get the writing gig? Ha!

  7. On October 18th, 2010 at 1:02 pm Twistie Says:

    Actually, I kind of fell into the writing gig. During a prolonged period of unemployment, I found a wedding planning blog I really enjoyed. I started commenting regularly. A few months later, the author needed someone to fill in for a week while she was off getting married (of all things!) and since I was commenting in some depth on a constant basis, she asked if I would do the honors. I jumped at the chance… and then discovered it was a paying gig.

    A couple months after that, I was contacted by the owner of the blog (The Manolo) who asked if I would like to write for the blog on weekends. Shortly after that, he started Manolo for the Big Girl and invited me to write weekends on that, too.

    There’s more in the wind, but he and I need to hash out the details before an announcement goes out.

    All I can say is, the best jobs I’ve ever had have been ones I seem to have fallen into.

  8. On October 18th, 2010 at 1:05 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Ah, yes! Happenstance is my best friend, for sure! Everything good that has occurred in the last two or so years? Serendipity/Happenstance or Craigslist! Ha-ha! Rock on with ya, then!

  9. On October 19th, 2010 at 1:30 am Kath Says:

    As I mentioned on an earlier post of yours, I scraped through high school by the skin of my teeth. Not because I was unintelligent, but because of a mix of ADD, unsupportive and abusive parents, terrible self esteem and a senior year forced change of schools. But I’ve pretty much always worked since I was 12 years old (except for a couple of years of depression induced unemployment) at a bit of everything.

    I did think I was stupid for many years, because I was told I was. I thought my lack of tertiary education was a virtual dunce cap I wore in my every day life. That changed (I should blog about that story!) and suddenly I realised that there is NOTHING I cannot learn if I wish to.

    11 years ago I got a job as a casual library assistant, serving customers, shelving and tidying the library. Today I’m an IT librarian with specialist skills in digital media, project management and AV. Nothing stops me when I get into something.

    Nowdays, I’ll have a go at most things, and if I don’t know or understand, I’ll say “Hey, can you explain this to me please?” When I do, nobody dies, the world doesn’t stop spinning, and nobody points and laughs. Instead they usually admire my open curiosity and confidence to ask.

    Excellent post, and you’ve inspired me to write one of my own!

  10. On October 19th, 2010 at 10:18 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh, Kath, please do write that post, because now I’m so intrigued! Ha-ha! This is why I love blogging for FA, to inspire each other, support one another and to seriously kick some ass! Ha-ha! Thanks, as always. =0)

  11. On October 20th, 2010 at 3:07 pm Toots Says:

    As if the entry itself didn’t do a superb enough job on it’s own, how about that poignant ending line? Better be a big fucking island! <3

  12. On October 21st, 2010 at 8:20 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Ahh, thank you! Yes, I do love that last line.

  13. On October 24th, 2010 at 1:45 pm Nadira Jamal Says:

    Oh, seriously. Smart and “has received extensive formal education” (or even “extensive education”) are not the same thing. And neither tells you very much about how capable someone is.

    My dad and my sister are both extremely smart, and both dropped out of college. (My sister, especially, is doing pretty well for herself. She is a prop stylist working in fashion photography, and is right this minute on a 6-month tour doing photo shoots of luxury hotels all over the world.)

    And some of the densest, most awful people I know have PhDs or MBAs. (They may be “smart” in that they can do integrals in their heads or got good entrance exam scores, but they are completely ignorant about lots of important things like history, oppression, and common courtesy.)

    That said, I am a little troubled by your dismissal of people who don’t work in their field of study, though. I have a master’s degree in engineering from a top school, and left the field to pursue a dance career with a day job in IT. I’m better at both because of my engineering background.

    No, I don’t deal with stress tensors and response spectra anymore, but it trained me to think in certain analytical ways that have really come in handy, even for my dancing. (My claim to fame in the dance world is my analytical approach to teaching improvisation and dance composition. These are usually absorbed intuitively, rather than broken down and explained.)

    I am NOT saying that more degrees = more capable, or that not getting a degree makes you in any way lesser. Just that, as my graduate advisor said, a college degree is not vocational training. Getting a degree in X teaches you a lot more than just what you need to work in X, and not working in X does not make that experience a waste.

  14. On October 24th, 2010 at 5:25 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    I didn’t mean any offense on the subject of working in an industry that differs from your degree. I had been asked/offered/presurred/etc previously into considering a degree just so I could get into another field. When pressed on the matter I could not come up with a single field in which a degree seemed desirable. For me? To go through years of work like that? Well, it had better be something I am so passionate about that I couldn’t imagine life without whatever that is. You’re absolutely right about applying aspects of one area of expertise into another area of your life. I’m often amazed at how much I use from the randomist of experiences in my everyday professional life. Thanks so much for reading & commenting. =0)

  15. On December 28th, 2010 at 1:27 pm Christine Says:

    Just found your blog, have been steadily reading back all day (I’ve got the flu, which is a great excuse to waste time on t’internets!)

    Firstly, thanks for your amazing, inspiring blog – I love that you’re so honest.

    I do think you’re wrong on this point though; your definition of ‘idiot’. You’re not ‘accredited’ but you are successful: you write like an artist, have a fantastic sense of style, individuality, relationships with people around you, and – this is the crucial bit – can understand other people’s points of veiw, can change your opinions, can learn and you understand consequences.

    ‘Idiots’ are those people who shout abuse at you in the street because you’re different/better than them, or because they think it’s funny. Those guys who follow you up the street making sexual comments and then insults when you ignore/reject them. We have an entire political party (the British National Party) who want Britain to be populated by ‘ethnic British only’. These people should be sent to an island.

  16. On December 28th, 2010 at 4:11 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Sorry about your flu, hope you can get back to feeling normal very soon. And THANK YOU! I am in shock! I may have to frame your comment and hang it in my cafe for those days when I feel the utter failure of the world. I am near-speechless! (ha-ha!) I am honored to have held your attention. Thank you and please, keep commenting, you have quite a way with words yourself. <3 S

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