I try to gain wisdom over smart as I age in place. I always thought wisdom was less in supply than smart. We have many smart people who just aren’t wise. We have individuals with numerous degrees or credentials. They became well educated in specific areas but they never became wise. Maybe that is why we see the outpouring of stupidity we see today.
I recently read an article from the Wall St. Journal regarding the Golden Age of Stupidity, (written by Lance Morrow, August 30, 2021) that nails the idea of our glorious state of stupidity. We don’t have to look far to see numerous examples of it. A large most recent example is the withdrawal from Afghanistan. An older version was the long deadly war in Vietnam. Another modern day stupidity is the refusal of millions of people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. It makes one scratch the head when polio vaccine was accepted, small pox accepted, measles, mumps, tetanus, whopping cough (I got the shot 2 years ago after nearing dying from the disease. Here I thought you only got it in childhood. My stupidity.) How about the crazies running around and inside the capitol on January 6th. How about the Trump years’ stupidity where the political parties were locked in a “4-year drama” of mutual “demeaning abuse and hysteria”. Morrow’s article gives numerous examples of stupidity in action.
You can’t really describe stupidity but as Justice Potter Stewart’s pornography line says “you know it when you see it”. History is riddled with examples of stupid. How about in mythology the Trojans allowing the Greek wooden horse to move inside the city walls. That is pretty stupid. How about the Popes during the Renaissance ignoring the complaints of Martin Luther and others that led to the Reformation. That changed history. Morrow thinks, in fact, stupidity is at the heart of most decisions that result in the tragedies of our time.
Lance Morrow talks about the fatal explosion of “brainlessness”. He speaks to the convergence of many “seemingly unrelated elements that have produced this explosion.” Taking us back to the 60’s, we see we had lots of stupidity, the Vietnam War, the murders of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, the shootings at Kent State and the counterculture. The baby boomers of today still long for the music of the 60’s and the counterculture. The 60’s opened up the door to the “subversion” of manners and the death of privacy. Since then, the tech companies have thrived and capitalized on both. We now can have little to no privacy and I’m still looking for the old model of manners. Loud music, restaurant loud sounds piped into the ladies’ room, yelling to be heard at dinner, watching television while dining in restaurants, poor phone manners, texting while driving (now that is stupid as well as poor manners). Devaluation of history, science and civics can make for lots of stupid. Our cavalier attitude towards obesity and diabetes that a pill can take care of the disrespect of our bodies is another example of stupidity and arrogance. I mean if I were the body speaking to its owner, I would tell it to either shape up or I’m getting out of here
I have written before about America striving to move out of the “barbarian” phase of civilization into the civilized phase of civilization. We are stuck in between and other nations wonder why we have more guns than people. Why don’t we change some of the gun laws to try and stop the slaughter. Here is where stupidity rears its head again. It’s hard to cure “stupid” or “brainlessness”. It’s hard to understand why wisdom can’t step in and sprinkle the population while it sleeps.
We wonder why we have so many mental problems, homelessness, corrupt leaders, expensive health care and drug problems. We now wrestle with ourselves through covid and find some of the restrictions unbearable as we run out of patience. Sometimes all we need to do is scratch our underarms to remind us of our waking ancestors coming out of their caves.
Lance Morrow brings up the suggestion that it is a short ride from stupidity to madness. I think he is on to something here. He suggests that people aren’t people any more. They have become cartoons and categories and we have splintered identities. It’s all a bit much. It seems like there is a rebellion against reality.
The Aquarian Age is here to help us move forward out of fear and superstition. One of its purposes is to help us move into more enlightened and rational thinking. It’s a gradual move forward for the next 2,000 years but we might try and practice a bit of it now. Bring back some manners too. We could all benefit from courtesy and good manners. Please also turn down the loud music in the ladies room.
(Lance Morrow’s latest book is “God and Mammon: Chronicles of American Money”)
“Humans cycle between complacency and fear. When the time for fear comes, we magnify the threat.” George Friedman
Thanks for commenting
I appreciate the feedback. Thank you Vicki.
I love hearing from you. Thank you.
Thanks for writing Andrea. It is good to hear from you. Your question is important. Change or be changed–sometimes kicking and screaming.
Thanks for writing your thoughts. The general mistrust of government is part of this changeover from the old 200+ earth cycle as the lead to the new air cycle. The old cycle was top down authoritarian rulership and control and destruction of the earth. We have top down leadership by corporations and government. The cycle is dead but we have to understand what is moving ahead for us in the air cycle. Our old system of voting for a representative will also be deconstructed. It takes time. In the meantime, very few trust the government or corporations for anything.
Natural immunity to small pox, polio didn’t work either. Read up on the history of the two men who worked on this vaccine for the last 20 years. They truly sacrificed their lives and those who worked with them to create these vaccines. Tired of the guinea pig theory. We don’t have a cure for the flu but we can lower the threshold for getting it. We treat the illness but we don’t cure it. This is true of most viruses.
So good to hear from you Cheryl. Thank you for writing.
Thank you, I appreciate hearing from you.
“People will believe anything. Doesn’t make them stupid, just desperate.”
Louise Penny “The Madness of Crowds” page 205
I read the same WSJ article and thought how appropriate, especially after the last two weeks. Elections have consequences. Emotion, not reason, guide our choices. We vote based on personality instead of real achievements. We get our information from sources that are controlled, censored, and propagandized. As a retired educator I partly blame our public education system which is deliberately dumbed down to brainwash and control. There is little to cultivate critical thinking and discernment. I used to warn my students to learn to think critically for themselves, otherwise others will do their “thinking” for them: whoever controls your mind, controls your life.
Thank you Gail for expanding on this article and sharing your insights. Peace to you and Richard.
Stupidity is not having the ability to see the other side of the argument Gail. There are truths to both sides of the vaccination argument. Well, we know it’s not a vaccination but rather experimental gene therapy. There is no live virus. We the masses are the guinea pigs. The long term impacts are unknown. Natural immunity is the best immunity, it protects you from all the strains of the virus. The mainstream media doesn’t mention this at all! No cure for covid mentioned either just continual fear mongering and the constant pushing of the so called vaccination. Can you not see that there may just be a hidden agenda? You should be keeping an open mind and stop judging what you yourself do not understand. Lead by example Gail.
The reason people are afraid of the vax are a few reasons , one, For the first time in our history we have had a lockdown where we were separated from families friends Jobs schools states countries etc we were told it was only going to be a few weeks and then went on to be over a year and you know if you live in California how that has been, and still going , when the government and clown experts comes in and threatens you and tells you what you have to do that puts a lot of fear out there and there’s so many mixed messages and no trust and people and families are divided and telling on each other ,It is leading people to get fake vax papers so they don’t loose their jobs ,Not everybody has the immune system and the stamina to get a vaccine vaccine could very well kill them there’s not enough known about these vaccines or the virus yet the information changes hourly and daily we have learned to never trust our government right now or the media This wasn’t like small
Pox or pneumonia or something where Covid just came and we needed to take the vaccine to get better there was too much politics life’s taking away everything has changed how we live now and it’s still in a destructive state and it’s all linked to the moment Covid came that’s why people are afraid and don’t trust the so called experts to much mixed media and not proper experts . On the other hand love you Gail !
The “stupid” may be a function of lack of awareness in the first place. The first step could be to become aware that other possibilities in this life exist. With a sense of overall compassion for everyone’s “suffering,” I see the craziness “out there” as a call for help — a plea that people don’t even realize they are communicating. When will the pain be bad enough that people are then willing to embrace change and growth, to move from the familiar to the new?
BRILLIANT and YES… manners and grace would be a lovely start!
It always intrigues me that the people who insinuate others are full of stupidity, are the same people who will not tolerate any other point of view……