Tag Archives: Stupid

Stupidity Sucks (and What it Feels Like to Be Stupid)

Stupid: slow of mind; given to unintelligent decisions or acts, acting in an unintelligent or careless manner; lacking intelligence or reason”

-The Damn Dictionary (Merriam-Webster if you’re being appropriate)

This article right here sums up a fascinating phenomena: most people think they’re above average. Most people think they’re good drivers. Most people think they’re smarter than average. Most people think they’re more attractive than average. And so on. This doesn’t sound too bad at first, but once you consider the meaning of the word “average” it becomes much more interesting. Average, in terms of whatever you’re talking about, would be in the exact middle: 50% of people are below average and 50% of people are above average. So why, as the article says, 95% of professors think they’re better than their peers. And, as I’ll get to, why do some people think they have a higher-than-average musical insight when they’re clearly stupid?

I don’t really want to get into the why here because the article and all the information it links to should illuminate why. Given information like this I usually turn to introspection: I’m obviously guilty of this in some form (if I thought I was an exception to this then I’d be putting myself above average in regards to not placing myself above average) but am I even aware of it? Are there certain things I’m awful at that I think I’m good at? Objectively? And more importantly, what does this feel like, the inability to gauge your actual abilities? The main question I’m trying to get at is (even though skill and intelligence aren’t the exact same thing), “What does it feel like to be stupid?”

One way to discover how you’re stupid is to find someone or something that makes you feel stupid. Luckily, I know a few of these people and it’s amazing to feel stupid! I think the key is to find a topic that you want to be knowledgeable with and have someone blow you out of the water with their depth of knowledge and mode of thinking. It has to be a shared interest too: I can talk to a sports fan and not know anything they’re talking about but this doesn’t necessarily make me stupid because I don’t care about the knowledge in the first place. Perhaps if I wanted to, I could be wiser than they are on the topic of sports, but that doesn’t make me smart or stupid. That’s just ignorance.

A few people allow me to feel stupid in something I’ve always been passionate about and think thought I was intelligent in: music. I’ve always liked music (but what soulless creature doesn’t like music?) and thought I could “read between the lines” and see things the artist meant to convey — or didn’t intend to convey — and appreciate the complexities of the music in a way most people couldn’t: I’m smarter than the average person when it comes to musical comprehension. At least that’s what I thought two months ago.

After our work shift a few of us began hanging out and listening to music. Led by my supervisor’s supervisor (I’m not sure how else to explain this without explaining the hierarchy of my workplace), he would allow two or three of us regular employees to ride around in his work-provided Chevy Malibu. Sometimes our immediate supervisor would also join us. We would just aimlessly drive around property and listen to the music he selected for us. Most of these songs pieces were well outside of my comfort range by default. I’m talking classical music, I’m talking choral music, I’m talking strange chanting music that made me feel like I was having a panic attack: everything from Brahms to some dude with a guitar from Canada. Let’s also not forget Tom motherfucking Waits who is apparently a musical and lyrical genius whom I never appreciated before.

It wasn’t just this wide range of music that made me feel dumb: it was also his interpretations of the songs. It was his depth of insight in regards to the music, lyrics, instrumentation, song structure, etc. He would walk us through a song and tell us what the song meant to him and how everything supported his perspective. This would also involve body language as well. Well into a song and without saying a word he would toss his arms up in total amazement at something in the song. He’d shake his head as if thinking, “There is no way this music can be this good!” Sometimes the rest of us could understand what had blown his mind away, but other times there was nothing obvious about what had inspired him so, his mind seemingly making connections between music and self without any explanation. I would always smile at his musical enthusiasm. Here was a guy so taken away by the music he could barely contain his emotions and it was something to admire.

Here’s a specific example: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)”. The first song on Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here. (This the example I went with because I assume most people are aware of the band Pink Floyd, and so might be aware of the song “Wish You Were Here,” and hence the album it came from, Wish You Were Here, and might’ve possibly came across “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 1-5)”!) I like Wish You Were Here, but it wasn’t ever my favorite Floyd album. I’m more a Dark Side of the Moon guy myself (I find the album “Speaks to Me” and allows me to “Breathe (In the Air)” to make a really shitty pun…), but he totally sold the song — and the entire album — to me! I now have a greater appreciation for Wish You Were Here.

I’ll try to paraphrase how he explained the song to us: he pointed out the guitar around the 4:30 minute mark was “screaming in pain” about something, and how the part that came after it (6:30ish) had the exact same notes but were much more passive, as if the guitar had sort of accepted the pain of whatever and was okay with it. Like if you had enough pain in life you adapt; it becomes a background type of pain that you deal with and accept and it simply becomes a part of you. Still pain, but pain you don’t even acknowledge. Something about how no matter what your talent is (in regards to Syd Barrett here) the machine (the world itself, society, etc.) will still chew you up, spit you out, and incorporate your talent into itself. It’ll steal your gifts, trivialize them, and ruin what was so special about you in the first place. Elaborations on being blown by the steel breeze and eventually riding the steel breeze: what did all of that mean? Was it about growing older? Or being cruelly carved by the world around you? Losing the innocence of your childhood, how your dreams betray you, and about twenty or thirty other layers of understanding that were mostly invisible to me.

This was basically me:

So bombarded with all of this high-level elaboration on a song I’ve heard countless times while never piecing any of it together or thinking deeply about it all was making me feel rather stupid. Luckily I was able to give some preschooler-tier wisdom about how “Wish You Were Here” fades into “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 6-9)”: maybe the wind at the beginning of the song was depicting the steel breeze itself! Teeheehee! I felt like a kid telling Einstein that space was big and dark or something after he elaborated on General Relativity. Just pointing out what was already obvious to everybody. I was reading preschool picture books and this fucking dude was reading The Odyssey. I clearly felt stupid, but not only that, I felt the feeling of being stupid.

I suppose by feeling stupid you see what is possible, how deep your understanding can go if only you could ever make it to that level. You understand that your knowledge hasn’t peaked and that you still have a massive mountain to climb, especially with music: I’ve always viewed music as the most intuitive and easily understood art because it is so basic and visceral to the human mind. We all know how songs can remind us of seasons, people, events, and we attach memories to music firmly as opposed to other arts. (The only exception is smell: smells seem to be a direct link to past memories. I can smell a certain perfume and it will instantly remind me of making out with a certain girl at a high school party, as awful as that is.) Music is intuitive. Music is visceral. Music is something that happens deep within a person. Music is universal. I guess I’m saying that music should be relatively easy to understand and here I am feeling stupid over that. So now I feel immensely stupid.

I find that being stupid doesn’t feel like stupidity though. To me it feels like laziness. In my mind I know that if I wanted to understand “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” with the depth of understanding that my supervisor’s supervisor does I could understand it; it’s just that I don’t really want to right now. It’s work. I don’t feel like doing work. There’s other songs I’m listening to and other bands, and well, I don’t have the time. Analyzing something like that requires me to look up the lyrics and process the music along with the words. Ugh. While I know that I can, I don’t want to. That’s what being stupid feels like. It feels like laziness. I can do it, I just don’t want to.

This makes me ask the question if stupidity only feels like laziness or if they’re actually the same thing. Maybe that’s all stupidity is: you just don’t want to make the effort to understand something even if you are perfectly capable of it. Or maybe stupidity feels like laziness only so your brain can further let you believe you’re not actually stupid, you’re just lazy! Like a fancy form of confirmation bias. To really hit the point home, I’m going to end this post right here. Right on the verge of possibly making some deep connection between stupidity and laziness, intelligence and effort, I’m going to wrap it up. It sounds too complicated. It’s too much to think about right now. Maybe I’ll think about it later. I’m probably ranting anyways. I can always write about the topic later. I think I did good enough here anyways. But I’m not stupid though…

Nazis Suck: Tiki Torches

I’ve all but given up trying to deal with Trump’s shit on a moment by moment basis because of this post right here: I can’t keep up. It’s also hard work shitting on someone over and over again even if they deserve it by being a horrible human being. I have to source links, make arguments, and it’s exhausting. So I want to try something different while keeping current events and politics and our current social situation in mind. I wonder if making quick and feisty posts about current happenings might be a fun thing to try? After all, this is a relatively new blog here at Everything Sucks and I’m always trying to fine tune things. So what’s up on the current events this week recently? (I’ve been planning and going on a vacation the past week so I’ve been slacking on the nazi thingy) You didn’t even have to think of it because you already know: It’s the Charlottesville demonstrations and protests involving some Nazis and the KKK (ku klux klan) and in case you weren’t aware yet…they Suck.

They suck because of obvious reasons that don’t need to really be stated but I’ll state them briefly in case you’re stupid. Hate is a bad thing. It’s already been scientifically proven that the races are the exact same and no one is actually superior. It’s also 2017. It’s been 72 years since the end of World War 2 where us and our ally buddies defeated the original Nazis in Germany. And for all of our progress since then Nazis are still around and people still sympathize with the losers of this past war. It’s also been 150 years since the end of the civil war, and even though slavery was abolished and there was the civil rights movement in the 1960s, we’re dealing with white superiority groups and the KKK, sympathizers with the lost Confederate cause a century and a half ago. Sure, society has many equality problems to deal with still: police brutality, wage differences between males and females, minority education disadvantages, and others, but at least we’ve made it this far. We’ve made progress! Dealing with the base issues of white superiority and slavery in 2017 is just nuts. This shit is settled and has been settled for centuries, can we move on now?

I want to save the hard logic and reasoning for another post that I’ll probably never write. About how white culture or whatever isn’t really threatened at all. But for this post I want to touch on something that’s very strange and absurd. I’m sure we’ve all seen the pictures of these demonstrators and one thing in particular jumped out at me about the photographs: the tiki torches.

Like my post on covfefe, sometimes things happen that are so…stupid…that it’s hard to comprehend. In that post I argued that the president of the United States, nuclear codes and all, tweeting the word covfefe was insanely…I don’t even know…post-post-modern? Like you can’t make shit up with how ridiculous it is. Despite spell checker, online dictionaries, and even autocorrect, the word covfefe still slipped by various “checks” where it should’ve been caught and was published. He actually posted it! It’s borderline unbelievable and that’s what is shocking about it. It was harmless, but in its stupid harmlessness it screamed of gaudiness and an inability to care about spelling, the tiniest of tiny and stupid errors. Aren’t presidents above that?

And so it is with the tiki torches. Remember, white supremacists are some scary ass people. You don’t want to cross paths with them because they are dangerous as fuck. They’ll slit your throat for looking even slightly like a black person even if you’re just a pasty white dude. Scary people. Bad hombres. So you see these hateful and angry people on social media and it’s scary and saddening and it kills your faith in the future of America and people in general. And then you see the tiki torches. Your mind has a fit of cognitive dissonance as it struggles with the heirs of the Nazis and the Confederacy intellectual property holding the tacky, fun, and not-serious-at all-torches that your aunt and uncle have lit for their fourth of July festivities. People on social media are having a fit about the anger and hatred, but wait, are these terrifying people really carrying tiki torches? Huh?

Like covfefe I wonder if these morons have any idea of how society perceives them. Obviously they’re having an uphill battle in getting their grievances heard, so if I were them I’d try my hardest to adjust my image in a positive way. Everything is image. People think you’re angry, stupid, insecure white people scared of losing your culture of football, Budweiser, and Nascar. Well, prove them wrong. Tailor your image to make them think and not judge you instantly. Hell, it took months for me to figure out a logo for this blog, and to hell with it if anyone suggest a goddamn tiki torch anywhere on my page simple because it’s stupid and doesn’t fit with the image I want to create. My point is that by grabbing tiki torches you immediate undermine any sort of fear you’re intending to put on society and open your entire group up to ridicule even though it’s already being ridiculed. It’s the dumbest thing possible outside of having Easter Bunny costumes being your new uniform. Even if you hate black people and think your race and culture is endangered and may go extinct you up the stupidity to whole new level by marching with unthreatening tiki torches. If anything it makes the whole white culture thing seem really stupid.

And why fucking tiki torches? I’m assuming they were trying to go with the whole “angry mob/power-to-the-people” angle here, and popular belief does say that angry mobs carry torches. And pitchforks! Part of the reason they used torches was because they need light, they’re menacing, and that they’re easy to make. Instead if making their own torches (which seems easy enough; I’ve never made a torch but I think a stick, some oil, and a rag would suffice?) they must’ve just settled for the tikis. I don’t know. I imagine something like this happened:


“Man. I hate n***ers.”

“Yeah, me too. Wanna go to the white power rally?”

“Okay. I think we should bring torches though.”


“Because it gives it that angry mob feel. It looks threatening to those lesser races. Maybe pitchforks if we can find them.”

“I’m not a farmer; I don’t know where a pitchfork would be. Do you know to make a torch though?”


“Well. My aunt has some over at her house that they use for the fourth of July parties they have. Where I jumped off the roof after drinking Budweiser!”

“Torches? Like real torches.”

“Nah. They’re them decorative ones, that look like they came from Hawaii or whatever.”

“That’s threatening enough, right?”

“Yeah. A torch is a torch. Who cares.” *shrugs*

“Yeah! White power!!! XD”


So what you end up is this.


They still left the little cap on to put the flame out in a safe and easy manner!

A bunch of angry pissed off white dudes who are mad because other races are being treated fairly or something. I think their complaints are deeper and more complex than that, but still: angry, pissed off white dudes hold flags of people who got their asses kicked by America years and years ago. And what do they compliment their anger with? The fiery anger of theirs is represented by the hot, dangerous, and burning flame that is the tiki torch. Angry mob. White power. Heil Hitler. 4th of Julys at your aunt and uncles. Budweiser. Sparklers. A mosquito free evening. Polynesians and the tropics. Hula skirts. Leis. Moana.

Fucking morons.