Havok Journal writer Geoffrey Robinson is also a published author. We checked out his book “Can You Be… That Stupid” and liked it, so we asked if we could run an excerpt of it here. The premise is similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s “…you might be a redneck” shtick, except this one is all about wondering “Can you be that stupid?” This is something we can all relate to. Enjoy…
“In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.” -Henry David Thoreau
Time seems to move faster as you age. That’s actually a good thing. You gain the ability to filter what you hear based on volumes of past experience and either retain or discard that information rapidly. Having adapted to the ungodly pace of electronic media I began to notice a developing phenomenon: people no longer know what the hell they are talking about. They can site headlines, talking points or biased news reports but they didn’t know the whole story. Nor do they seem to want to invest the time to learn it.
After logging a multitude of days on the planet, through experience, I have replaced the swear words I used in my youth, thus filling the gaps in my vocabulary. Limited the OK’s when speaking to groups, and the ‘what?’ when caught not listening with the skills of a socially acceptable communicator. Though a new communication glitch has been developing. Now, when listening to others, a little question keeps drifting like a wisp of smoke through my mind about the person I’m communicating with; ‘Can you be that stupid?’
Watching TV news programs, reading real paper newspapers and books, attending seminars, and silently suffering political campaign speeches has filled me with sticky chunks of indigestible drivel. When I finish stumbling around searching for the value of this mindless pap, I seek out peers, family, or friends to see if I am the only person left feeling totally ill-served by the half-truths, inference, innuendo, and un-named source data foisted upon me by, yet another, reliable source.
I have concluded that if I don’t ask you the question that troubles me most now, time will run out without my ever knowing your answer. Deciding to forego social intercourse, snappy repartee, or banter about subjects of interest to me is a deeply felt loss. Engaging in meaningful dialog is no longer a desire of mine based on my inability to control that drifting wisp of smoke: Can you be that stupid?
Surrounded by a society that frowns on personal achievement, deifies sports figures and actors then rush by broad daylight muggings without a care is disconcerting. It’s a time when, based on what I hear around me, used car salesmen should be lauded for their honesty. To make it clear, I have actually heard or read every remark contained here.
Answering the posed question doesn’t require any personal sacrifice on your part; just your honest thoughtful response to the question supported by your beliefs and experiences. Not what your peer group or significant other thinks, what your Dad says or what your favorite TV anchor tells you to think. You. Just you. Feel free to put a checkmark next to those remarks you truly believe. I only pose this question because when I finally meet my maker and am asked the question I want to be able to smile, throw up my hand and shout ‘I know this one…’
If you find the question offensive, not politically correct, makes you believe me a racist or leaves you feeling I’ve singled you out for some personal scorn, no apology will be forthcoming. My lack of remorse is cemented in the blinding realization, after years of exposure, that many of you truly are that stupid. I could say I find you “lacking in intelligence or common sense”, but that’s just the dictionary definition for stupid and utterly fails to effectively communicate my chagrin
I’m not very smart, well; not smart at all, but if the question is bothering me then I’m sure many of you are also wondering about the answer. The problem is not the question, it’s what you, personally, are prepared to do about changing the answer.
“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” -Henry David Thoreau
Believing that you’re getting accurate, unbiased information from Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews, The New York Times, or The Washington Post, and then casting your ballot based solely on this highly accurate information….. Can you be?
Most elected officials are ineffective, and corrupt, except yours…Can you be?
A representative system of government means your representative should always vote the way you want them to… Can you be?
The president is infallible, much like the pope, and what he says is always true… Can you be?
Requiring government-issued identification for cigarettes, alcohol, R rated movies, and airline flights but not voting… Can you be?
Welfare programs have nothing to with votes… Can you be?
The government doesn’t get in the way of progress… Can you be?
Geoffrey Robinson is a published author who also writes for magazines and blogs. He retired from the military with multiple combat tours and then spent a career in the contract industry. He’s spent years living in Asia, Europe, and time in the Middle East, and South America. Geoffrey is an avid marathon runner who has competed in races from Anchorage to Cairo. He affectionally calls Dun Laoghaire, Ireland home. He currently lives in Maryland to be close to his children and grandchildren.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on February 25, 2019.
© 2023 The Havok Journal