Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

I don't mind stupidity. Ignorance I have no tolerance for. Stupidity is excusable. Some people just don't have the extra smarts required for more than the basic functions of life. Breathing, standing, eating, sleeping and sex are simply the only things that some people can wrap their minds around. Don't get me wrong here. I'm not talking about book smarts. Many intelligent people get through life without a PhD or some other combination of the alphabet behind their names. It takes just as many brain cells (probably more when you factor in motor control) to rebuild a car engine or construct the frame to a house as it does to examine the migratory patterns of fruit flies across the average North American kitchen.
There are however some people who, through no fault of their own, are stupid. It doesn't matter what they read or what their learning style is. They simply go through life, never adding to their body of knowledge or their skill set. They remain stupid. This is sounding very derogatory. I realize that and I certainly don't intend it to sound that way. Stupid people are quite often the nicest, gentlest people you could ever hope to meet. "Yes but," the P.C. social commentator would say "the word stupid is antiquated and demeaning". According to the above commentator we should use words like “challenged” or “synaptically disadvantaged.”
If you want to use a derogatory term - and I do - use the word ignorant. Ignorance is different than stupidity. There can be no blame assigned to stupidity except maybe bad genetic material. Ignorance however, is a whole other ball game.
Ignorance has an implied choice about it. Ignorance suggests that despite all the best advice, all the profound thought and after careful contemplation, you're going to do something asinine. Some examples of what I'm talking about: Racism, sexism, totalitarianism, gay bashing, animal cruelty, wife beating, child abuse, driving slow in the fast lane, chewing with your mouth open, general closed mindedness... Get the picture?
Stupid people may exhibit some of the tendencies of the ignorant person but in their case, they have probably not been properly educated on the ways and customs of our society. Stupid people can and will learn the basics. Ignorant people have the ability but consciously refuse, to learn the basics.
Here's a test for you. You decide if this person is stupid or ignorant:
Picture a worksite somewhere in a developing community. Two framers are building the frame to a suburban family's dream home. As they are hammering in nails, one of the framers decides to head off to use the facilities. He decides that the ladder is too far away and that - to save time - he'll just lower himself off the roof, hang by his fingers and drop the last two feet. He doesn't look first and when he lets go, the board he was aiming to land on breaks and he falls into a four foot hole, breaks his femur goes into shock and bleeds to death. At the funeral the other framer looks at the casket, gives a chuckle and says, "I probably should have told him about the hole." Our poor dead framer in the casket was merely stupid. After all "Look before you leap" is one of the basic tenets we live by. He didn't head that little voice in his head and ended up dead for it. The other framer is ignorant. He knew about the hole, new the potential consequences of the action, did not warm his co-worker and showed little in the way of acknowledging his culpability in the death of his friend.
Anyway, heavy thoughts for a Tuesday afternoon.
 Look before you leap.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Rot Gut and Songbirds

Outside my office window right now are - bird geeks I kid you not, a Bohemian Waxwing, a Yellow Warbler, two of the ubiquitos Chickadees, an American Goldfinch and if I strain my neck a little I can also see a Downey Woodpecker. Not bad for window candy at 9:30 am.
They're also a good distraction for the absolute cauldron that is my stomache right now. Picture an early supper last night, no breakfast this morning (running late, quel suprise) and two cups of coffee. Rot gut does not begin to describe how I fell at this moment. Dumping Miss Vickies Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar chips on top of the coffee doesn't really seem like a super idea, yet we have no real food here at work. My lunch is conveniently at home in the fridge and I'm too broke - and lazy - to head over to Tim's for a doughnut or sandwich.
Tired of the whingewing yet. O.K., I'll let you off the hook for now.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Hey, Lookit That

Words I often hear from my three-year-old. They're the words used to point out spiders, bees, flowers, cars, dump trucks, scabs, stray dogs etc...
Now that the weekend is upon us, they're the three words I'll hear more than any others for the next two days.
Anyways... We'll do the fallacy of Western Alienation next week. Gotta fly.
~Mrs Catto loves her budgie very very very very much ~

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ear Worms and Other Problems

AHHH Crap. Since yesterday's rant about covers I've had Smooth Criminal lodged firmly in my brain - and not the cool Michael Jackson original but the recent Alien Ant Farm cover; complete with the Jackoesque grunts and shrieks.

This wouldn't be so bad except apparently I'm sharing this lovely tune with Dee and she's getting annoyed. - Soon, I'll be hit by a smooth criminal.

Anyways, a note to profanity filters: last time I checked "frickin'" was not an expletive.

I love paranoid conservatives. Makes the summer feel complete to have at least one frivolous idea floating around so a lawyer and a politician can feel effective.

Now, while I think that Dude Where's My Country is fantastic, and as soon as I have a spare $12, I'll be going to see Farenheight 9/11, I'm not a huge Michael Moore fan. I'm getting tired of the "Starving Independant Film Maker" look coming from a multi-millionaire.

I do think that the above mentioned temper tantrum is giving Moore too much credit. This country has been voting the same way for 15 years. Liberals in the East and Centre, Conservatives in the Central West and NDP/Green/Marijuana in the real West. Anything Michael Moore may have said in the media has about as much chance of changing the voting patterns as does say... the sitting gov't wasting Billions of dollars or the Loyal Opposition intalling a crazy person as their leader. Did it matter? Apparently not.

Should we do Western Alienation today? No. It'll keep. It won't be pretty.

~When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro~

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Annie Are You OK?

I'm no smooth criminal but would it kill new bands to wait until they've written their own hit single before releasing yet another re-hash of a classic song?

I'm not against covers exactly. I for one, think that Kurt Cobain's The Man Who Stole the World is way edgier than Bowie's. I also think that the Ataris did sweet justice to Boys of Summer. The difference? Kurt Cobain had a career before he floated a cover, the Ataris began their mass-media career on a cover.

There's little credibility there. Why not prove your musical worth, talent etc... by showing the world what you are capable of creating rather than taking the safe route by releasing a cover?

Anyways, perhaps when you release your cover isn't as important as how you create the cover int he first place. Boys of Summer and The Man Who Stole the World are cool because they're different. Hell, even *shudder* Van Halen ripped Roy Orbison a new one with Pretty Woman. On the flip side, Uncle Cracker's Drift Away makes me dry heave. It's so, well, the same as the original.

So, I'll scream it to all the bands pondering a cover: BE ORIGINAL!!

Where's all this coming from. IceBerg Radio's "Cover Me" station.

Listen large. Live well. Play till you bleed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

This may repeat

O.K., so blog post #1 and I've already buggered things up. Well, not literally buggered per se, but um... yeah. anyways.

Until I get the hang of this thing I'll probably be cutting and pasting some more relevant ramblings I've made in other places.

I should probably preface everything here with "I hate the Internet" and "Why the hell do I spend so much time on it (in it?, near it?, enveloped by it?) whatever.

For whatever may appear here in the future, I apologise in advance.

Ramble On...