I remember one particular club night at college. I was there in support of our philosophy club at the beginning of the semester, encouraging people to join the club while answering their questions. But because it is philosophy club, I spent more time yelling at people, getting them to approach our table than they spent ignoring us.
I know. It’s a philosophy club at a small private college. The line to join is roughly the same length as the line for Sarah Palin’s new movie, but with very different intelligence levels (usually). I wasn’t expecting anyone to rush to the table, sign their name, then show up early to the next meeting.
I approached all kinds of people, asking them all kinds of questions, trying to find a way to get them interested while being fun as well. I asked people if they liked music, movies, dancing, porn, various colors, asking questions, hating people, getting free money, it didn’t matter. I could trace it back to philosophy. That’s one of the good things about philosophy, it encompasses everything and I’ll find a way to make that happen.
One of the questions I asked was, “Do you like reading?” One of the responses I received was, “Hell no, I don’t like reading,” and that response included enough sass to fill an entire high school with 15 year old girls with their parent’s credit cards. That sass included enough head and eye rolls to film five Exorcism sequels. The response in my head included enough violence to film five more Exorcism sequels, as long as those sequels could include me bashing someone’s face open with a brick.
My actual response was a straight-faced, “Great,” and then I turned around and walked away, still making more Exorcism sequels in my head.
It’s not that he wasn’t interested in reading. I’m not interested in field hockey, and if someone told me they wanted to break my face open with a brick because I wasn’t interested in field hockey, I’d have them arrested (or break their face open with a brick first, depending on the circumstances).
To be short, I was mad because this guy was not only proud to be stupid, he was angry at me for suggesting he might be interested in fecundating activities.
Reading and learning are exciting. Learning new words, ideas, concepts and grammar rules make my heart race. I’m not trying to sound nerdy, which is now what people say when they want to sound cool (i.e. I know I’m going to sound nerdy, but I really like anime! – big deal, lots of people do. If you were that ashamed, you wouldn’t have mentioned it), but I do.
Poor grammar and just generally being dumb is a turnoff*. Judge me for it, but it is, and I’m not going to be ashamed of it. Why? Because I don’t want to date someone who confuses or has no interest in communicating so I can understand her.
I’ve written this about twenty times, but everyone says there are a lot of stupid people in the world, but no one ever admits to being in the stupid group. We all give ourselves credit for our intelligence and our ability to continue eating, breathing and shitting, going to sleep and repeating it the next day, but no one says, “Wow. I have horrible critical thinking skills and I make fucking up look so easy!”
How do I know this? Easy. I watch YouTube videos. The comment section for YouTube videos is a breeding ground for just really awful, stupid shit. I could have used a stronger noun there like comments or communication, but honestly, it’s just shit.
How does the Internet have enough storage space for all the dumb shit we have to say, tweet, post and talk about? Imagine how much server space YouTube could open up if they deleted all comments from all ICP and Nickleback videos? Another benefit would be that anyone like me wouldn’t burst a blood vessel struggling to read through the complete idiocy that people wrote. A recent study shows that reading YouTube comments increases your chances for a heart attack by 47%**.
Maybe that’s what killed Derrida. A brief attempt at deconstructing YouTube video comments was enough to push him over the edge. The comments are filled with enough Freudian typos to resurrect the man from the dead.
Meeting someone, albeit how briefly, who not only refuses to stand on the intellectual stage, but is proud not to, should infuse rage in anyone. Not the type of rage that is dealt with by making someone’s face obsolete with a brick, but the type of rage that required them to, well, I still haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe just write about it.
More important than anything, please understand why it affects me. I don’t care if you’re not interested in philosophy. It’s not a subject for most people and that’s fine. Not every conversation has to be serious, deep and intellectual. I’m fine with sitting around talking about the weather and making fart jokes, but promise me you’re not proud to be stupid. And promise me you won’t get offended if I presume you’re interested in fecundating activities.
Is that so much to ask? I need it so bad (that’s what she said).
*Please don’t hesitate to point out the grammatical mistakes in this post.
**Please don’t believe that fake statistic.