The Age of Wisdumb

I’ve noticed something lately, and I can’t seem to get away from it wherever I turn…it’s on every corner, on every page, on every video, and on every programme…I suppose it’s always been there to some extent – it’s just that now it seems to be reaching alarmingly high levels…

I’m not sure what set this in motion exactly; perhaps it can be linked to the  climate of dumbed down media, or the rise of questionable facts in the form of the internet (oh hi there Doctor Wikipedia!) – or maybe, just maybe there’s some weird X-Files type stuff going on with the water supply (excuse me while I adjust my tin-foil hat…but let’s not rule anything out) – ahem yeah – but seriously whatever the legitimate reason(s) are, the unfortunate situation still remains the same:

…that I feel like I’m surrounded by people with little to no knowledge about fucking anything, who still feel that they have all the answers.  I mean just look around; no one is willing to learn, or should I say…no one is willing to admit their ignorance…and because of this these clueless morons feel they don’t need to be taught as they already have quite enough false wisdom to last for all of eternity…

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And that’s precisely why I have begun referring to this epidemic of prolonged stupidity as ‘The Age of Wisdumb’…gone are the days of the apprentice learning from the master – as in its place we have now replaced that entire archaic story arc with something else…that of the completely unaware but confidently vitriolic humanoid who is always sat in front of his/her computer spouting off hatred and self-assured claims at regular intervals through a variety of different social media platforms…how lovely.

But wait – don’t poor sods like this need guidance then? Instruction from the seasoned masters as they are nothing but empty beginners? Shouldn’t  they seek out the help of someone who has been there and done that, so that they can try and educate and better themselves?

Well no…they don’t have to do any of that silly stuff – as they’ve already watched “like a gajillion YouTube videos”, are rarely not searching something up on Google, and even tune into the news every now and again to keep up on current events…

And it is these reasons, and these reasons alone why many in this cycle have employment positions on Facebook which are legitimately listed as ‘BOSS at GETTIN DAT MONEY’…or something along those lines anyway! Because they’re blatantly all bosses, and they’re blatantly all getting that money.

So anyway, in this world where it is so easy to crown yourself a king, queen, or indeed the aforementioned boss – despite the fact you haven’t done a single thing to  warrant possessing these lofty impressive titles – there is a lot less motivation when it comes to actually working hard, and picking up knowledge through true experience to achieve something real. I mean, why would you do that when there is seemingly an endless supply of easy short cuts?

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Think about The Lion King…without his father’s tutelage Simba would have been even more of an arrogant prick than he was as a kid, and would never have grown into the fine figure of a lion that he ended up being in the end. Or what about the Karate Kid, and Mr. Miagi’s “wax on, wax off” training? Or Star Wars, and Yoda?  The Mask of Zorro? Leon?! The list goes on, but they always follow the same perfect formula; young yet enthusiastic characters eagerly  soaking up vital life lessons from seasoned veterans…and despite the initial frustration of having to accept that they basically know nothing; they end up better, stronger, and smarter as a result of listening to their respective “master” figure.

But consider the storylines of those well-known films set in our present culture – they would be very, very different! I mean take Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back just for one of many examples…

Yoda: “A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Luke: “Pfft! Fuck you, don’t tell me what to do – I’mma boss! I’m out of here.”

Yoda: “That is why you fail.”

Luke: “Yeah whatever you lil’ scrotum face – never preach to me again!”

Yoda GIF

Sorry Yoda. That wisdumb has people talking recklessly these days…

But what’s the reason for all of this all of this ignorant flexing? Why is it that people seem to feel it demeans them to admit not being anything but an expert? Why do so many consider that asking for help or guidance makes you a weaker individual? It’s simply ridiculous…

Take myself for an example – I used to be shy and unsure of what I’m really about…you know, who I am. But nowadays I can be rather unequivocal in my self-assessment: which is that I am a complete and utter moron. I pretty much know nothing! Actually every day I find out new things, which were actually just the old things I was supposed to learn but didn’t ever get right the first time around…so in essence I know less than nothing – which is actually quite liberating in its own lobotomized way. (If not a smidge patronising and depressing).

But other people don’t appear to share my acceptance of my own lack of functioning brain cells…and this coupled with the fact that we don’t really have heroes anymore (not like we used to anyway) – spells disaster. Or to cut to the point directly, it leaves us with a long line of people who aim for overnight celebrity as opposed to something more lasting and meaningful

Fist Pump GIF

Because why not, right?

(Alright anyway, so suspend disbelief for the next little bit please). You see, I could theoretically make a rap song like the above with a controversial video…and go from a resolute nobody to an overnight success (my rap name would be MC Sukkadick and the song would be called “I Hate Everyone’s Grandma”; just so you know) – and then the established artists would be calling up to collaborate in a desperate attempt to stay relevant with what they see as the fresh new talent just because it’s catchy and people are clicking on it a bit. So when the consumer sees things like this happen then the idea of putting in work, building your craft, taking notes from those before you, and basically having heroes you model yourself after is, well…lost. And in it’s place we have a whole slew of entitled, and impatient characters, eager for instant-gratification despite putting in next to no hustle…

Or simply put we have a burgeoning population of overly-confident but largely non-skilled people who preach their wisdumb across social media – and this really upsets my miniature low-functioning brain and I; it really does. Because what they could be doing is listening to those before them, making plans and sticking to them, working hard and following their deepest ambitions even during the hard times, and eventually taking pride in all they  accomplish.

Rather than say…taking a picture of their butt for the entire world in the hope of a few likes. Or taking a video which humiliates their best friend in the hope it will go viral. It’s like…why?

Urghhhh…just take a look around these days, it’s bleak –  there seems to be a lot less artistry and creativity out there than before, but a whole load more content. Largely because there seems to be a lot less people respecting and taking unofficial lessons from those before them; instead people point and say, “if you can do it I can”…which is true, but isn’t so if you skip all of the years of tutelage, hard graft, and knockbacks. So perhaps it’s time we dropped the wisdumb so many seem to be holding on to, and started to seek out wisdom instead…as it’s only through that in which we can truly grow.

Just ask Luke Skywalker…

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How to (PRETEND TO) be a Normal Person

As you wade through the mysterious complexities of life, encountering such typical philosophical travails such as “why are we even here?”, “what is my calling?”, and “will I get caught if I burn my boss’ house down?” we can often feel alone…as if we are weird, and no one else is having these feelings on a daily basis. And the fact of the matter is – you are weird. You’re strange – odd…actually if I was to be completely honest you are probably Norman Bates level mental…but other people don’t have to know that!

Here are a few top tips that I have gleaned over my tenure as a full-time sociopath, which are sure to help you fit in and walk among the muggles undetected:

1. Nod, and smile when people are talking (even if you don’t understand what is going on):

Nod Smile GIF

You can throw in a few “ahhh I see”s for good measure – even though you don’t see anything at all. Just keep nodding, and smiling…nodding and smiling…people will tell other people you are a good listener, and ironically subsequently a great conversationalist!

2.  Say “oh my God” instead of an actual well-thought out reply:

Oh my God GID

There’s really no need for any other reply these days, not unless you want to have the possibility of saying something weird like your actual sick thoughts. Instead stick to the script…just alter the pitch and pronunciation of the “oh my God”  to suit whichever situation you may find yourself in; shock, sadness, humor, joy – whatever, whenever – you’re golden.

3. Reply with “it’s fine, don’t worry about it” when someone wrongs you terribly:

Fine GIF

Let’s get this straight – it’s definitely not fine, and you will carry around this bitterness for the rest of your life like a heavy noose around your neck…but never mind – it’s…fine. I mean you may need counselling and perhaps some form of radical electric shock treatment years from now – but until then…you’re fine…no really, you’re fine. 

4. Whistle a tune you are literally making up as you go along:

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People who go around whistling are so annoying right? Just wandering about totally in their own world, without a care as to how irritating they are to the entire population of the earth…urgh! But funnily enough by masquerading as one of these rogues you can don the guise of a normal-o! (Please note you will appear normal but will have no friends and your entire family will abandon you.)

5. And finally…always shake stranger’s hands aggressively whilst repeating “I’M NORMAL, I’M NORMAL, I’M NORMAL!” in a shrill tone.

Aggressive Hand Shake GIF

This is the clincher and takes a little bit of practice – fortunately you can train for this in the comfort of your own home (toddlers, cats, and your bed-bound grandmother make for great training apparatus) – remember to truly believe yourself when you shriek “I’M NORMAL!”; after all if you don’t believe yourself, then why would other people?

~~~

And here marks the end of my knowledge on this subject – but if you enact these five simple steps you will be surely well on your way to a life of normality (and repressed feelings)…

…but anyway I’m going to leave this coffee shop now, I think my whistling is starting to anger the rest of the clientele. Good luck, and keep smiling my friends – it’ll be our little secret!

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The Offensive Nature of Being Offended

Have you ever being offended by something? I’m certain you have…but what happened exactly? What did someone say to rile you up so badly? What was it that they did that struck a nerve, and had you seeing red?

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Perhaps you looked something like this.

I’d guess there was something personal and dear to you – that a person took upon themselves to disrespect and desecrate…and you consequently felt a certain type of way about it, or “massively pissed off” as it is also sometimes known…

In fact I am sure there are many situations that would personally have you raging…but for the sake of an example here is one (hypothetical) scenario that should be a one size fits all…are you ready? Okay then…

…so let’s just imagine I grope your (INSERT LOVED ONE)’s behind, before pushing him/her down a steep hill whilst strapped into a wheelchair with no brakes…then I get all up in your face, even though I haven’t brushed my teeth in ages, and block your way whilst shouting something like;

“…your (INSERT LOVED ONE) is so stupid that he/she eats urinal cakes from public bathrooms on a daily basis as a treat, and the weird thing is he/she actually likes the taste because his/her taste-buds are all fucked up from years ,and years, and years of drinking nothing but bleach because he/she fell in love with Mr. Muscle one hazy drunken night way back when, and wanted to be really clean for him…” 

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Well, how would you feel? (After you ran down the hill to stop your (INSERT LOVED ONE) from colliding with traffic, of course!)

…probably a smidge annoyed I’d reckon. Well sure, it’s perfectly natural – I have just came at you directly with an unbridled level of offense, not only through insults, but most importantly actual physical danger to a person you cherish above all others. Now you want to wring my neck, and/or stomp on my head for hours – or at least until you get too sweaty and have to go home to take a shower. And hey, that’s totally normal! I mean you’re going to prison, sure…but it was a typical reaction, so for now; relax and enjoy the soothing memory!

The problem I have is not with that, but that the meaning of being “offended”, has been bludgeoned into a whole different shape, and now represents a completely foreign paradigm.  Where it was once something reserved for tarring the most unthinkable actions, it’s now usually just people sitting at home voicing their personal opinion on something…it’s not being “offended” at all – simply put it’s just not liking something! Except that doesn’t sound dramatically charged enough, and won’t catch anyone’s attention on or offline…“offended” however, oh yes! That’s the secret password in this day and age! Being offended will have everyone looking! Let’s go with that!

And for some reason…we do listen – primarily because we are given no choice in the matter. Just think about all of those times we hear news stories of how many letters of complaints certain TV programmes receive, as if it even matters…and then inevitably the media proceeds to blow it up to an insane proportion and ultimately someone has to pretend they’re sorry and make a public apology. I mean, it’s just absolute lunacy of the highest order to think that people’s personal opinions are being reported as actual news, rather than say – breaking news storiesyou know, commentary on horrendous wars our governments have embroiled us in, updates on some terrifying natural disaster, or even a feel-good piece about a really friendly donkey who thinks he’s a dog…stuff like that, quality actual-actual news…but no, what do we hear instead? A whole segment of tedious spiel from a sub-group of a sub-group about how horrified they personally were by an episode of South Park, or Nicki Minaj’s ass, or whatever the hell else they have decided to take issue with at any given time.

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GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Side note: it’s clearly asking way too much for people to just not watch something if they don’t like it, and instead change the channel to something they do – that would obviously be way too exhausting.

Personal taste should be just that; personal. But that’s not the world we live in anymore, instead these windbags rant and rave, because other people (aka the majority) disagree with their own preferences – so it’s all, you don’t think the same as me so you’re therefore wrong! That kind of schtick. So all of these people are branded ignorant of course, and it’s only the offended minority who are seen to be thinking correctly – after all, they’re special little snowflakes and the entire world revolves around them, don’t forget that! That’s why millions can love something, but a few hundred can pen letters and they get all the power. I mean why else would that happen? (COUGH COUGH, BULLSHIT SENSATIONALIST MEDIA!)

To be more specific, in the case of comedy  these so called offended people are normally too bloody dull to even understand the joke or comedian they have taken a disliking to – normally because they can only see the humour on one level…and because of this they easily miss the deep-rooted layered meaning that the act was trying to make. More often than not this is pointing out societal and cultural flaws that can be found in our everyday lives…and by taking on these roles in a dramatically exaggerated manner it pushes it from the shadows and into the forefront, basically saying something like: “see how fucked up this shit is? This is our every day truth – and it’s messed up, let’s try and not make these mistakes.” 

In no way is the comedian instructing people to be racist, sexist, or anything else. (And if they are they don’t get my vote, may I suggest a shotgun rather than a complaint letter next time? Thanks.) 

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…I have spoken. Please no letters about me though, I’m not a fan of those. 

Anyway, I’ll close with these words from an ever so slightly greater mind than myself; Stephen Fry:

“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?”

Couldn’t have said it better myself – which is why I let him do the talking! But what do you think? Is there anything that should be off limits? Let me know, I’f love to hear your opinion!

p.s. if your opinion doesn’t match with mine, then you are wrong. Simple as that. 

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!