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!”

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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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Ladies First…or Ladies Last?

The days of the classic traditional Gentleman are gone – or at least if they’re not then they are effectively dinosaurs dying off one by one…slowly becoming extinct as metaphorical asteroids come smashing towards the ground in a fiery mess. You see as gender roles and attitudes shift, so does the old framework under which the Gentleman etiquette  once operated.

Now personally I like to treat everyone with kindness and respect – well you know; most of the time (aka…if I’ve had coffee) but I am not sure whether this makes me a Gentleman, or just a gentle man. The jury is out on that one…I must admit I’m still a little confused…

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But whatever the verdict – I have found this issue on my mind a lot recently, largely thanks to something coming up in my kindergarten class which I didn’t quite expect. You see during “snack time” there is a small window in which I have to try and cram all the various rules around politeness, manners, and etiquette…into six year olds…who don’t even speak English…and would much rather have a discussion about which animal does the biggest poops. Naturally it’s a tough learning curve, and can be quite a challenge, especially as such rules differ from country to country, and from culture to culture…

Ah, and if you’re curious about the aforementioned poo-size rankings, they assure me it goes; 1.Elephant, 2.Giraffe, 3.Horse.

But this time around as the two boisterous boys madly scrabbled in a rush to grab the biggest banana I found myself commanding: “ah-ah-ahhh! Ladies first!” in some kind of involuntary reflex. To which they spun around, and queried “why?” 

I was a little lost for words…after all, I didn’t want to instruct them that girls are weaker, or need help because they’re hands are just for show, or whatever else…that would be way off, so…erm…errrr…I wracked my brain frenetically for something usable – but it was just like a submarine radar…beep-beep-beep, but picking up absolutely nothing.

“You should be a gentleman!”  I announced suddenly in a (possibly) unsure tone to which the two young boys stared back in confusion. This was what was always said to me as a kid, and it makes sense…I mean who doesn’t want to be seen as a gentleman?! It’s the epitome of class, and sophistication!

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Was that the right thing to say? It’s hard to know these days…you have to be extra careful, because every little thing offends every little person. And yeah,  I’m probably reinforcing gender stereotypes, and all that jazz…

But my wiring is of a rather traditional nature I suppose, at least when you consider the attitudes of other people who are in the 20s age group along with me; I remember my Ps & Qs (no one says that anymore, do they?), I hold the door open for people, pay for dates/meetings that I suggested, and always urinate on the toilet seat. Well you know, no one’s perfect. 

But yeah help me out  – what do you think? Do ladies go first?

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The Monkey King

Well guys I made it safely to Korea, after what was an utterly agonizingly long journey (27 hours – more thanks to delays? It sounds even worse when I write it out and say it back to myself!)...but anyway, as always on long haul flights you find yourself watching things just to pass the time, often it is a great thing as you catch films that passed you by at the time but you had sort of wanted to see…however after the first few films you still find yourself sat there, with a suddenly narrower and less enticing set of options – after all, I couldn’t write anymore, as the Thai lady next to me had spilled orange juice all over my my notebook – I said it was fine, it obviously wasn’t fine, but I had to keep things friendly between us if we were to endure this 17 hour nightmare.

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I had exhausted the “NEW RELEASES” category, so decided to dig around in the “INTERNATIONAL” category…possibly there would be some French art-house films, or a strange Scandinavian flick that may pique my interest. This was not to be – not when I say The Monkey King offered up as the best film going. I read the short description on what it was about, and was instantly hooked! Something about a monkey who becomes a king…or something…I guess the clue is in the name, but I just wanted confirmation of this. Without hesitation I hit that play button – the Thai lady looked up from her crossword, I could tell she was thinking “nice choice my friend, nice choice!” but we had that special kind of friendship where you don’t really have to say anything…the love is clear, without the need for stupid and pointless words. I nodded in confirmation and popped on my headphones.

DISCLAIMER: IF YOU WERE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE MONKEY KING THEN YEAH, PLOT SPOILERS OR WHATEVER…THE PLOT ISN’T ACTUALLY ON WIKIPEDIA, PROBABLY BECAUSE IT IS SO ERRATIC AND ALL OVER THE PLACE, I’M RAMBLING, SORRY. MY THROAT HURTS FROM ALL THIS SHOUTING, SO I AM GOING TO STOP WITH THE CAPITALS, HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND.

So the film begins with an explanation that there are three powerful entities that exist in the world; the deity, the demon, and heaven. Unfortunately the demon part of the equation is a total dick, and for no reason whatsoever is attacking the deity in heaven – he’s proper wrecking all of the lovely architecture and decor they have going on up there – and it is totally pissing off the deity crew. The demon has a big fire whip or something like that, no sword…errr…anyway, doesn’t really matter as the deity turns into a massive dragon and brays him all over the place – he is about to make the killing blow which would effectively make everything right in the universe, literally forever, but this girl stops him and says he will never do it again. The deity is blatantly a moron, and despite the fact he has lived forever has not learned that demons are probably prone to lying. Oh well.

After the fight we have a little look around, and everyone is a little disheartened that they will all have to do so much DIY to fix up heaven – it looks like utter shit and people are worried it will be an expensive job. To save time a beautiful lady called Nuwa sacrifices herself, by spinning around and turning herself into magical crystals which means that no one has to do anything at all, as heaven is magically fixed up – good times – one of the stones drops down from heaven though, and lands in a jungle…we then see a quick scene that shows the crystal has an embryo thing in it which then turns into a monkey. It was then that I assumed this was the monkey king  we would be dealing with throughout this…how long is this…two hours, Jesus Christ. Anyway, then in a rather sweet scene a small white fox comes up to the crystal and looks at the monkey, the hold out their hands…almost touching…then…they touch, and BOOOOOM – out of nowhere the paw burns up in flames and goes shooting up to heaven without much explanation, and then turns into three wise messengers who tell this beardy guy he has to train this monkey as he may be something special in future fights against the demon population.

So the beardy guy comes down and sees the monkey in question, playing around with his monkey pals – one of which who has a massive penis for a nose, which honestly I feel needs to be talked about because I just don’t understand what was going on there whatsoever. Anyway, the monkey accidentally kills a butterfly, and starts to cry about it – but beardy heals it and is promptly told he is awesome (this was the literal translation!) Naturally after this they are the best of buds, so they go flying off someplace in the clouds on a giant seagull.

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If any of this makes sense you are an absolute trooper. 

Alright, so meanwhile a woman with a candle for a face has a scroll which she is showing the demon guy. It basically says something about the Monkey King being a hell of a guy, ooooh I am leaving that unintentional pun in! Ahem…so yeah, it says he’s great. All of the demon guy’s pals are a little skeptical, a rhino scratches his chin, as a huge bear nods but doesn’t seem convinced and then this huge guy who looks like that dude from The Goonies speaks up and is promptly thrown in a lava pool. Short cameo for him, but worth it I feel.

When it comes to the Monkey Kings training it is an absolute doddle, he doesn’t really take it seriously but picks up  the 72 transformations quickly due to sheer natural talent. Everyone in the class is divided on their opinion of him, some people think he is a complete and utter asshole, whilst others thing he is just a bit of an asshole but largely fun to be around. Personally I wanted to cut my own throat due to how annoying I found the monkey impressions the actor was doing…lots of hehe-hoawww! haha-whooo! he-huh-he! Oh fuck off please. But I am one of those people who stick with films hoping they will just suddenly burst into life…usually this doesn’t happen, but I stick by my methods.

The Monkey King is shown the eye of Sauron by the beardy guy, which I am sure is a copyright violation, but no one seemed to mind. It is explained that it is fire, lightning, and a tonne of other terrible ways the Monkey King will die…but hey, if he survives them he gets to live forever. Not exactly a fair deal, so the Monkey King is shitting is pants. Beardy guy is all, “you’ll be okay”ish about it…but doesn’t offer much in the way of constructive help. Just flicks his beard around and says a big speech about immortality which just makes no sense. Lost in translation maybe…hey, speaking of which I am going to watch Lost in Translation after this…yeah…yeah I think I will…just…an hour and…err…loads to go…fuck.

So back in the Monkey Jungle all of the monkeys are really excited to have their best mate back around, they give him the catchy nickname of The Handsome Monkey King which he is naturally pleased with. However after the honeymoon period is over, penis nose is all “what about when you are not here? What do we do then? Go get some weapons and then we can fuck up people who wander into our bit of jungle!” 

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So the Monkey King dives into a magical pool to look, he is attacked by a giant fish which he kills and then brags about it to this fat mustache man who appears to be the emperor of the pool. Worst luck the fish was his bodyguard! Doh! Who would have thought it?! Eeee…well…anyway, they try to kill the Monkey King but he proves to be tricky, as he traps them in a giant bubble and then…errr, it all gets weird, I can’t remember – they give him some weapons and then –

ANNOUNCEMENT.

After the announcement my screen went dead…and went back to a raw loading screen…I had to get the lady to come help me with it – “NO WATCHING FOR TWENTY MINUTES, OK?”

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There is a God I guess. Let me just say, Lost in Translation is a great film…my Mother hasn’t stopped mentioning it since the first time I visited Asia…so I just nodded along although I hadn’t watched it myself…but yeah, great. I am sure it has nothing to do with the standard of the film I half-watched before it…no, no…not at all.

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