Thursday, May 10, 2007

Politically Incorrect Blog: "Stupid Is Good"

I used to think stupid was good.

But the older I get, the more I realize that stupid is bad.

And outrightly dangerous.

Some time ago, I took a temporaty job. I was at one end of the plant, and the forelady, just in from somewhere,
hustled me off to another part of the warehouse, where I was introduced to work left behind by a negligent operator. I had to fix the machine and then rearrange the work.

I thought I would joke my way out of and be assigned back to my own machine/cubicle. "Hey, remember old Freddie Prinze-- 'Eees not my job!'"

"Dat ees your job," she shot back.

"And you (pause) are stupid!"

So I slipped into her mode, reached into my breast pocket, yelled "Important Documents!" and said, "Look here, I have M Sc Degree from University of Ranchinpur! I only work at Proctor & Gamble because Canada is stupid!"

She went back to her official tone.
"We have rules in Canada, she said. What you say is impossible, you see. And you are stupid.

What can you do when you live in a shoe?

People don't get your jokes. You want to buy mayonnaise, you have to use sign language. "No not Fok like this, Fork like this in jar."

You tell your dentist you have a tart taste in your mouth and he thinks you're a connilinguist. Nobody understands what you're telling him.

Canada doesn't have a garrison mentality, the garrison has been long overrrun.

And by stupid people, whose first language, more often than not, was English.

I used to think that hanging out with a dipstick or a shit-kicker would be fun. There would be no challenges, just lots of fun at work.

I mean, would you rather hang with a dipstick or a shit-kicker or some MENSA creep who could
make your as*hole snap at fifty paces and is probably working on night courses that would get him into high-level government?

Hang with the shit-kickers, I'd say. Shit-kickers are more fun, more often than not, they smoke and drink and tell funny stories.

But the stories I hear at work these days are not funny at all.

There is the anti-smoker who sidles right alongside you from three doors downs and tells you to put out your cigarette.

At lunchbreak, at the picnic table, you move up to a lady who is eating custard. You decided to put on a little charm and say, "Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet..."

And she says, "Hey, man, what's a tuffet?"
"You are a psycho!"

Stupid is not good.

Stupid people are not only one-note artists, they are hightly manipulative, and damn annoying.

I walk out of the plant washroom. She is right there outside. "Did you flush?"

How in f*ck did you get to be trirty-six and still live?

I swear I am a stupid-person magnet.

They glom onto me like gnats, whose sole purpose in life is to fly right up people's noses.

I must be putting out signals.

Aha, theres one more smartguy who's trying to hide his own nuttiness. Oh how easy it will be to get his goat!


Josie said...

Ivan, I work with the most incredibly stupid people, it boggles the mind. I think somewhere along the way, their brains actually atrophied. I think all they have inside their heads are little grey, wizened vestiges of grey matter. There is a cadre of women there who are in their 50s, and they have been working there since their early 20s. For some of them it was their first and only job. They have no idea what goes on in the outside world. If I try to suggest something new to them, their mantra is "That can't be done."

It's really scary to look at them, all lined up, quietly peering into their computer monitors. It sometimes reminds me of a living graveyard. What a terrible way to spend a whole lifetime. They have no talents, they have no creativity, they have no imagination. ****Shudder****


Donsie said...

Morning Ivan, I don't believe people are stupid, just uneducated. :-)
In South Africa we have 11 languages. And I can only speak 2 and understand the basic of the other 9.
Yes some people do not have brains and I will not keep that against them because they can't help it.
But we do have a language problem in South Africa that makes it REALLY difficult some times to do a job becuase you can't TALK!!

islandgrovepess said...

It might be the province, Josie.

I get the notion the British Columbia might be the most featherbedded province in the union, and no other province or territory would tolerate the kind of people you describe for very long.
Ontario is very hard-edged and competitive, even in the Civil Service; there is always a culling and a cutback. Many, oh- too- many government workers get upwards of $100,000 a year in Ontario and civil service Darwinism is a fact.
It is possible that in B.C., and probably some of the newly created territories, it is not survival of the fittest, but the fittingnest.
So you end up with dope rings in high government-- not rings of druggies, but rings of dopes.

But then have a look at our own Premier here in Ontario, the top guy...Right out of Jerzy Kosinski's novella, "Being There."
...Seems all he has to do is "be there."

We've had a standoff with native people in Caledonia that's gone on for a year. It takes $40,OOO a day just to pay the Provincial Police, let alone the lawyers and the peacemakers. Nothing is being done and the bills keep climbing.
Meanwhile, underneath all this, marginal civil servants have to fight tooth and nail to keep their jobs. Nothing stupid survives in this jungle, just the people on top and the smart people around them to handle and protect them.

Dopes on top, many of them corrupt, and smart people at the bottom, and under the smart people the insecure contract workers.
Thank god for the Sheila Frasers of the world. A good Inspector General is worth her weight in gold.


islandgrovepress said...


That is a revelation.

It makes me begin to understand South Africa and her problems.


islandgrovepress said...

p.s. to Donsie,

Isn't it frustrating when you are in your own country and you can't
talk? In Canada, we only have two official languages, and after the hundreds of years, we can make each other out.
Eleven languages would boggle the mind!


Sienna said...

Why that's ewaxctly what I wath saying to Mummy and Daddy!!

Stoopid stoopid Powlice!

I wath only driving fast to save gas and had the damn headlights off to save electrisity.

Whats a poor gal to do for crying out loud, just trwing to set an exampull.

Dwinking and dwiving? Who said I can't do that, isn't that why they made automatics? so you could have one hand fwee to answer your phone and sip my booty delicious.

Take away my liceness then, see if I care (luv my picture baby)

Stoopid stoopid stoopid

Luv yas

Pawis. xcx

Donsie said...

Ivan, yes VERY furstrating. See the black people in SA can speak a little bit English or Afrikaans [ok let me refrase this, you get uneducated people, you get black people that are VERY smart and in very good jobs that are educated]
But your normal day to day work.
Lets start from the beginning. In the old South Africa the black people did not have the opportunities the white people had where schooling was concern, and not the topic now, anyhow, so the average black person doing house work or garden work has limited language skills.
To communicate is difficult, because they can do the normal job but when you want to teach them to iron in a different way or do something special in the garden you most of the time must show them.
But we are coping with it, hopefully the next generation of people of any color in SA would be a smarter generation....

islandgrovepress said...


If the whole thing werent such an upset and a bother for your, I would laugh out loud.

For a whille, I lived in the boonies of Manitoba. You'd hardly see a Mountie.
But date that Mountie's girlfriend once and he'll be all over the back quarter-section looking for you, waiting for you to make a mistake when driving.
I was finally caught, with the girlfriend, in a ditch...Don't know how I ended up in a ditch. Heh. There went the licence for a while.

Well, let's be really poliically incorrect.
When I lived in Newfoundland-Labrodor, they used to have an expession:
"If you drink, don't drive.
"But if you do drink, drive 'er!"


islandgrovepress said...

Well, Donsie, in Ontario, Canada, in l969, some really stupid judges decided to have teachers stand down and not teach at all, letting the child direct his/her learning.

Open concept learning.

This was called the Hall- Dennis way. The idea was that the child knew more than the teacher when it came to finding his road to learning.

By l980, you'd have high school graduates who could neither write nor add. In Canada!
It took another generation to go back to the Three R's--Readin', Writin' and 'rithmetic--before Ontario education regained its high standards.
The Hall-Dennis report on Education: Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid.
The same with divorce laws and now new definitions of marriage.

I sometimes think we're all guinea pigs in this provice. Fodder for the lawyers and the judges...Create trouble so the lawyers and educators can make money.

I would not be surprised if education in South Africe today is far better than Canada's was in l970.
Even the "advanced" countries can make stupid mistakes when it comes to public policy, especially in education.


kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I have often bemoaned the fact that I attract crazy people, but at least crazy is more interesting than stupid.

isalandgrovepress said...

Heh, Kimber.

I had to go to your blog to find that the moon is waning, and 33 per cent is left.

Nothing nutty about me :)


ilandgrovepress said...

p.s. to kimber,

Please, please, don't hit me with a meme.

I haven't got the technical skill
to do those, and they take so much time away from writing. (Notice somebody has hit you!)


Donnetta Lee said...

Oh,I think there are some really stupid people out there! Some of them have very high IQs, too. But that doesn't take their "stupid" away! They are the narrow minded, small thinking people with little care for anyone else. Yuck!

islandgrovepress said...


Yeah, I've worked with the l40-plus people.
Odd forms of life. They can program like crazy, set up little production lines in mailing rooms and do really clever things.
The ones I've met were, strangely left-handed (sinister?)
I worked with a girl named Catherine Ford (she now works for the Calgary Herald, I think). She would polish her genius IQ like an opal. But nasty: "Ivan, you think youre so unique. In Calgary there is a whole nation of guys like you."
So I thought I'd lay a real zinger on her and say, "Hey, Ford is kind of a mobile name."

Anyway, Kathy tried Toronto for a while, and Toronto being just about as hip as L.A. in those times, pretty well chewed her up and spat her out.

But she really must have had brains though. I see her on TV all the time nowadays, but lately she's been off.
I was so charmed when she tried to show her vast philosophical knowledge and began to lecture people on the "Zeet Geest" on TVO television.
Nobody said "it's pronounced 'Cite Guyst', stupid" but the announcer managed to correct some of her notions by example. It think it was Steve Paikin, smooth as glass.
Now Steve Paikin went to Victoria College, Toronto, where all the Toronto writers used to go, and I think Cathy had been something of a drop-out.
The elusive quality known as class overcoming a brash Miranda?
I don't know.
I went to Ryearson Polytech, where all the Ivans seemed to go. :)


EA Monroe said...

Stupid? Oh, you mean "intelluctually challenged?" Today, I was confronted by plain old incompetence from usually "smart" people. I was ready to slap around the Chief Operations Manager. I don't know if it's "stupid" as much as a lack of common sense. I could never call anyone "stupid."

islandgrovepress said...

Less and less of it around today.
You are a kind person, not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings.

I think I carry around some genes unkindness.

Some years ago, my daughter, who is a technical writer, observed she was badly used and overworked by her boss, a mining company executive.
"I do all this extra work and all you do is **ck the dog all day!"

Chip off the old blog, I guess :)


Trevor Record said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor Record said...

Ivan, you are a funny old guy.

There are a lot of kinds of stupid, and I probably fit the bill for many of them. Absent-minded? Sure. Reckless? Often enough. Egotistical? I am guilty as hell of it. But I suppose, at least, I am not dumb in the sense that I really am the creep who is taking night courses in his spare time.

(I still drink and smoke, though. But most people think my stories are just weird.)

islandgrovepress said...


From the little bit I read of your stuff I think you may qualify as honorary "quark" here. I do notice you have a flair for science fiction and Last Days. You may be familiar with us sub-atomic particles. We are the Quarks.
"Quarks" in this blog are mosttly female, they are inseparable, they come in several flavours and they're all good writers... But quarky.
They have bestowed upon me the title of Antiquark, though I love them dearly.

Cult anybody?

It is exremely rare in blogs to find someone who is 21 and really talented.
You may want to send us something, in some form, so the quarks can appraise. I am sure they will want to vote you onto Island Grove Press
Getting published is extremely difficult, even in blogland, but you just got first place in a competition, and it looks like you're well on your way.

I feel so sorry for beginning writers. It's like that Bon Jovi song: "We all know the place
Where the faces are so cold."

I submitted my second novel to a big New York agent.
"Sorry," she said, "We don't take first novels.
"But it's my second."

"As far as we're concerned, it's your first."
Well how the hell do I get in?

"You know your way around. You know what to do."

Well thanks.

I do know my way around, but the fiction crowd is so insular that any hint at all of an author making money at journalism immediately labels him as a mass circulation writer, and he is soon called a sellout
and a prick.

Welcome to the monkey house.

Ivan said...

You'll never get my goat!--I've put him away.

islandgrovepress said...

Hi JR.

"Profile not available", huh?

Ah well. You're already back, one way or another.

That was quite a swan song in your last blog, the You-tube musical entry. Good way to go out; streak of talent. Eat your heart out, AC/DC, and I mean the Aussie musical group.
How promising we are at l8.

And how we seem to go to hell by 38.
Thanks for staying interested in this blog.
No doubt you are working on your magnum opus.
Might just come out with a snapper.



Josie said...

Hey, Ivan, is JR back?

This is a great post, and one that hits close to him for me (as you can tell...) Some times people with the highest "IQ" can be the stupidest.


islandgrovepress said...

JR's old blog is still up, with the You-tube and his music when still a kid. He had promise, and he was cute.
Kind of a familiar pattern. We cute, promising people end up in large institutions full of maniacs.
Ugly, acquisitive people soon begin to wear us down. Cindarella and the sisty-uglers.
One consolation, I suppose is that the "High IQ" people don't read, neither do most of them write very well. They just act.

Something I picked up from the dumpste outside the book store, old quotes from Robert Luis Stevenson:

"The best that is in us is better than we can understand; for it is grounded beyond experience, but guides us, blindfold but safe, from one place to another."

Good things are found sometimes when you are in the dumper.

Maybe JR is pearl- diving.


Josie said...

What a great quote. I think he's talking about that "thing" that gets us through life, no matter what life throws at us.


islandgrovepress said...

Stevenson much underrated these days.


EA Monroe said...

Hi Ivan! How is Saturday treating you? For once in I've forgotten how long, it's not raining here OK land! No tornadoes either.

Trevor seems "quarky" enough to be a quark. I enjoyed his story that won Jason's contest -- not weird at all to me!

I better go see what the C-A-T and D-O-G are up to!

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Liz,

Saturday not going to badly, but I dread the long trip of going ninety miles to see my old Mommer, who is 95 and still going strong.
...Hate going through Toronto; frigging place getting as bad as maybe Baltimore Maryland, though
it remains architecturally a beautiful city, with houses backing into well-treed, grassy ravines.
Glad Quarkhood seems to like Trevor.
I like his writing. I wonder what he reads.
You're a mom.
Happy Mother's Day.


Josie said...

Ivan, you still have your Mom? Omigosh, I'll bet she's adorable! Please wish her a Happy Mother's Day from me. Tell her Josie says hello. Tell her to keep boychik in line... Ha!


islandgrovepress said...

Yep, she's still alive and spunky.
(She has stopped beating me not too long ago).
...That's not to say my poor father entirely avoided the rolling pin until he passed on some years ago.
Family motto: Violence is golden!

But she hasn't lost her looks!
I'll say hello to her for you.

And happy Mother's Day to you, Josie!

EA Monroe said...

Why, thank you, Ivan for your happy Mom's Day. You can tell your mom I said Happy Mother's Day along with Josie. Although, she might threaten you with her rolling pin and want to know who all those wicked women are! Hah!

Josie said...

Liz, Ivan will just have to tell his Mom the Quarks are after her boychik... :-)

Ha! said...

IQ's overrated; EQ's where it's at.

Anonymous said...


My mother used to say, "You know those renegade randy priests?"
"So where's the surprise?
"Priests come from the people.
"Maybe even Pope John once had a girlfriend."


islandgrovepress said...

Did high school central casting ever have you in that play by Dylan Thomas, "Under Milkwood"?

I played the part of Nogood Boyo, sitting drunk, in his boat.

Ah well, my mother loved me all the same. "You are blue about losing girlfriened number five?
"Don't vorry, Ivan, there will be number six and number seven."

Ah, the primary relationship.
I'se blue my my momma loves me all the same.


Islandgrovepress said...


YOu're right.
Reason alone really goes after the fact.
You can't live by bread alone.

Speaking of "can't", I'm still trying to digest Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

He did a good, though murky job, though I don't think Kant ever had a girlfriend.
Maybe that's why he finally killed himself. Ha.


Josie said...

Ivan, Pope John Paul once had a girlfriend, and he was an actor and a playwright as well. He was a very cool dude.

I see JR has become a "lurker". Start your blog again, JR...!


islandgrovepress said...


I quote from the venerable sophists known as the Coasters, from their Libra Sum, "Charlie Brown."

"Your momma's hip. She knows what cooks!"

My momma was hip enought to know that Karyl Woltyla, later to be Pope JP II, did indeed have a girlfriend at one time. Should they have mated, the general IQ (EQ?) of Poland would have been raised to the stratosphere.

No more quotes like "Polish astronauts will be attempting to land on the sun...They are going in at night."
(...I am vaguely Polish, so I can say that. :)

I just had to google for the real authors of the Fifties' song,
"Charlie Brown"--serious scholarship, you understand.
Sez Coasters website:

Like most Coaster's songs, this was written by the songwriting team of Leiber And Stoller. They wrote hits for many artists, including Elvis Presley, The Drifters, and Ben E. King. The songs they wrote for The Coasters were usually more comical.

islandgrovepress said...

Josie and Quarks,

JR can lurk all he wants.

I don't know if he writes poetry, but this just came in from Janet L.
Harvey...Kind of got me right where I live:

Heart be still

Janet L. Harvey

Love is: sun kissed morning

post script of dawn's diamond tears

Swallowed by day's insomnia

Be still and hear the language of the rose

Singing its dirge-like sadness

How does a flower of such beauty and grace bear a thorn

of murderous, near-Viking fury.

Dormant in her dry intimate pain

Chilled wind shudder as cold air quails her

Many seeds in her bosom

Much beauty still, tinged with fading aroma

Much beauty yet….. As beauty was.

Heart be still…. Remember. Fragrant aloes

The dream is yet to be again.
As dreamer lives.
On light.

Garden of life coded in whorling breath

So tend to your silence

Trevor Record said...

Ah, I do know about quarks, although my specialty is quirks. (I like science fiction and "last days", but I write in a lot of different genres. A couple of weeks ago I even tried my hand at a horror/grossout story.)

Submit something to you, you say? What would that entail, just emailing you something I have written?

Most 21-year-old blogs are about what one did on the weekend (usually drinking). I've only been writing with any degree of seriousness sicne I was 19 or so, and my earlier works are painful for me to read.

Hmm, the insular writing community sounds like the insular everything-else community. I think it's the side effect of a self-defense mechanism.

Heh, welcome to the monkey house indeed (Vonnegut, right?)

islandgrovepresss said...


Yeah, insular writing communities.

"What will happen if some new writer comes on the scene who will blow most of us Canadian writers out of the water?"

"Why, we will destroy him!"

that's about the way it is.
Mordecai Richler was the first to say this out loud, and he was not an elitist, neither was he insecure.

You could email us some of your stuff, or, if it is short, put it right into this comment area.

If you want a real laugh, google
Gerard Jones (I think I have a link on top).

Here is a guy fory years older than you, has been rejected electronically
50,000 times (sic) and still has the attitude of a cocky bright boy.

I did finally read his GINNY GOOD, the book he finally got published and I should like to say that the book was indeed GOOD.
Lately though, Gerard has gone into funny scenes, an attitude that might make King Fahd of Saudi Arabia appear like a Zionist.
So bitter is Gerry over, uh, Catholics.
We have since parted company.

But I get a chuckle out of Gerard's opening email to me.

I had said something about Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Gerry said,

"I kick Vonnegut's ass, by the way, and I a probably better than even you."
Hey man, that's confidence, that's ego!

Reminds me, somehow, of Norman Mailer's retort to Gore Vidal, thirty years ago, on the Dick Cavett show. "Don't call my a crypto-fascist you queer!" Heh.

I felt, for some reason, that I should have repeated something like that, but it's 2007, and you don't want to egg anybody on.

Sure, send Island Grove Press something.
I'm sure it'll liven up these pages.


islandgrovepress said...

p.s. to Trevor Record,

Gerard Jones has been, he feels, badly used by the publishing establishment.

Here is Gerard Jones sallying forth on Opera:

Chapter Forty-six (excerpt)

"God knows what God knows, but what you don't know is that I change lives," Oprah says. "I touch hearts. I'm a good person."

"Pfssh. All your sappy, sob stories are designed to do nothing but entertain people and make money. Sappy sob stories are entertaining. War is entertaining. Shock and awe, baby. Rape, serial killers, mass murder, abduction, race riots, sex slaves, cancer, genocide, global warming, train wrecks, tornadoes...human suffering of every kind and of every description, it's all entertainment and it's only purpose is to sell stuff. Two birds, one stone—you entertain people with problems, then sell 'em solutions during the commercials. You scare the crap out of 'em in one breath and sell 'em protection in the next. You and the whole media and entertainment conglomeration is completely full of shit, that's all. You have to be. If you said anything worth saying you'd get yanked off the air. That's just plain nuts and it's about time someone told you. You sell greed and vanity and fear and impossibility and chicken soup and celebrity schlock. Every word you say is a lie or you couldn't say it. You cheat and steal and instill nothing but envy and gluttony and sloth and eternal sickness in the hearts and minds of ordinary consumers. Oh, yes, let's all sit around in front of the TV and wait for Big Bird to buy us a Mercedes-Benz. That's what Oprah wants."

"Oprah wants nothing of the sort."

Gerard Jones

Needless to say, Gerard Jones has some opinions in the voice of his narrator.

Ivan said...

A true lurker would stay anonymous, but I'll quit commenting.

islandgrovepress said...


Why quit.

All the quarks love ya.

Just because you've stumbled on the hardest market in North America, even if pocket size--is no reason to quit.

Hey, you play guitar three times as well as I do.

And half my writing is a regurgetation of somebody else I'd read over the past forty years.

Maybe we can all learn something from Trevor. New blood, to coin a phrase.


Josie said...

JR, don't stop commenting. Start your blog again.


islandgrovepress said...



Trevor Record said...

Mordecai Richler stands against me? Why, I loved his Jacob two-two books as a child, it will pain me to destroy the man. Gerad Jones, however, I will not hesitate to crush under my mighty boot since this is the first time I have ever read anything he had written. Although he does sound like a character.

Now, I'm sorry I haven't sent you anything yet Ivan. I've had some ideas, but it felt forced when I tried to make them into stories! I will send you something soon.

islandgrovepress said...

Well, Trevor, you might just destroy poor dead Mordy.

As for Gerard Jones, he does write sweet and purty in his GINNY GOOD, but lotsa luck in squashing him.

Gerard did complain to me about some Enlish teacher "failing my ass"--and that was in high school
I presume no one "failied your ass" in high school.
You are one clever and talented dude.
Don't push the accelerator of your talent too hard. It's there and it will drive itself.

Send something when ready. You don't have to work too hard to impress me or the quarks, we're pretty laid back...Seems only Miss B (where you comment now and again) is the only one in the literary the blogoshere that has swallowed both dictionary and thesaurus.
Wordy writers are shat upon in Toronto, as I found out some years ago. Be natural and be your irascible self.


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