Back in my home
town in the 1950s, folks who were smart got out of town pretty fast
leaving a workforce somewhat-less-than-smart to occupy positions in
the banks and stores and whatnot. This created a sort of endemic stupidity
in the workforce. They were very nice people, simple folks without
a lot of intellectual depth. They were what they were. Things are
different now, of course, but back then that was how things were.
found a sort of recreation of this process in my local Mall, which I
call the Brain-Dead Mall. When you go in there and ask for service they
dont have a clue. Theyve worked in the store for some time
and they do what they do. There will be one Supervisor whos a
smart person and everybody else will be really borderline. If you asked
them a question that doesnt have a standard, canned answer, you
were in trouble. Trying to find out something technical was virtually
impossible. They may not know what a grommet is. Theyre pleasant
enough but extremely self-centered. Their world view revolved around
themselves and the way that they saw things. Asking a fancy question,
you become an instant outsider, seeing things differently. There was
a strong suspicion that you saw things that they did not and maybe youre
trying to be a smart ass. Well, that wouldnt be too hard to do.
this is sort of a malicious piece because its talking about people
who are about two bushels short of a full load but somebodys got
to staff these positions in stores in not very popular Malls. The pay
is wretched and the work place is second-rate. I wish I could think
of a song about that but the melody escapes me.
In your wildest
dreams you could never imagine talking to these people about politics,
religion, or books. You could probably talk to them about television.
I have a biased view about the kind of things they watch. Theyd
probably watch Gerry Springer a lot because, well, it doesnt challenge
them and it goes to show that there are people dumber than they are
by quite a bit.
a famous story by C.M. Kornbluth called The Marching Morons, originally
published in Galaxy magazine in 1951. This story is a Science Fiction
Except for a minority
of intelligent people who are supporting the whole structure, the whole
earth, is full of the unintelligent. Some guy who works in a menial
position as a bus driver or whatever is actually keeping these people
from destroying themselves. They have cars which have artificial elements
that indicate that they are going at a great speed but actually they
dont travel very fast because, if they did, the stupids would
kill themselves. Someone brought forward from the past develops a scheme
to send them all into space to an alleged paradise of a planet. Bye-bye!
All this was due
to a low birth rate among the intelligent and a much higher one amongst
the unintelligent. Perhaps there is a lesson in this. I think history
already experimented with this in mind in an ill-fated movement called
In any case, this
is the end of my Boxing Day rant against the intellectually challenged.
© Sonia Brock 2005