I Call Bullshit

We live in desperate times when the combination of an omnipotent social media and slipshod education has produced a generation whose philosophical IQ is measured out in clichés.  I call bullshit!  Let me demonstrate with a random selection of the trite musings running around the Internet these days.

dumb-people

The meek shall inherit the Earth — Yeah, I know it’s biblical, but in 2017 some Wall Street investment broker with a roomful of lawyers is going to contest the will.

Age is only a number — You ever notice the people spouting this nonsense are all under 35?

That which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger — Clearly, whoever thought this one up was never hit by a bus.  When they haul you away from that little mishap, you’ll wish to hell the bus hadda finished the job.

White Privilege — Why am I being arbitrarily profiled because my ancestors happen to come from Northern Europe?  We have a name for people who judge other people by their racial ancestry. . . .

Everything happens for a reason — Do you really think the universe cares if you fall down the stairs?  Google Copernicus, ya moron!

Do what you love and the money will follow — I want to see the person who’s going to pay me to eat Doritos™, drink Pepsi™ and binge-watch Netflix™.

Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans — This is nothing more than a bad excuse for never making any plans in the first place.

You have to look through the rain to see the rainbow — You’re at a bus stop on a deserted highway.  It’s 9:30 at night and pissin’ down rain.  You haven’t seen a bus, a car, a person or a stray dog in over an hour.  Three bikers pull up and ask for your wallet.  Oh, look!  There’s the rainbow!

If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade — This might be true if life also handed you a pitcher, some water, sugar and something to stir it all with, and — BTW — one lemon isn’t going to make very much lemonade.

And finally:

Money isn’t everything/Money can’t buy happiness — I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor: take a wild guess which one I prefer.

Stupid Is As Stupid Was

quotesIt’s generally agreed that we’re living in an age of extraordinary stupidity.  Our role models are celebrities whose careers consist of wardrobe malfunctions, the highest ambitions of our children don’t reach higher than the stars of Reality TV, and our vision of the future is Season 8 of The Walking Dead.  Let’s face it, folks: Einstein, Newton, Archimedes and Copernicus are all spinning in their graves — even though most of us don’t know who the hell those people are!  However, here’s a thought: I don’t actually believe the human race is any stupider now, than it’s ever been. It’s just that, these days, our technology makes us aware of it.  Here are a few quotes from the past which illustrate my point.  First of all:

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”  Charles H Duell, Commissioner of US Office of Patents — 1899

Telephone

“It is impossible to transmit speech electrically. The ‘telephone’ is as mythical as the unicorn.”  Johan Poggendorrf, German physicist — 1860

“This telephone has too any shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”  Western Union internal memo — 1876

Film

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”  H.W. Warner (Warner Brothers Studio) — 1927

“I have determined that there is no market for talking pictures.”  Thomas Edison — 1926

Television

“Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility — a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.” Lee de Forest, inventor of the cathode ray — 1926

“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Darryl Zanuck, movie producer — 1946

“Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.”
Mary Somerville, radio personality — 1948

Computers

“There’s no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”  Ken Olson, Digital Equipment Corporation — 1977

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”  Thomas J. Watson, Chairman IBM — 1943

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”  Bill Gates — 1981

“The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper.” Cliff Stoll, Newsweek — 1995

Flight

“Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible,”  Simon Newcomb, mathematician — 1902 (two weeks before the Wright brothers proved him wrong.)

“Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.”  Marshal Ferdinand Foch — 1911

Odds and Ends

“It will be years – not in my time – before a woman will become Prime Minister.”  Margaret Thatcher — 1974

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology — 1872

“No audience will ever be able to take more than ten minutes of animation.”
Walt Disney executive, considering Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — 1930s

“That ‘rainbow’ song is no good. It slows the picture down.” an MGM producer, after first screening of The Wizard of Oz — 1939

But this is my favourite:

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Company, rejecting the Beatles — 1962

I rest my case.

Stupid People Declare War!

stupid peopleI’m starting to think stupid people have declared war on me.  In the last month, I’ve had three conversations that defy the laws of reasonable behaviour, and as Goldfinger once said to James Bond, “Once is happenstance.  Twice is coincidence.  Three times is enemy action.”  Could it be that stupid people have finally realized I’ve been making fun of them for years and have decided to fight back?  It looks like it.

I’ve already recounted my experience at the computer store, last week.  I’m probably prevented by law from talking about the exchange I had at Motor Vehicles, but here is the final straw that happened at a coffee shop (not a mega-brand multi-national, BTW) where I was just trying to waste some time while my ride was at the doctor.  (Again, believe it or don’t, this actually happened.)

The sign read:“Please wait to be seated”  Oops! The price of the coffee just got a little pricier.

“Hell-o.” said the girl with the judgmental smile

“Can I just get a coffee?”

“To go?”

“To stay

“We have a minimum charge during the afternoon.”

“How much?”

“$4.75”

“No worries”

“Would you like a menu?”

“No, just coffee.  Large Americano.”

“There’s a minimum charge.  $4.75.  Large Americano is only $3.99 plus tax.”

“Right.  I’ll just give you the other 75 cents — plus tax if you like.”

“We can’t do that.  It has to be a menu item.”

“Just charge me $4.75 for the coffee.  What’s the problem?”

“We can’t do that.  The cash register is coded.  It only accepts menu items.”

At this point I’m a little frustrated but still reasonable. If the computer says I can’t have a large Americano, and the chick with the judgmental smile is thinking, “Why doesn’t this old bugger just go away?” who am I to rock the boat?  However, defiantly, I sit down — $4.75 or no $4.75.

“Let’s do this: forget the large Americano.  Why don’t we …”

“I’m not trying to be a bitch.  It’s our manager’s policy so people don’t just order a small coffee and sit here all afternoon.”

Exactly my scam, but I wasn’t going to tell her that.

“Fair enough.  I don’t think you’re a bitch.  It’s okay.  Let’s  not worry about the large Americano.  Just give me two medium Americanos.  Alright: that’s $2.99 — twice — problem solved.”

The judgmental girl held up two fingers.

“That’s…”

I can see her doing the calculations in her head.

… $9.50 (slight pause) plus tax.”

“No, $2.99 which is 3 dollars.  Right?  (big pause) Times two (even bigger pause) is six dollars.”

The judgmental girl was clearly losing her cool and started speaking to the old fella in front of her as if he was deaf, half blind, mostly stupid and had just escaped from “The Home.”

“Our minimum charge is $4.75.  $3.99 for a large Americano isn’t enough money.  It isn’t enough.  $2.99 is even less.”

“But I’m ordering two.”

“I didn’t make the policy.  My manager says ‘Our minimum charge from noon to five is $4.75.’  Here: it’s printed right on the menu.  That’s $4.75 and $4.75 (counting on her fingers) which is $9.50.”

I couldn’t help myself.

“Plus tax.”

“Plus tax.  Yes.  Okay.”

“Okay, you win.  Give me a medium Americano (big bad look from the judgmental girl) to go.”

Sigh of relief from both of us.

“I’m sorry.  It’s our manager’s policy.  I just work here.  I have to do what they tell me to.”

“No problem.  I totally understand.”

——————————

At this point, the score is Stupid People: 3 — WD Fyfe: 0.

I’ll keep you posted.