I’m With Stupid – Who’s More Annoying, Clever People Or Stupid People?
There is an old saying which goes: “There’s nothing more annoying than a sober man when you are drunk or a drunk man when you are sober.” On similar lines, clever people hate stupid people and stupid people hate clever people. That is just a simple and incontrovertible fact of life. Anyone with even the vaguest whiff of academic talent about them finds this out at a very early age.
Parents of young children, particularly if that child is an only child, spend a great deal of time and energy fretting about the extent of their progeny’s intelligence. Or they force the issue with flashcards and hothousing and suchlike. Parents really do not need to bother with all this stuff, or even seek any kind of professional opinion, if the child in question is a boy.
Teachers and psychologists are notoriously bad at determining how clever children actually are. To answer this vexed question, you have to pay attention to the real experts in the field. The people who can sniff out cerebral potential blindfolded and at a distance of 200 yards. Dumb kids.
If your son regularly comes home sporting scars and bruises from Indian Burns and Dead Legs, he’s probably clever. If his underwear is also in a constantly stretched state from receiving wedgies, he’s probably very clever. If he is also subjected to Titty Twisters and Wet Willies, he is in all likelihood a fucking genius.
You can’t use this method for diagnosing intelligence in girls though. Girls tend to inflict psychological damage on each other which is harder to spot. And even if you can spot it, the reasons for it are likely to be complex and convoluted and unlikely to have anything to do with perceived cleverness.
Some hatreds are just instinctive. Montagues hate Capulets, priests hate nuns and, as has already been established, clever people hate stupid people. But which is more annoying? And again, I mean the clever or the stupid rather than God botherers or fictional Italian families plagiarized by Shakespeare. Well, it depends very much on the nature of the clever people and the stupid people in question.
There are clever people who wear their intelligence like a light and largely irrelevant item of clothing, easily cast aside if the weather dictates it’s not really needed that day. Happy to talk about Bach and Beethoven one minute and equally happy to talk about football and fornication the next. These people are delightful company.
Conversely, there are other folk who are the most genuine, caring and open individuals you could care to meet who also happen to be thicker than a whale omelette. These people are also delightful company.
But there are also clever people who wear their intelligence like a noisy and clamorous suit of armour. People who think that their intelligence is somehow an achievement, which it is not. Intelligence is innate and although its final level is heavily reliant on childhood nutrition, you no more achieve it than you achieve your height or the colour of your eyes. What you do with that intelligence- qualifications, scrabble scores, chess championships etc- these are achievements. The IQ itself is not.
I am not saying that a high IQ is anything to be ashamed of. I am saying that having someone’s natural brightness waved in your face is not too dissimilar to having their cock waved in your face. You have to be really, really in the mood for it to be anything other than pointless and irritating. And even if you are in the mood, it has to be done with good humour and a sense of irony or it’s just not funny.
You only have to read the letters page in Mensa Magazine to understand that there are many clever people out there who just do not get life at all.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are the stupid people who think that they are clever. Try having a conversation with one of these people without having a verbal fight. It’s impossible. It’s also impossible to win. You can take their argument, pick it apart and then bury the remaining bits in a shallow, unmarked grave. Doesn’t matter. They won’t even notice. They will just assume they have won and walk away with a dopey smile on their face. They’re that fucking dense. As another old saying goes: “The only thing you win in an argument with an idiot is a headache.”
At the end of the day though, there is a way to make an annoying genius shut his trap. Just take him to one side and whisper in his ear : “You’re coming across as a bit of a Pseud mate”. Nothing deflates a pseudo-intellectual faster than being accused of being a pseudo-intellectual.
Sadly though, there is no way of shutting an idiot up. Apart from knocking them unconscious. Equally sadly, this is against the law. So purely on the grounds of lack of remedial action, I have to come to the conclusion that dumb people are marginally more annoying than clever people. Please don’t give me a wedgie.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013