Monday, March 26, 2012

Stupid Smart People

It's easy to be happy if you are stupid. It's harder to be happy if you are smart. It's stupid to think that you need to be sad because you are smart.

Smartness can lead you to all sorts of things, but they don't have to be the prescribed ones. (The ones, I mean, that are written into conceptual law by the movies and the rock stars.)

Lately, it has been pretty much been treated as a given, by the intellectual set, that once you get smart you need to lose faith, lose hope and lose your sincerity. A policeman gets his badge and gun and uniform on that hard-sought day; a smart person gets smartness, recieves cynicism and loses faith, because he feels he must. A smart person leaves behind his smile, but puts on the robes of sullen superiority. He sees into the world and, so, sees its dark truth; therefore, he must be sad. To be happy is to be foolish; to be happy is to be a fool who grins in the face of tragedy, the smart person thinks. Anyone who is happy, the smart person asserts, is a fool, because the Earth is wrapped up in the twine of misery as the cork core of a baseball is wrapped up in twine of a more mundane ilk.


Some creative types, who walk the roads unknown, see sadness as a job-requirement because high-profile people with high intelligence have been sincerely sad.

If only we could stop feeling that we need to wear plasterboard masks and stage cloaks. If only we could stop turning ourselves from multi-faceted prisms that throw spectral light in all directions into two-dimensional cardboard cutouts that make two-dimensional statements -- the cardboard cutouts of consciously constructed identity.

It's easy to be happy if you are stupid. It's harder to be happy if you are smart. It's stupid to think that you need to be sad because you are smart.

3 comments:

  1. So true! Very Interesting read this week, Chris! As a mother of two kids in Mensa we were counseled early on to never watch the news or have the newspaper in our house partly bc of the intensity of the kids reaction to such things. Some gifted people do understand things at a deeper level and do take on a lot of the pain and suffering they see around them. Hopefully these strong feelings call them into action, not into depression. but I swear it feels like a very fine line sometimes.

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    1. (Shoulda hit "reply" but I didn't. See below.)

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  2. Hi, Krista. Yep. My kids are both sharp-cookies, too. You do have to feed them reality in small doses. Sheltering is bad, sometimes, but one needs to be careful not to overload sensitive kids. It is a constant balancing act, helping them to toughen up but keeping their little poets' hearts intact... Such a job, being a parent.

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