In a World of BS This Guy Tells it Straight!

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

There’s a movement in the media, politics, and general pop culture; that glorifies simplicity in speech. It’s deeply rooted in a false sense of nostalgia that believes the past was a more honest and wholesome.

This is sadly bullshit, the past was a cesspool of lies, death, hate, and stupidity. Kinda like today.

Why do people have this ridiculous idea that we are unable to speak our minds and that everyone is trying to screw us over now but the past was so much better? That problem is due to three things: Glorification of Americana, Systemic Hate, and Lies.

Flim Flam Brothers from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
Flim Flam Brothers from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Glorification of Americana

Through movies and other media, the time period after World War II has been glorified as a golden age. Arguably it was, if you were a middle class, white male, with no left leaning political views. If you weren’t in that very specific demographic, it wasn’t all that great.

Despite this being a time of travelling salesman bamboozling and flimflamming all over the place, it’s still seen as a safe and honest era. Mostly because of movies and television, but also because anyone alive who remembers it was young and innocent at the time.

It was, however, a great time for racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Systemic Hate

We as a species love to find patterns in everything and even more we love to categorize everything. Once we’ve categorized and separated things into boxes, we then rank or judge value. It’s harmless when we’re talking about fruit, but when we talk about ourselves it gets dangerous.

The idea that certain races are mentally, emotionally, or physically predisposed to specific traits is a complete fabrication. The concept that there’s more than one race of humans on the planet is scientifically unsound.

Unfortunately, culturally, especially in Cananda and the US, we’ve had a lot of problems with hate. Historically there was slavery; recently there’s residential schools. All because of a need to separate or assimilate those who aren’t like us.

Thankfully, we are slowly moving away from such idiotic and barbaric ideas. Part of the backlash against our society becoming less hateful is a backlash against political correctness.

If you are not part of a culture or subculture that is attacked with systemic hate, you can’t understand the hurt that your “only joking” does. To them, the joke is funny because of things they’ve heard. With no one to say, “Hey. That’s hurtful!” systemic hate just keeps going.

Remember that you don’t have to be hateful to say something hateful. Political Correctness is just being a decent human being.

Liars

I promised I’d tell it straight, no BS, in the title so here it is:

YOU’RE BEING LIED TO!

All these politicians that want to make something great, push Canadian Values, or are saying it like it is; are lying to you. They are appealing to your Hate and False Nostalgia to get what they want. They may be lying to themselves at the same time, but a lie is still a lie.

 

Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments.

Later Days,

Éric

Intelligence?

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been watching Scorpion, it’s a fun procedural show. The storylines feel pulled from bad pulp novels but the characters are lovable and interesting. But it has me thinking about Intelligence.

TV Genius

It seems one of the new trends in movies and TV is the stereotype “Genius” (Warning Link goes to TV Tropes). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a new trend but it seems to have gotten new traction the past few years.

There seems to be two major types of “Geniuses” on TV the charming superbrain who is based off of Sherlock Holmes and the broken super-intellect.

Almost all the brainy detective types on TV are based off of Sherlock Holmes. Monk, Mentalist, Forever, Elementary, etc…

Most of the super-intellects that are broken are in cast centred shows. They vary from the mildly socially awkward but smoking hot Felicity from Arrow, to the broken and unable to function without help of Steve Urkle.

Does television have it right? Does a higher IQ mean you have to give up other parts of you mind? No!

Superiority

The characters of Big Bang Theory are just more interesting to watch for television audiences than a true genius.

Not only are they more interesting, they are more comforting. They always have something the audience can feel they are better at, even if it’s just seeing their own limitations. The audience thinks, I might not be able to understand string theory but they feel superior because they can comfort a friend.

Deus Ex Genius

In a story, it’s easy to believe that the character can determine the chemical composition of slime with their science kit in their parent’s basement, easy as long as the character is smart.

A weak writing plot is to have your super genius work like the hand of god to fix anything. If you’re going to do this make sure you build up that your character has been studying the area of science that you’ll be using. Just because someone is smart doesn’t mean they know how to do surgery.

The Lies of Intelligence

The Secret

Let me tell you a secret…

Intelligence is as hard to define as Talent and they are both destructive.

The general idea of genius or intelligence is that you have it or you don’t. That is total Poodoo. If you work, study, and dedicate yourself to something you will become an expert in that field. Intelligence isn’t something you’re born with any more than being able to drive a car or lift a hundred pounds.

I’ve had teachers tell me it was ok that I was getting 50-60 per cent on tests because I just wasn’t that smart. That’s the greatest excuse to give up. It’s also a total lie. I’ve taken IQ tests and I’m firmly in the “Above Average” category. But those tests check for logic and problem solving skills. Those are skills, learned skills.

Emotion

Robots are smart, logical, and have no emotions. So are certain Vulcans. It’s just another lie. Intelligence doesn’t depend on how little emotion you show. It’s not an either or situation. Both can exist in the same person. Some of the smartest people have been highly emotional.

Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

 

Who’s your favourite fictional Genius?

Éric