Stupidity—a Universal Human Flaw?
What Is Stupidity, Anyway?
To most of us, theOxford Dictionary definition,
1. Behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgement
2. The quality of being stupid or unintelligent
doesn't quite fulfill the outrageous actions, sometimes comic; oftentimes tragic, and the abject failure to apply good old fashioned common sense.
We've all witnessed classic examples in our lives; perhaps we ourselves at some point were guilty of such a lapse. Haven't we all, at some point, smacked ourselves upside the head, saying, "I can't believe I did something so stupid!"
Our large, well-developed brains are still not immune to lapses of clear thinking.
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.— Celia Storey
Sometimes, Stupidity is So Obvious
We can wonder aloud, in unison about what some people are thinking when they try to pull off some stunt, or make some innane comment.
The internet is full of videos of people doing utterly stupid things, trying to show off, or who knows what their intention actually was.
Some of the stunts people have pulled should have killed them; that they lived to tell about it, and share the video is astonishing. It further amazes me that they collectively seem to have no shame in sharing the videos showcasing their lack of gray matter!
Stupid is as stupid does, sir.— Forrest Gump
Stupidity in Song
Many songs have been written about stupidity. A large share of them deal with being clumsy with communications in romantic situations.
But, a few deal with other aspects of this universal problem.
Something Stupid by Frank Sinatra
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.— Attributed to Albert Einstein
Stupidity Tries by Elliott Smith
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.— Benjamin Franklin
Since making stupid mistakes and exhibiting gross lapses of judgement seems rampant, the usual human reaction is to make light of such things by poking fun at the results, or making exaggerated statements intended to draw laughter.
Bill Engvall is one such master. Below are both an exerpt from his stand-up comedy routine, and the song probably inspired by said routine.
Bill Engvall Comedy Routine
Here's Your Sign by Bill Engvall
Exaggeration and Apparent Invitation to Stupidity
Weird Al Yankovic isn't everyone's cup of tea, but in this context, he well illustrates the comedic form of exaggeration and play on opposites of what folks should do.
Go Ahead: Be Stupid!
Stupid Questions Abound
There are probably more stupid questions people ask than there are people who ask them. HUH? Meaning, there are some people particularly prone to asking stupid questions, and thereby ask more than their fair share, thus multiplying the number of questions well past how many people ask stupid questions!
Here's another song that talks about this, although the "stupid questions" in the song are more like the unknowable questions everyone has. But, given that the answers cannot be known, I suppose that puts them squarely into the category of stupidity.
Stupid Questions by Keller Williams
Alice Cooper has a song about stupidity as well: "Hey Stoopid!" It talks about life choices that are stupid and dangerous. However, I did not link the music video here because parts of it are not quite "G" rated.
But, if you want to watch it, just search the title and artist on YouTube, and it should come right up.
Another song about stupidity is about the gross stupidity of war, and this is probably more a war protest song than specifically about stupidity, but it does fall within the classification. This one is by Culture Club.
The War Song by Culture Club
Hopefully you have enjoyed this foray into the minds of the stupid. Hopefully, you have not found yourself described in any of these examples!
No disrespect was intended with any of this exploration. That there are so many examples of such human foibles now available for the asking on the Internet, just goes to prove how we are still falliable humans, and at any time "stupid" can sneak up and bite any one of us.
That we laugh at others' misfortunes is a matter for a different kind of article entirely.
And just so you don't feel too bad about human folly, let me end with a video of misjudgements by another species.
Humans Aren't Alone in Making Poor Choices...
© 2019 Liz Elias