Friday, August 22, 2008


“This is the right way to hold a fork.”

“This is the right way to tie your shoes.”

“This is the right way to make a million dollars doing absolutely nothing.”

...and this is the right way to punch the crap out of those who insist there’s a right and wrong way of doing things.

For the record, I don’t believe in right or wrong - but just don’t tell my kids. In terms of parenting, it makes things a lot easier. After all, easy frees up time to spend on the hard, and, besides, it’s too damn time-consuming explaining to a child that the human race is a true study in contradiction. Well, maybe it’s not that time-consuming - I just don’t want to, okay.

We’re complicated, interesting and just plain screwy.

That, and we all like being right - knowing it all. Come on, it feels damn good to be the smartest prick... I mean, person in the room. And when you make someone else feel stupid - I mean, really small - damn, life is good.

I’m sure there’ll be those who’ll say, ”no, I’ve never done that.“ Bullshit! We’re programmed. Remember elementary school, maybe pre-school for those with a ”head-start” (to what, who knows - sorry, I digress)? The teacher would throw out a question and no-one would dare raise their hand, too damn afraid of being wrong and just plain stupid.

”No stupid answers“ my ass. If the teacher starts off with a stupid question, you’re sure to get a stupider (it’s a word... I said, it’s a word) response. Believe me, I was a teacher for a couple of years, and we can come up with some pretty lame-ass questions.

But anyway, where was I?

Oh, so the teacher coaxes and prods, and then moves straight to blackmailing.

”Come on, a gold star for anyone who gets it right.“

Little ”sucker“ raises his/her hand, and BAM! ”No, that’s wrong. Anyone else?“

Then another bribe thrown in - upping the stakes.

”Extra snack for anyone who gets it right, and THREE gold stars. I’ll even let you erase the board.“

Never mind that’s called stretching child-labor laws, but we’re trained to be stupid from day one.

Hand after hand goes up.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Shot down, until finally, not wanting to be left out (we even learn that crap early on in the game), the last hand goes up. A little uncertainty in the voice, looking around for the support that won’t dare be given - the right answer comes quivering out.

And there you have it. The seed planted. That feeling of being the smartest person in the room. Now, that little hand grows stronger as it’s raised high in the air, day after day, collecting gold stars like Phelps at the Olympics.

As a teacher, I always favored the kid who gave the wrong answer. There was always one who felt it their moral duty to challenge me - the establishment - the woMAN. Most of the time, their answers provided more insight than those of the Phelps’s in training.

Smart. Intelligent. Brilliant.

Highly, freaking overrated. Though, stupid seems to be taking the top spot at an alarming rate.

For those of you who might throw the “oh, so are you saying killing is not wrong?” Um... well, that’s a stupid question. Not right, or wrong, just freaking stupid. Why?

Because there are no absolutes. And don’t throw the death thing at me, either. When a dead person comes back and tells me what’s the deal, then I might know half the answers. And, by the way, if there are any dead people out there, PLEASE DO NOT COME BACK AND TELL ME A DAMN THING. Leave me the hell ALONE.

Anyway, all I’m saying is... um... wait, I know there was a point. Give me a second.

Oh..., I don’t know jack. And chances are, neither does that person standing next to you telling you there’s a right way to do it. Tell them to bite you... or give ‘em a hug.

If you were the kid who ate the paste while everyone else used it to make their masterpiece, hooray for you. I’m not saying you’re right, a little strange, maybe. But, oh, the more interesting.

The beauty of life is in the living (it), not the knowing (it). Or so, I think, maybe, perhaps.

What the hell, I’m right, aren’t I?


Don said...

I understand everything you meant. I don't on a smaller scale - this world as we know it - no, there is no such thing as right or wrong. On a spiritual side, I think there is. Why? I have to believe there is, if I want to stay sane.

I liked to challenge teachers. And too funny @ dead people don't come back and tell me ish. hahahaha. I feel you.

Tracy said...

I hear ya, Don.

Though, I lost my sanity a long time ago.

Don said...

You have all the sense in the world.