By Robert A. Vella
“Good gosh, what a gully!” – The Quaz, circa 1971
No, dad wasn’t referring to the shocking ignorance of Americans back then; although, I certainly am now. Like a hilly ravine which erodes deeper with each successive flood, the gully of knowledge and awareness afflicting the American people these days is plunging down into the depths of intellectual deprivation. But, it’s even worse than that. The Quaz once described stupidity as:
“Ignorance expressed through action and opinion.”
Consider the following conversations I’ve had with locals recently. The two individuals quoted are typical, self-reliant working people who are active in our community. “ICM” is an evangelical Christian, and “ICN” is a small business owner.
ICM: “Yes, global warming is happening; but, the government is doing it.” [ICM was implying the chemtrails conspiracy theory]
Me: “Why would the government want to cause global warming?”
ICM: “I don’t know.”
Me (thinking to myself): How can anyone believe a conspiracy without knowing its motive?
ICM: “Fishermen have caught creatures which were half-human, half-animal like mermaids.” [ICM was trying to explain Jake the Alligator Man]
Me: “You believe in mermaids?”
ICM: “Yes, well…”
Me: “But, not UFOs?”
ICM: “UFOs are a lie.”
ICN: “I read our local community blog sometimes, but the topics are kinda crazy and the debates get very heated.”
Me: “The blogs I follow are a little more intellectual than that.”
ICN: “Are you saying we’re not intellectual!?”
Me: “No, I’m not saying that at all. It’s just that the blogs I follow bring in people from all over the world.”
ICN: “Like, where?”
Me: “For example, I was discussing the presidential election in Kenya recently with one of its citizens.”
ICN: “Do you talk with North Koreans too?”
Me: “No, it’s very difficult for the people of North Korea to communicate with the outside world.”
Me (thinking to myself): What does North Korea have to do with Kenya?
ICN: “What’s going on in North Korea?”
Me: “Something must be going on there because the U.N. just imposed economic sanctions on that nation by unanimous vote which included China and Russia – North Korea’s traditional allies.”
ICN: “China isn’t North Korea’s ally, is it?”
Me: “Yes, they are. Don’t you remember the Korean War? Plus, China has had close economic ties with Korea for centuries.”
ICN: [unintelligible mumbling while turning away from me]
Me (thinking to myself): Does ICN want to nuke North Korea?