Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stupid Is As Smoker Does

The title of this post is not from a sequel to Forrest Gump. Sorry, I hate to get your hopes up.

Today I decided I was going to be healthy and get a salad for dinner at the supermarket. When I got to the checkout lane I was behind two women. I shall describe them to you so you can get the picture of this situation in your mind.

Lady one, we'll call her Sally.

Sally was wearing a tight black skirt, black nylons, white hooped earrings, and a haircut from the 1980's. She was well put together but you could tell she possibly had had too many evenings down at the bar singing karaoke.

Lady two, we'll call her Tammy.

Tammy was wearing some jeans hiked up to her belly button. Sneakers with no socks. A baseball cap with jean material and a beige rim, glasses, and a striped blue and white quarter sleeve shirt. Her midriff decided the shirt was unnecessary. Underneath the dollar store baseball cap she had wispy gray hair that seemingly hadn't been brushed or washed for a day or so. Tammy's voice was somewhat corse.


Tammy is at the end of the line checking out. She has just bought a carton of cigarettes. Tammy looks towards Sally after the cigarettes are rung in and says "they say cigarettes make you stupid....". But she DIDN'T finish her sentence. She just turned back around and slid her credit/debit card.

Sally looked at me with that bewildered look. A look that said, boy I thought I had it bad in 1980.

My reaction was to place this moment in my mind to later write about it.

Then it got better....

Tammy's card didn't work. The portly young teenager that looks like the son on Family Guy couldn't read her card. A manager had to come over and "authorize". However, it turns out that Tammy had told portly cashier boy that she was running an EBT card instead of her credit/debit card. If you're unaware, an EBT card is what is given to you when you're using funds from welfare and other government assistance programs.

Well, ultimately everything was figured out. Tammy "the intellectual" got her CARTON of cigarettes. Sally got her whole rotisserie chicken, and box of wine. And I got the pleasure of witnessing the humor of simply daily moments in society.

Friday, September 3, 2010

You Decide Cool

I realized that the phrase and use of the term "cool" is so fluid. So many things can be deemed "cool". Seriously, depending on who you are and your social setting. literally, gum on the wall of a building could be considered cool.

Gum on a wall? Naw.

Yep! Check it out...

But beyond gum there is a deeper problem with our notion of good, bad, and awesome. Take for example your apartment in New York City. The smaller it is the better the experience becomes. The "cooler" you are. Even if it's a 10x10 closet on a 15 floor walk-up with no AC and a neighbor that always billows the smell of curry into your hallway. Even then, you are cool.

But say you just graduated college, and moved into your suburban apartment in a little town outside of Topeka Kansas. You better believe that no one wants to see your futon next to your bed. That is if in fact you aren't using the futon as your bed.

And what about gamers? Gamers use to be the most outcast groups in society. In high school you would wonder if they had multiple mouse pads in their rolling backpacks. But when you become older it's okay. Once you've dated and obtained a real adult job, gaming is like that super cool hobby that makes you look a bit more intelligent than the people that spend their nights with a beer and a baseball game. If you're a gamer you can start to speak another language that no one understands. And since they're unable to enter into your conversation they feel like outcasts. Which, in turn, means they aren't "cool".

Even moms can still be cool. Yep, you heard me. Moms. Mothers can do things like join the PTA or other local community organizations. They start to plan things and get other "ladies" involved. Pretty soon they say things like..."I'm going to lunch with the ladies". This then implies that they have also created a "cool" standing amongst their social PTA sub-culture.

But what about poor lowly you? I know what you're thinking. Christal, you're ridiculous. How can you think everyone can be cool?

Well they didn't make the movie Never Been Kissed for popular kids. Trust me. When you officially grow up you will see what I'm talking about. Until then, keep your head down, and try to realize which groups you could potentially gain the ranking of "cool" in.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knowledge Matters. Sometimes...

I have a fervent annoyance for arrogant behavior. I think knowledge is pretty basic. Either you cultivate your mind or you don't. But don't underestimate those that might not appear to be cultivating. They'll surprise you.

I think, no...I know, that intelligence flows and ebbs based on your current circumstances. You don't often know how to be the best parent until you become one, right? And even then parents still falter, but they're considered better experts on the subject than those that haven't yet reared children.

I was pretty savvy about social issues and news oriented terms when I was amongst the news world and interning during the democratic primaries. Now, I couldn't tell you who stands for what if my second cousins life depended on it (I personally don't think my life would depend on a question of that nature). But what could I tell you about? I could tell you how to program a register. How to organize an event. How to film a news story. And, probably a myriad of other useless things. That is because that is the knowledge I'm currently working towards obtaining.

So please, don't give someone a strange look because they're unaware of who Vladimir Putin is. All they have to do is spend .003 seconds searching his name and they'll know. Now it's more about how you utilize the ways in which you find knowledge than how much you can retain. Street smarts are becoming more valuable than the card catalogue of useless information that you think is useful. And communication, that is the travelers check in the world of business and entrepreneurship.

So good luck out there. Remember, ingenuity is just a lazy persons form of intelligence. And quite frankly, if you're smart, you should keep up with the lazy people. After-all, America is one of the most consumer based and obese nations in the world.