Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yeah, so anyway...

When I first visited the States, I judged American girls quite harshly because so many of them seemed so incredibly simple and shallow.  But after awhile, I realised that most American guys seemed quite uninterested in what came out of my mouth anyway.  Any deviation from the usual mating script was met by a blank stare, followed by an announcement that he was going to get another drink or use the bathroom & then a cloud of dust would appear where he had just been standing.  I came to see why girls might not see the value in developing a part of their anatomy that the opposite sex showed little interest in.

While it did seem to me that the situation was particularly dire Stateside, the differences were probably more attributable to my going there straight from university, to my living in a ski-town, and to American snowboarders being way more like jocks than Kiwi ones tend to be.  And to be fair, I remember finding many conversations with my NZ tertiary-educated peers quite wanting; wondering how people could do so much talking without ever really saying anything at all.

I guess it could all be blamed on youth, alcohol and sexual urges except that explanation just doesn't sit well with me.  I'm not saying I think that none of those factors had any influence.  Just that I find, across the board, a lot of people seem to switch their brain off as soon as they open their mouths; have the most slippery grasp of reason and logic; and are most uncomfortable if you try to challenge or discuss all but the most basic concepts in any detail at all.

And I don't flatter myself at all when it comes to my intelligence.  Once upon a time, I was a very bright kid but ultimately I placed way too much importance in my natural ability & never really applied myself, preferring to see how well I could do with the bare minimum of effort.  Combined with the most feeble memory and retention of actual facts, in particular statistics, I turned out to be quite the underachiever.  While I have not consciously ripped off anyone's ideas for this blog, I'm under no illusion that many, if not all, of the conclusions I have come to, have not been arrived at before.

Which is why it astounds me again and again how easily I am disappointed. How dull and unimaginative people seem happy to be.  How few of the constructs and paradigms, that make up their reality, they are willing to explore.  How content they are to be spoon-fed.  And of the ones happy to challenge, they often seem unable to differentiate between being critical and being cynical; taking the lazy path of refusing to believe in anything at all; casually waving off any suggestion, that something might be worth standing for, with some vague anecdote about how they heard an unsubstantiated rumour that it's all bullshit anyway.


  1. I totally agree with your summing up of most people. Idle chat and triviality is the order of the day with the vast majority and it saddens me I can only enjoy conversations with a handful of people. It can be lonely for those of us who like to delve deep.

  2. That's why it's so cool to be able to blog and read other people's blogs.

  3. I read this post a while back and whilst checking in to see if you had an update, I just reread it.

    I love this bit:

    "casually waving off any suggestion, that something might be worth standing for, with some vague anecdote about how they heard an unsubstantiated rumour that it's all bullshit anyway"

    Both apathy and cynicism bore me. Sometimes I find myself in one or other of these camps, and I bore myself.

    When I'm feeling malevolent, I play devil's advocate just to see how much someone has thought through their stance, even if I agree with it. It always troubles me when their opinion is borrowed rather than owned. And I cannot bear having a discussion where all the conclusions have been based on hearsay.

    However, when I am bored, boring and lazy, I sometimes accept things at face value. Without question. And find enjoyment in meaningless conversations. Thus betraying myself as simply one of the masses.

  4. Ever since I learned about Jack Kerouac and other members of The Beat Generation at university, I have tried to always differentiate between what I have experienced for myself and what "truths" I have learned vicariously; trying to remember to base as many of my opinions as possible on what I have actually lived through. And failing that (and I often do), I remind myself that a lot of what I choose to believe is simply propaganda that I am comfortable with swallowing.