Thursday, October 05, 2006

Are You Stupid, Too?

God must love the foolish so much he made more than we can grin and bear them. There may be mountains of Nobel prizes for acres of mental toil, but the headlines have been far more shaky with constant tremors of idiocy enough for us to bury our heads in the mud of our madness and shame. Here's a reprint from my latest opinion column in Sun.Star Cebu:

Damned by the dumb

Mindless and selfishly senseless. Or so goes the side of the aggrieved about the act of suicide.

When a barangay councilor in Alegria, Cordova thought it was a good time to die by drinking a bottle of cyanide last Friday morning, his family and friends must have deemed it unwise for him to prove his detractors correct. Reportedly, he was fed up by snide remarks from his fellow councilors and constituents. “Bogo” (dumb), they smirked. And now they have the last laugh as his state of mind now turns into a mere meal for worms.

If only his epitaph would be etched along the line of this piece of insight: “Seeing ourselves as
others see us would probably confirm our worst suspicions about them.”

If only he knew that stupidity is not solely his crown of thorns. He’s not alone, after all, where the dearth of discernment is concerned.

Last week, a barangay councilor in San Jose del Monte City would have been better off if he were drunk with cyanide. Yes, instead of cheap liquor with which he proved his intelligence by shocking the entire country, shooting to death a 12-year-old boy who probably fancied himself Spider-Man by climbing and playing atop an electrical transmission tower.

In fact, there’s a legion of them whose lack of intelligence, matched only by scarcity of conscience, has been flaunted as a factor for public consideration.

Then again, the self-negating act of the ill-fated councilor ought to be an example for many of our so-called leaders who are learned only in heaping their waste on their constituency’s heads. Consider how their intelligence has been proven only by their ingenuity in making mountains out of the molehills of their self-interests.

Indeed, if wisdom were a font so free-flowing here on these islands, we would have been spared from the sea of opportunities sucked back to our sewers.

Talk about one-upmanship, and there would be monuments rising everywhere out of our surplus of smart-alecks.

Who needs a superpower where supercilious self-consciousness is a tad larger than life?

Consider the cinematic revelation of a congressman from Oriental Negros who berated a Cebuano legislator: “Yawa, if he thinks he’s Batman, I’m Superman!” Never mind if he’s clueless that “a man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

Nietzsche, bless his soul, could have been a comfort for the cyanide-thirsty councilor desperate for his head to stay above water of scorn. “Better to know nothing,” he sneered, “than to half-know many things.”

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