Monday, July 13, 2009

When did we get Stupid?

I was driving on the Las Vegas Strip this week, heading home and out of the crazy traffic. While waiting at a stop light I noticed the crosswalk-bridge above the street and it struck me how stupid we Americans are getting.

First, the fact that we had to take the crosswalk off the street and put it up on a million dollar bridge because of the stupid things we do. We try to beat the traffic on the crosswalk or simply ignore the two-ton vehicle bearing down on us and walk in the middle of the traffic. OR we try to use our two-ton vehicle as a weapon and run through yellowish lights because we don’t want to have to wait for the pedestrians. In Las Vegas there are over 100 pedestrian/traffic deaths every year. How stupid is that?

Second, the fact that the crosswalk-bridge has to have a plexi-glass guardrail that is over 8 foot tall is also because of stupid things we do. This guardrail allows us to see the Las Vegas Strip but prevents us from jumping off and killing ourselves. OR it prevents us from throwing things at oncoming traffic besides our bodies like cans of beer or those crazy two-foot tall Margaritas.

When did we get stupid in America?

When did judges quit throwing people out of their court when they brought stupid lawsuits?

When did attorneys quit getting fined for taking stupid cases or have the sense to say “That’s stupid, the judge is going to throw it out and fine you AND me for bringing it up.”

When did people stop taking responsibility for their own actions and start blaming others for spilling hot coffee?

When did our labels on products have to include warnings like the heads of matches are now “non-toxic” for those who eat them. My wife’s curling iron came with the warning “for external use only” and “Warning: this product can burn eyes.” On her hair dryer it says “Do not use in shower!” and “Do not use while sleeping!” On the sunshield I have for my car it says “Do not drive with sunshield in place” and on the toner cartridge I just bought for my printer is says “Warning: do not eat toner!” Isn’t it hilarious to listen to the auctioneer voice reciting all the possible problems with the latest pill to ask your doctor for?

When did we get so stupid?

We all know what happened; we all know that one stupid person did one stupid thing and instead of saying “Boy! That was stupid!” they said “Who can I blame so I don’t look so stupid!” and viola! We have stupid lawyers and stupid laws. We all do stupid things all the time. I, in anger, swung a large hammer at a tractor tire not expecting it to bounce back and hit me in the head. Should I have sued the tire maker? Maybe the hammer maker for not putting a “Warning: Hitting rubber with hammer will cause a bounce back into your stupid head.”

Maybe the problem isn’t that we got stupid. The problem is us not taking responsibility for our stupidity. We should all practice saying: “It’s my fault! I was stupid! I was wrong!” AND we should all start saying: “That’s okay! No harm, no foul. Don’t worry about it, we all do stupid things.” Being a forgiver is much better for you than being a sewer. (Sorry, I mean suer).

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