Stupidity’s Contagion

In Columns
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Sometimes I just sit back in amazement watching us as a human race. We’re so smart, yet we are so stupid at the same time. The things we believe and the things we are taught to be true, often end up on some page of a book of Urban legends.

I remember growing up in South Florida where when a hurricane would be coming, the news people on TV would be telling everyone what direction the wind was blowing so we could crack our windows open. This was supposed to save our roofs. Later, of course, we were told not to do it because the madness of opening windows in a hurricane would actually increase the chance that our roof would be blown off. Who would have guessed?

How many of us remember not too long after 9/11 when the public was asking the government what we could do to help defend against a biological or chemical attack. The government told everyone to buy up duct tape and tape our windows and door frames shut. Of course, later they had to rescind this grand idea and tell the public not to do that because we would suffocate to death within eight hours. Ironically it didn’t stop the duct tape industry from having their best period of sales in the history of the invention of duct tape.

The south-east part of the United States has twice a year something called “lovebug season” in which these worthless bugs swarm en masse and make life unbearable and not to mention our paint jobs on our cars being destroyed every year. If you ask 90% of the people about these lovebugs, they will go off on some story that they believe in their heart of hearts. They will tell you how the University of Florida created this Frankenstein bug by taking two bugs to create a new species of bug that were supposed to go after mosquitoes. They claim that the genetic experiment got loose out of the labs and now we have this problem.

Despite public statements released by the University that this is not true or even scientifically possible, people believe it anyway. You can’t talk them out of believing it. You could explain to them that the fact that this bug was created by mother nature forever ago and that they are indigenous to Central America, and they first showed up here in the early 1920′s in New Orleans most likely by ship, but they won’t listen to you. They believe that the college did this.

We all have these stories, I’m sure, stories that we can point out on how wrong we really were about something or another. I’ll never get over the fact that for my whole life they told me that there were nine planets in our solar system. I can still remember all those styrofoam science projects with nine planets circling the sun. To just think how that was all wrong, that it simply wasn’t true. Or maybe it is a planet and they got that wrong. I’m just glad that the one about masturbating and going blind was not true.

C. Rich
Author, Blogger, Poet

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