Thursday, March 06, 2008

Surrounded by dumbth

By now, we've all heard the same phrases of collective, absolute wisdom enough times that they should be easy to spot in three-dimensional relief toward the front of our cerebral cortex:
  • Don't do drugs
  • Stay in school
  • Don't drink and drive
  • Safe sex
  • Blah, blah, blah...
Common sense might dictate that we've by now learned to translate these well-known bits of wisdom into, you know, real action that enhances our lives and the lives of those around us.

Common sense, unfortunately, seems to have taken a permanent vacation. Drug abuse is rampant, STDs are as popular now as they've ever been, and DUI continues to kill more American innocents in a month than have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Here in my burg, we've been getting flogged repeatedly by Ma Nature. Snow, ice, wind, bitter cold, you name it and she's been tossing it our way for months. By now, you'd think that people who drive cars in this mess would get a clue. You'd be wrong.

Not a day goes by when I don't see idiots take to the streets with windows completely covered in snow (no worries, moron...we'll all watch out for ya) or folks who think you can drive just as fast on ice as you can on bare pavement (the laws of physics don't apply to you, apparently.)

If I get home from kidlet-carpool duty without having had at least one close call with a motorist moron, I consider myself lucky. Yet I live in fear of a time when my luck runs out, when my path fuses with that of someone who never bothered to appreciate the stunning responsibilities associated with piloting a vehicle on a city street.

On his way home from school last week, our son saw a car on a typical suburban side street lose control, jump the curb and smack into a street sign. There's no reason a reasonably driven vehicle should have gone off the road on that stretch, but reason often doesn't enter into the equation when Type A drivers are too busy fiddling with cell phones, GPS devices and stereos to pay attention to annoying things outside like traction, traffic and pedestrians.

I've thanked G-d more times than I dare admit that our son wasn't Right There when it happened. I remind him every day to watch out for drivers and be prepared to run or jump if one of them comes toward him. It bothers me immensely that we all have to adjust our lives because of the reckless stupidity of others.

Your turn: Has society really become as reckless and stupid as I think it has? What say you?


Creative-Type Dad said...

yes. And it seems as if these people only care about themseleves.

Megan said...

Whatever happened to "survival of the fittest"?

The combination of technology, medical advances and the "nanny state" have rendered the laws of nature null and void. There's nothing out there to thin the herd.

So, um, that would be a yes. ;)

Unknown said...

You're absolutely correct. That said, your arguments probably fall on deaf ears. People don't learn from their own mistakes - much less the mistakes of others. Just look at the number of repeat DUI's. But then sometimes .... My son was rear-ended by a small pickup truck doing about 50. The ONLY reason he wasn't killed was that he was wearing his seat belt. Since then, I wear mine. I never used to - it was always a bit of bother. Now I feel uncomfortable if I've forgotten to fasten my seatbelt. It's a lesson learned, I guess. Thankfully, it wasn't the hard way.

Holly Schwendiman said...

Says I...You are right. Common sense has taken a permanent vacation on most fronts today. I've watched more makeup application on the road lately behind steering wheels than I did in 2000 hours of cosmetology school. People always think they're the exception but fail to realize that with everyone else thinking the same thing there's nothing but "exceptions" running around out there. Yipes.


kenju said...

Every time I drive my car I see horrendous examples of stupidity. There as an atricle in our paper this week about the numbers of teenages killed in car wrecks because they are not wearing seat belts. WTH? Is that some sort of new badge of bravery?

Anonymous said...

I rather doubt you'll get any disagreement to this.

As an "amen," let me say that some weeks ago, I was sitting at a stop light watching the cross traffic making left turns in front of me. I counted seven vehicles turning, and watched seven drivers in a row talking on cell phones while driving inches from the front of my car with nary a care in the world.

The problem is that no one believes that s/he will be adversely affected by such carelessness.


Ms Mac said...

Ugghhh. So much to say, not enough words to say it.

Although you managed to.

Edwena said...

Amen! People only think of themselves. We need to remember our freedom stops when it invades the rights of another. To state it plainly, people are just selfish. Not only that so many parents shelter their children from the consequences of their actions. I think this is probably a normal parent attitude, but it's not the best thing for our society.

Nestor Family said...

Yes... it has gotten terrible, I agree. I don't think until people learn to look beyond themselves will it ever change... and the "American Way" does not promote that, unfortunately.

Linda said...

sad, but true. My take is that everyone has a too-big sense of importance and entitlement. I get angry with myself when I'm busy criticizing others, only to find I'm doing the same thing.

Driving is the one thing that can set me to ranting. I get frustrated when people don't follow the rules. I'm a big fan of rules...even speed limit. I use my cruise control like people use their radio...mine's on ALL the time. I use it if I'm going over 30 (because it won't work below 28, and often lags at that speed, lol). I get aggravated when people DON'T drive the speed limit, particularly the SLOW folks. The fast folks, they'll get themselves killed...but the slow ones...I just might be the one to kill THEM....but then I realize they are being cautious for whatever reason and I am learning to accept it (EXCEPT for when they're on the phone, then I yell).

I am human, just as all others, so I am fallible, I make mistakes, and I am NOT perfect...but I have LEARNED from my mistakes.....

Rebecca said...

Hi :) It's been a while!

Oh my goodness - I have a special "dislike" for drivers in SUVs who, as you said, seem to think that because they're in an SUV in the snow that the laws of gravity don't apply to them. Grrrrr. :)

Carli N. Wendell said...

I think I've made this comment before, but in my hometown, it's a wonder I get anywhere without getting plowed over. Turn signals, even for police officers, are obviously too much of a hassle to turn on (I usually either point to the turn signal, and they look at me like I have two heads, or if they're going fast I just give them the finger). The taxi drivers use cell phones w/o headsets (illegal here); actually, just about everyone does--and more than once I've seen someone on a phone running a stop sign or not yielding to a pedestrian. People don't realize that they're basically driving a several-ton weapon.

caramaena said...

Just this week I had a close call with an idiot driver. She did a u-turn right in front of me, though I originally thought she was pulling into the carpark to my left). She didn't look to see if anyone (ie: me) was on the road when she pulled out.

I'm sure my tyres left half their rubber on the road back there, but at least we didn't collide.

David Edward said...

the cities are a scourge. ( sp?)
living in the high mountains we only see this insanity on the news and on holiday weekends ( when I stay home)
stay safe friend, pray a lot, hold your children close to your heart.

Andi said...

So day I was riding a bus to get somewhere and this man just plowed his car into a light pole (actually getting stuck into the air on it). Somehow the man walked away. The bus had to stop and the bus driver didn't know what to do! I advised the idiot/bus driver to call the hospital and let them know someone was coming in and indicated that their impatient supervisor should/had to understand....the bus driver had to think about it a while before acting.

Michele sent me.

Anonymous said...

Say I, yes as evidenced by... or the books titled The Darwin Awards. They are "A chronicle of enterprising demises honouring those who improve the species... by accidentally removing themselves from it!"
If you want to see bad drivers (besides witnessing them personally) try watching "Canada's Worst Drivers." How those people obtained their driver's licences in the first place is beyond me to comprehend.
p.s. I tried to post this last night but it stated that the task could not be completed due to an error that has occurred, so if this posts twice I apologize.

Ben and Bennie said...

A resounding YES! I chalk it up to the technology/dumb-ass ratio. The more technology offered to "make our lives easier" the dumber our society is becoming.

Debbie said...

sad but true - we ALL need to focus and put down the devices - pay attention. Give people a little more room and stop being so aggressive.

sorry to hear about your father in-laws ankle - hope he heals quickly - bones heal fast - he is in my prayers.

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Have to agree with you and your commenters. It drives me insane. Case in point - a good friend was at a stop light last weekend and a pick-up came barreling towards her and just rear-ended her little Kia. Then he popped it in reverse, screamed down the road, whipped it around in a parking lot, and headed back from whence he came. Her car's likely totaled and she's missing work because she's hurting - a lot.

People need to take their eyes off themselves and realize they have to share this planet with the rest of mankind. It's really not all about them.

Melonie said...

Not only has our society become as reckless and stupid as you think it has, it has become MORE so. I don't think any logical, "normal" person can even fathom the number of true idiots out there. It's downright scary.

Or perhaps being a moron is the new "normal". *sigh* What a shame.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I'm with one of the other commentors - the first thought as your WW post opens is freaky. Second thought was that your eyes are almost the color of my ex-husband's - no offense. You're obviously more intelligent. WAY more. LOL