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Babie More, Spin Shea, and Rethinking Tolerance

February 22, 2013

In the light of a certain event (that I won’t name), I’m beginning to wonder if it is a good idea to tolerate and thereby encourage oblivious idiots.

Hoping to prevent any misunderstanding: I’m not talking about any kind of learning disability. I have the highest respect for those who have these challenges forced on them and make the best of their skills through damned hard work. I truly admire them and the families and friends who support their endeavors.

I realize that I am pounding on the thin ice of political correctness here, but face it, haven’t all of us had encounters with, don’t we all work with the spontaneous bubbleheads who suddenly go off half-cocked and do or say something so incredibly, boneheaded stupid that everyone gasps with disbelief?

These people exist, the birdbrains, the bimbos, the airheads, the dingbats who simply can’t control their impulses or give any thought to what they suddenly decide to do. They don’t question whether what they are doing is safe or whether in fact they know what they’re doing. It never occurs to them to ask someone else to double-check what they do.

They can’t control the impulse to blurt out the first silly thing that pops into their heads. They never stop to reflect that hurtful words, once spoken, can never be called back, that the damage can never be undone.

Yes, in many ways, these people are delightful, so spontaneous, so fun-loving, automatically taking the initiative, the first ones to roll up their sleeves and cheerfully get to work. They are eternally cheery, never ones to dwell on past unpleasantness.

And don’t people have the right to be, to be their flighty selves, to be the way they are?

In the circles I hang out in, the answer would be a resounding yes. Yes, spontaneity is always good, and yes, spontaneous people must be tolerated with all their quirks. What kind of grinch would deny people the right to their cheerful, impulsive, spur-of-the-moment actions?

I would. Just like your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins, your right to go off half-cocked and do something spontaneously stupid ends where my life and safety begin.

I feel for the people who get the unjust blame, the bosses, the managers, the supervisors. You can educate people, you can train them, you can organize drills, you can have people practice over and over again, you can make instructions available in print, electronically, and it won’t do one damn bit of good. You can’t prevent these people from doing something abhorrently stupid.

These oblivious idiots have the attention spans of fruit flies. They neither store information nor access it from the depths of any long-term memory. They don’t activate their brains before they say or do anything. They just run off and do what suddenly occurs to them.

By tolerating their antics, we only encourage these people. In the worse case scenarios, helpless people die when an ignorant, incompetent person spontaneously decides to do something silly.

In Blue Sunset my first character Babie More is such a person. A stupid, thoughtless, silly, young woman who always got away with her stupidity by laughing, flirting and being blonde, she causes the death of a kind and tolerant man.

Spin Shea, on the other hand, can’t control his adolescent audacity and causes the death of his girlfriend Marty. However, during the rest of his long life on Mars he reflects that “On Earth stupidity was only an annoyance; on Mars it was a death sentence, sooner or later.” Spin was wrong. Stupidity on Planet Earth also results in innocent people getting hurt or killed.

So, since tolerance doesn’t work, what do I suggest? I guess I wish everyone who has dealings with these oblivious idiots would say to them in all honesty something like:
“You are a wonderful human being, and I love you to pieces, but you are also an unpredictable time bomb, a constant danger to everyone around you because you don’t stop and think before you do things. I know, you get these impulses and you just can’t stop yourself. But the thing is, you have to stop yourself, like in the song on TV for pre-schoolers that told them to stop, look, and listen before crossing a street. You need to stop, think, and then think again before you do what you spontaneously feel like doing. Ask for help. Ask for advice. Only you can protect others from the consequences of your dangerous, thoughtless behavior.”

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From → Blue Sunset

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