Corona Chronicles: You’re Stupid!

My grandmother’s go-to question when she believes you’re doing something she doesn’t agree with or something she doesn’t understand is, “Are you stupid?” I’ve heard this question a million times in my life. It’s the reason I haven’t played checkers with her (or anyone else) since I was a teenager. When I used to put my little red piece in danger of being jumped, or worse, double jumped, I’d face the dreaded question, are you stupid? Or, if she didn’t want to be implicit, like when I helped my illiterate cousin write a letter that was later used in court, she announced, that was stupid, with extra emphasis on the first syllable, so that it  sounded like SSSTOOOpid.

Although I knew otherwise, I always felt like the dumbest person in the world when she said it, as if she had top-secret information for not doing “stupid” things in life. As if she, alone, held the keys to making intelligent, sound decisions. As if she’d never done anything someone else could call, stupid.

And so, I’m hypersensitive to the phrase.

But I’ve never heard it used so much and so flippantly as I have in the past two months. I wish I would’ve started a counter for how many times I’ve seen or heard, They’re so stupid! You know who they are? I’ll tell you what I think, similar to Grannie, it’s anyone who isn’t doing what the accuser thinks someone else should be doing.

First, it was Spring Breakers in Florida and Mardi Gras partiers in New Orleans. A bunch of teenagers and college students were called stupid for doing what some teenagers and college students do: be self-centered and party. What would you have done during a pandemic if you were 18, 19, or 21? Maybe you were more responsible than these young people; maybe you would’ve taken yourself right home and self-quarantined.

img_3580The phrase then filtered to people’s parents who were 60 years or older. For some reason, my friends and family couldn’t understand why their parents wouldn’t listen to them and just stay home. There was even this clever meme circulating about caging said “stupid” parents. I reminded a friend that I’m sure his mama was thinking the same thing about him in the early 90s. She probably wished she could’ve caged him so that he wouldn’t harm society or himself.

Next, it trickled down to anyone who wouldn’t stay home, even though CDC guidelines stated people could “walk, hike, or cycle.” I think it prompted the #StayTheFuckHome mantra. Listen, cuss words are a part of my vocabulary, but I’d venture to say that no one wants to be the target of a global cuss out; however, that’s what we’re doing now.

Eventually, they’re stupid included people who didn’t wear masks, even though the CDC and the surgeon general said it was recommended. I noticed two things when I went to the grocery store: when I didn’t yet have a mask to wear, mask wearers peered over their material as if I was a crazy person; when I wore my mask, then non-mask wearers looked at me like I was a crazy person, leading me to a conclusion. No matter what, people have a judgment when you don’t do what they think you should do.

I don’t even want to get into the church Easter goers. The masses hadn’t developed a word suitable enough to describe just how stupid they thought these parishioners were. So, I’ll return to Florida.

img_3675At the time I’m writing this, Jacksonville Beach has re-opened access, with restrictions: there is no sitting and you can only venture out during specific hours. Just like that, an old photo of Palm Beach, 285 miles away in South Florida, along with a Jacksonville headline was posted. And a new crop of judgments has re-surfaced. Yep. You guessed it. They’re stupid. This time “they” includes Jax Beach residents, the mayor, and anyone who chooses to walk on the beach, even though the photo depicted a false image.

Just to be clear, I’ve been following the CDC guidelines and the rules of my state. I wear masks. I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know how much I love the beach; however, I won’t be walking alongside the Atlantic ocean anytime soon.

And you know what else I won’t be doing? I won’t be calling others stupid if they make a different choice.

~kg

4/17/20

63 thoughts on “Corona Chronicles: You’re Stupid!

  1. Unfortunately some people still feel that by putting you on the defense they now have control and do not have to worry about you exposing their weaknesses. Try the next time saying, do you know how stupid that sounds when you say that. Good luck, and I can tell by this post you are a pretty smart women.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a human thing. People feel they have this advantage or are better when others aren’t doing what they are doing. More like a judgemental thing. I like how you put it here…..
    I was walking on the street yesterday and a man was talking to a friend beside him about not ever wearing a mask because he feels the government due to corruption has made the situation worse for citizens.
    I agreed with his views but I called him stupid in my heart. Not because I was having a mask on but because he was putting himself and his family at risk. He probably has little kids.
    Some humans do portray stupidity sometimes but it is not always up to us to label them that.
    But if someone is putting my life or that of others at risk, I will be more than willing to point out their stupidity to them….😌

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, I laughed. At myself. My mother just shouted “Are you stupid?”, making me feel bad for not sharing her views on this corona thing at the moment. I feel she’s too negative and almost paranoid, she feels I am reluctant to “see the truth”. Then she called me stupid.

    Everyone has their opinions and that’s okay. I try to stick to the rules and guidelines of my country. Even if that means I have to cross the street or move out of my way more than ten times during a run, to name something. If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

    Stay healthy and merry, Katherin ❤ (And everyone else)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post on the importance of being non-judgmental. No one truly knows the whole story. No one is a true expert “in the field”. Especially now! Corona NOVEL virus. Thank you for shedding light Dr. G. The truest of reasons for our writing. The help us see all the sides. 🙏🏻💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathi, you nailed it again. I’m so tired of the judgements of others. I thank God I have conquered the need to respond to everyone’s post insulting some over everybody. I refuse to engage with them. Everyone has to decide for themselves and live the decisions they make. That’s the one thing we all have in common.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks girl! And yes…even if that means detriment to themselves. I keep thinking about the preacher who held service and died two weeks later. I’m like, yep…he did EXACTLY what he wanted to do and so did his congregation.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Guilty! Add selfish in there, too. I don’t go around shouting it, but I think it and maybe say it privately. Okay, sometimes I post it on social media. But I do appreciate the point you made about kids being kids. I know I did some really stupid things as a teenager. The stupid ones were the grown governors allowing it! Oops, sorry, I said it! See, it’s like a disease!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahaha okay I’m doing better at calling people stupid than I thought. I have mostly been directing it at the current president, but I have pivoted to cruel and careless/callous for him.

    My dad would say “Do you think?” or “You don’t get paid to think,” which meant the same thing. Reading what your grandmother said brought me right back to that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL You know I have to check on your “they’re stupid”-o-meter lol

      I legit think the president has a mental illness.

      Yeah baby boomers and the silent generation had that bad, but I’m sure there’s some underlying reason why entire generations thought that was okay. Dwight said his parents used to say something similar.

      Like

      1. Well, you know, there’s also surviving the virulent racism in there, too. My daughter and I talk often about how a lot of my dad’s anger/you should know better-ness probably also comes from that coupled with the generational stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The thing that got me that mom, specifically, use to say was, “That’s just common sense.” And I would think, “obviously not, because I was not aware.” Common sense is not common. People aren’t born knowing what another considers common knowledge. They don’t know until they know.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Bravo, excellent post! But – is it okay for me to call the man that pushed into me when I was at the till in a shop recently so he could peer over the counter to look at the cigarettes, coming close enough that I felt his breath on my face, stupid? Because I really wanted wanted to scream that day!

    I think the whole thing about cussing others out right now is probably in part a control issue, and for some it’s about getting on their high horses to make themselves feel better. I get looked at like a crazy person for wearing a mask, but I’m sure that if it comes out that we should be wearing them then it would be the other way around (in the UK we’ve been told they’re useless, don’t wear them… likely only because they don’t want the public using them when the government can’t get our own healthcare workers enough supply!)

    Considering now is the time when the world is falling apart and we really need to come together, there’s a lot of judgement, hostility, selfishness and negativity. Which is, dare I say it, pretty stoooopid! 😉

    You are far from stoopid and I’m sorry that you’ve ever been made to feel like that.
    Sending love. Stay safe.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL thank you for this comment Caz! The UK and US are like cousins, step-siblings? I don’t know, but we have so many similarities.

      I do think a lot of this is a control issues. Things have been turned upside down and the majority of us are not used to such shifts in society, so it’s really easy to just call someone stupid because that’s all we can control, our judgments about something that we just fear…death.

      Anwyho, thank you also for those final kind words. I’m sure you’re being as safe as possible over there given your risk level ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very thought provoking Doc. What’s funny is that I banned my children from saying that word, but, being the hypocrite that I am, I have called people stupid for doing something that I deem ignorant; especially when it seems that they did whatever it was on purpose, or just to be an ass.
    So there’s that. LOL!
    Chile, LadyG just tryna be honest😂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What stuck in my mind most about your post, Katherin, wasn’t about our current situation. Instead, I felt very heartsick that you endured those comments from your grandmother. I’m sure she was loving in other ways, but her remark seems like more than a simple trigger. It represents a huge put-down. I believe it came from an insecure place – where she felt smarter and wiser by asserting this with her disparaging insult. Still, you did judge her at all for this in your writing.
    As a mom, my goal was always to help and support my children to find their own answers – to make mistakes. So reading about those comments really threw me.
    You’ve certainly turned this around by applying less judgement in your life – in every way. Good for you! It always goes back to “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Great post – very thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your empathy Judy. I have a lot to say about my grandmother and her use of this word. First, this is literally just who she is. She recently told the chief of police in her county (or something like that) that he was stupid and knew better…in front of everyone in a town hall meeting. smh

      Also, my grandmother found out she was dyslexic about 15-20 years ago. Suddenly, her whole life made sense. All I kept thinking is I wonder what that looked like for her 80 years ago in the public school system as a black child? I wonder if she was called, ‘stupid’ a lot.

      So, I say all of that to say, there’s little judgment about her use of it other than I don’t think it’s a good way to interact with people lol

      I try VERY hard not to judge. It’s challenging.

      Thanks as always for your comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, thanks for explaining, Katherin. You are right – as a dyslexic your grandmother was probably subjected to so much abuse. She must have endured terrible taunting.
        And that town hall meeting really sums up what an inherent part of her this derogatory statement has become. Sad and funny, at the same time.
        Your focus on using less judgment is remarkable. You’ve switched the path from your grandmother’s. You applaud nurturing and are compassionate with those who aren’t. Great job!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I think I’ll forgo the discussion of stupid (as opposed to a stupid discussion, lol) as I see multiple, valid points. I will say Incredibly Rude, however. Or Don’t Care About Others. My wife and I are starting Week 7 at home. We were originally told 2 weeks, but that was on the assumption that people would actually Stay Home. They continue to spread the virus, and those who are susceptible are sentenced to yet longer home stays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think I agree that it can be inconsiderate or uncaring, especially when it seems as if staying home would’ve supported everyone a long time ago. I think we’ve been in the same as you. We’re in Florida, too.

      Now, with other states nearby opening up, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You’re a nicer person than I am, Kathy. I can use another word than stupid, maybe selfish, but those people who are knowingly putting themselves at risk of catching the virus are also putting those they later interact with at risk of catching it from them. I get your point about demeaning words in general, and well put, but this is about more than their personal decision to go to the beach.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. People are so quick to call other people stupid. But it’s the wrong tack if you want them to change their behavior. Belittling leads to shame, and someone who has been shamed will dig in their heels and/or defend themselves (even if they know they’re wrong). Defensive people are not open to hearing you out or changing anything. People hate being bossed around, and they hate hypocrites, so stick with gentle (un-bossy) suggestions and setting a good example. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I completely agree. All belittling does is lead to resentment and possibly doing something even more harmful, either to themselves or others (as we’re kind of seeing).

      I also don’t understand why we’re so quick to judge, when literally…at any moment, someone could see what you’re/we’re doing as “stupid” too. Anywho…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve always hated that question “Are you stupid?” Why belittle someone right? But we all make bad decisions sometimes that’s for sure. I’m so ready for a vaccine for these poor people that are sick and so that we can all avoid this. Hugs Darlin!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post. When I taught in the 70s, the word “Stupid” was used very often by teachers. I was at that time thinking that I was pretty cleaver. Thus, I devised a definition of the word.

    There is a path of learning that travels at an average height of the brain for all human beings.
    This “Beam” is there to receive reasonable thinking and common sense.
    There are times when we, manage to bend down and leave this realm for whatever reason.
    When this occurs you have “Stoop” – “Ed” below this beneficial line and become
    “STUPID”.
    NEXT TIME

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful, wonderful post and as for the older generation is cages …. well I did rather laugh! We have had to have firm words with my husbands older and poorly parents who didn’t seem to be able to contain themselves for a while. As for the masks, you’re absolutely spot on, when we didn’t have one originally we felt faintly carefree and rebellious …. now if we see someone without one, we just think they’re plain ‘st**id’ .. but I’m not going to use the word, and anyway that’s just me being hypocritical! Great post. Katie 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I freely admit I didn’t think too highly of people not wearing masks because they could be infecting others. But….I am also willing to say that I was wrong to say anything bad about them. Mark this down…I said I was wrong….add another first to 2020…now, I’m just tired of it being us vs them….

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m just done with each side calling the other stupid. I’m annoyed at myself for taking part in it. Though, I freely admit I plan on making a very passive aggressive statement in my blog tomorrow….so yeah…work in progress….

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Great post! So true! Yes, we should all be careful and follow guidelines (when and if we can). But blaming others, calling others out, and calling people stupid is just so unhelpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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