>Back home, before I embarked on the self-torture called an MSc program, I used to wake up everyday and immediately put on the TV to try to find out what was going on in the world around me. This foolish action inevitably led me to turn to CNN, BBCNews or when the weather was really bad or things were very hard, – NTA. And then it would usually begin. Bad news in industrial quantities: The financial crisis, bomb blasts, a plane crash, stories of both government and private corruption, chronicles of fools: some poor fool who has just been blown up in the name of Allah, another fool who is trying to spread freedom and democracy around the world and some more fools who are spouting varying grades of propaganda; ranging from Innocent white lies to premium brand, Class A Bullshit. Generally I would endure 60 minutes of this sensory assault on my intelligence before giving up and turning toward MTV or one of the Series/Movie channels for some mind-numbing, meaningless drivel to help me try to forget the mental torture I’ve just been subjected to.
Unfortunately, this usually didn’t help much since all the music and shows are laced with hidden intentions telling me what to think and how to think it. Young girls wearing next to nothing shake their bodies in ways that would be of concern to medical professionals with the message ‘sex is good’ while 50cents latest song is telling me ‘to get rich or die trying’. Beyonce is subconsciously trying to make my girlfriend leave me with her ‘Put a ring on it’ nonsense, Bruno mars is looking for trouble by singing about catching grenades (Who the hell would do that anyway? Pls refer to @CapoeiraPandas blog for more details on this…) and some bloody Nigerian is asking me to ‘Dapada’ and/or ‘farabale’; ‘groove utunu’ and or 4kasibe’. The TV shows are not much better, every episode presents some half-baked, hashed out ideology which it tries to sell to me as a life philosophy. Examples: all problems can be solved in an 30 minutes or an hour, Bad guys always get caught, follow your dreams, Obey your parents, Sex sells, Ok, don’t always obey your parents, humour is good, gays are not so bad, Always consult your pastor for advice, Blah, Blah, Blah… Usually, there would be only so much my brain could take before I call my friend –Mr. Remote control and finally help the environment by switching off the appliances I’m not using.
Unfortunately, with all outside influence gone, my mind would inward and begin to think (a process which I’ve been told is quite high risk, and should be attempted only by trained professinals) . But it is the result of this thinking which led me to write this note to my victi…er..erm…i mean friends and followers; lamenting the state of this world we live in and the nation we call home. Why is everything so confusing? Why is the world so disorderly? Why would some fools blow up innocent people for no good reason? Why would Jim Iyke try to rap? These are genereally the kind of thought i would think at these times. Luckily, while writing this post I came upon a revelation, it was like a vision (well more like a hallucination caused by excessive exposure to differential calculus… but whatever….) but it made clear what must be done to navigate this morally twisted world without overheating your brain engine. It is called VOLUNTARY STUPIDITY.
You see, I read once in a book (okay, fine, it wasn’t a real book, it was a comic but who wants to split hairs right now?) that comedians are the saddest people in the world. They see what’s wrong with the world but when they stand-up and try to tell the rest of us we just laugh at them. This is an example of the universal law: “It’s not smart to be too smart” as Illustrated by the lives of Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci. You see, i think stupidity is good for you, as long as you don’t exceed the prescribed dosage. And if you are asking yourself right now: “Pray tell, o wise one, how do I obtain a prescription for the stupidity I so desperately need”, then don’t worry, I have the answer, just read on….
Voluntary stupidity is the fine art of ignoring things that are real but make you feel unhappy or depressed. It is my analogy of the old concept that is referred to by the esteemed Buddhist monks as the ‘if-we-ignore-it-then-it-will-go-away’ philosophy. Just as faith is defined as the “belief in things not seen”, voluntary stupidity is the “disbelief of things seen, heard, experienced and even known.” If practiced well, it can increase your level of happiness exponentially within a few seconds. I have been accused of the horrendous and evil crime of ‘being too smart’ more than once in my life and having repented from this crime i can attest to the efficacy of this method.
On a serious note however, we do this every day. We overlook things like our friends’ bad habits, the religion of others which we don’t believe, the fact that we are not as rich or happy as we want to be, the parts of the bible and the constitution that we don’t like, etc. It is a self defense mechanism to protect our fragile psyches from the trauma of unfulfilled dreams, failures, limitations and things we cannot understand or do anything about.
So the next time some smug, self-righteous, smarty-pants starts talking about the war in Iraq, Who is sponsoring the bombing in the Nigeria, the environment and global warming, traffic situations, the plight of democracy, ASUU strikes or the appalling Suckiness of the new Black Eyed Peas album, just remember, he will die a sad, depressed old fart while you relish in your self-built, sky-castle of blissful ignorance, surrounded the lovely aura of VOLUNTARY STUPIDITY.
Thank me later #NoDrake