Hi, my name”s Aubrey. I”m an insensitive, phony, narcissistic racist with an unstable personality. When things get difficult, I let others make the tough decisions. I know little of the world and less of politics. I”m going to Hell. I quip rather than question. I”m a flippant fascist with no fashion sense.
At least, that”s what people tell me. Mostly without the alliteration.
So, uh, you wanna go for coffee sometime?
For those of you still reading (that is, those not e-mailing me dissertations on the evils of racism, information on where to find Jesus or links to the Cosmo website), I”d like to say thank you: Thank you for not being presumptuous. (Wouldn”t it be great to have a t-shirt with that phrase printed on it? Or a sign in a restaurant? Sort of like “Thank you for not smoking,” only heeding it would solve more of the world”s problems. But I digress).
Even here in Ann Arbor, a liberal college town where everyone is supposed to be open-minded (or at least tolerant), it seems everyone has a favorite group of idiots. Anyone who supports/opposes affirmative action, organized religion, abortion, the Greek system, letting Ralph debate, the war on drugs, the patriarchy, the U.S. government, Starbucks or the Naked Mile is fair game:
Can you believe those people? I”ll bet they beat their children. For fun.
I don”t claim to be above this. I, too, have a favorite group of idiots. It consists of everyone who habitually tips less than 15 percent when eating out. I can (and will, if you let me) go on for days about why these people should not be allowed to reproduce. I detest people who generalize, but it”s different when I do it because I”m right.
That”s another thing. Having a wicked sense of humor is great at cocktail parties, but it”s not the best way to improve one”s position on the “idiot continuum”. In my limited experience, I”ve found that most people have very selective senses of humor. They”ll laugh at a fat joke, but not at a funeral joke. Jokes about celebrities” relationships and/or eating habits are great, but God help you if you tell a Jesus joke. Politics can be funny, but only sometimes chuckling too often during any heated political debate is like dancing around the room holding a large sign that reads, “I have no idea what any of you are talking about.” While wearing a dunce cap.
And if there”s one thing the University”s Future Members of the Upper-Middle Class scorn, it”s that infernal dunce cap.
Like the children we pretend not to be, we berate one another to make ourselves feel superior. We call each other names: Anyone who opposes race-based affirmative action is a racist. Anyone who supports legal abortions is a cold-blooded baby-killer. Everyone in the Greek system is a) dumb, b) shallow and c) incapable of making friends on her/his own. English majors are pretentious (wait I think that one”s true). Kinesiology students have French toast for brains. Engineers are boring.
It”s impossible to reason with those people. They”re illogical. They get these crazy ideas in their heads, and good luck trying to convince them otherwise. They never let the facts get in the way of a good shouting match. But not you and I. We”re different. We know how it really is. (Sigh) Don”t you wish everyone could be smart like us?
So how “bout that coffee?
As much as we love to pontificate with our friends, the fact remains: There are thousands of smart people at the University. Some of them make jokes at your expense. Some of them live next door to you and throw wild parties the night before your 8 a.m. French exam. Some of them didn”t vote in the last election. Some drive SUVs. Some are in sororities. Some of them disagree with every major political, religious and otherwise personal belief that makes you who you are. Some of them tip 10 percent. Some of them study kinesiology.
And lots of them think you”re an idiot. You, specifically. And me. Specifically. And maybe they”re right.
No matter how rational we like to think we are, most of us are on at least 107 different idiot lists by the time we”re 21. I”m sure this column will land me on a few more. Doesn”t bother me a bit at least I”ll be in good company.
Aubrey Henretty can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.