The Anti-Intellectual Intellectual

Screw all of the decorum and formality. People think if they are courteous, well versed in words, have relatively high grades and think differently that they are by default “smart”, “intelligent” or “intellectual”.

Did you know that 6 out of 10 people consider themselves above average in intelligence? Think about that for a moment. I’ll wait… The average ought to be “5 out of 10”. Yet 6 out of 10 think they are intelligent. That figures, doesn’t it?

I despise smart people. I really do. Not the really smart people, of course. No. For those I have the utmost respect. I’m talking of those who think they are intelligent. Perhaps they are, but merely being aware of it does not make you an intellectual.

For the sake of the argument let me arbitrarily make up my own definitions for “smart”, “intelligent” and “intellectual”, and proceed by condemning them all.

“Smart” is the ability to solve things. “Intelligent” is the ability to think outside the box. I guess both of them are the same. “Intellectual” is not the same as those two. Yes, intellectuals often are smart or intelligent. But here’s the thing: they don’t really have to be. To be intellectual is to understand. To understand how things fit together. To understand people.

I hate all of that. In fact, if I had read the above paragraph on someone else’s blog, my first thought would have been “Look at this pathetic ‘intellectual’ wannabe blogger who thinks that by breaking down intelligent people he is somehow putting himself on a higher plane”. In all honesty, perhaps I am doing that. I am doing that. But I despise myself for it at least.

Smart people are so ridden with ego and condescension. Their pride blinds them to fundamental truths; and in so doing they become foolish. We’ve all met someone who is so “intelligent” that he dismisses out of hands sacred truths merely for being sacred. People so blinded by their intelligence that they become narrow-minded (foolish). They have absorbed some “higher understanding” which, in fact, is just intellectual bullshit in disguise.

Come on, do you seriously think that a bunch of “intelligent” people together are talking about fundamental truths about the world? After all, they are all “intelligent” people sitting together. All of them talking about abstract political nonsense while forgetting to ponder the basic questions of life.

Besides all the talk of being “intelligent” is all the people who think they are so “deep” and “empathetic” and “religious”. Not a day goes by that I don’t see some Facebook “test” testing your “empath levels”, or whether or not you are an “old soul” or your personality type. People like to think they are empathetic and deep. But guess what, more likely than not you are not one of those things! Just wanting to be deep does not make you deep! Thinking you are a deep person, or empathetic (as opposed to sympathetic) does not make you deep or empathetic! Take a look on YouTube and look how many videos are for “smart people”, or google things about intelligence and you’ll find yourself thinking “Wow I must be intelligent”. You can delude yourself, but you can’t fool me… fool. 

This song by TobyMac is not talking about the secret society of the Illuminati. He is singing about people who think they have gained some higher “understanding” (people who have been “illuminated”), and therefore think themselves on some higher plane of existence. In short, the post and the song are about pharisees.

 

 

Another Day in South Africa

 (Very) short stories on true everyday events in this damn country

Somewhere in 90s

My Grandmother’s brother tied up in his home after losing a fight against three robbers.

2010

Someone breaking into my uncle’s home, clubbing his labrador to death.

2012

My friend and I (both 16 at the time) mugged along the road, held at knife-point while they took our phones.

2016

Someone smashing my friend’s car window, hitting him in the head, taking his stuff.

At our residence people’s cars were broken into three times.

February 2017

People broke into my friend’s home at night, taking everything.

Someone stole my pensioner grandfather’s car battery out of the car. Arguably the thief waited for us to go buy a battery so he could take the car. I waited while my grandfather bought a battery. The store owner where he bought it ripped him off, suspiciously.

Me and my best friend held at knife point to hand over money.

April 2017

Someone breaking into my car, leaving a hole in my car door and a gap where the radio used to be. Oh and the spare wheel and GPS are gone.

June 2017

Two people broke into my uncle’s friend’s house, tying up his family and taking everything. The whole night long his 18 year old daughter was asking them, repeatedly, when they will shoot her.

 

Other events

I’ve heard about a number of farm murders the last few weeks. Usually the family members are tortured to death. This is an epidemic.

 

 

Confidence Doesn’t Make a Pretty Guy

You know there are often times when I feel on top of the world. I would go the shops on my own, talk to friends… and even daydream about a girl.

And then every so often as I work on my phone I’ll catch a reflection, or as I sit in my room I’d see a glimpse in the mirror. And then everything just seems so hopeless. Then I just realise who I am again.

Die dag toe geld weer god geraak het

Sterkte. Jy weet nie wie ek is nie, maar in eerste jaar was ek in jy in ‘n selfde klas gewees. Dis nogal erg om soms te sien hoe jy op Facebook sulke goeie positiewe fotos oplaai… en dan in die aand laai jy goed soos hierdie op. Dis nie lekker nie. Ek weet.

Good luck.

Ballade vir 'n Woordesmous

Die oomblik toe ons baklei en jy sê vir my dat dit vir jou voel of ek net julle goedheid misbruik het jy die mat heeltemal onder my voete uitgepluk. Ek’t nooit gedink jy, van alle mense, sal hierdie woorde uiter nie.

Jy vir wie ek geidoliseer het, jy wat my altyd opgehelp het, jy wat my beter ken as enige iemand, wat weet wat my swak punte is. Hoe kon jy een van hierdie swak punte gebruik het om my dieper in die dam in te stamp sonder om net ‘n klein bietjie sleg te voel?

Ja, ek mag dalk nie soveel hê soos julle nie, ek mag dalk aan minder gewoond wees, ek mag dalk moet harder werk vir die goed wat ek wil hê terwyl jy net kan vra en dit ontvang. Ja ek is gewoond aan minder maar dit was en is nie veronderstel om ons…

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Jippie Yay Yay… ek kort hulp

Hier sit ek. Eks amper 21. Ek is besig om Supernatural te kyk. Jy weet daai reeks waar twee broers allerhande weird supernatural goed stop. En ek sien in hierdie reeks wat ek ook in ‘n oulike fliek onlangs gesien het: volwassenheid.

Daai fliek was Loser. Dit het gegaan oor ‘n goeie ou wat verlief geword het op ‘n effense eksentriese en oppervlakkige meisie. Maar sy het darem teen die einde besef hoe veel hy omgee en so. Eks mal oor sulke flieks.

Maar anyway ek dink net bymyself: in die VSA, lyk dit my, het baie mense al ‘n werk op skool deeltyds. Of hulle betaal vir hulle flat terwyl hulle studeer. En hier sit ek besig om na hierdie shit te kyk, besig om deesdae daai haatlike game te speel en te stres oor my toekoms.

Ek meen, ek is op universiteit en ek doen ‘n BA, maar gaan ek ‘n werk he? Eerlikwaar ek KAN een he. Eks net te bang vir dit. Ek weet nie of ek die persoonlikheid en volwassenheid het om in werksplek te wees nie. En dit pla my verskriklik baie.

Dit pla my al sedert ek 20 geword het. Toe ek so oud geword het, het ek besef dat ek nou in my derde dekade is. Dat ek in die volgende vyf jaar klaar gaan studeer, ‘n werk gaan kry en dalk trou! Flippen hel! Dis weird, maar weet jy wat pla my nou al? Al het ek haar nog nie ontmoet nie? My trou dag! My trou speech wat ek moet gee pla my nou al!

En ‘n kind? Of net ‘n man wees vir my vrou? Of net nie trou nie maar darem ‘n werk he? Al hierdie dinge maak my so bang.

Ek het gehoop om miskien volgende jaar honeurs te doen om uit te staan. Of om darem cum laude te graduate. Maar toe merk sy my taak op 68%. Ek het 70 MINIMUM verwag. Ek het gedink aan 80 miskien. Ek KORT 70 vir honeurs. “O alles is goed”, sy die lektor wat dit gemerk het, “bo gemiddelde biografie, goeie struktuur, unieke view”…  “behalwe dat jy net ander mense se opinies gevat het”. BULLSHIT. So as ek my opinie gee, sê jy ek het geen sources om dit te dek nie. Gebruik ek net wat my sources sê, dan sê jy ek gee nie my eie view nie! Either way is ek screwed! De hel met al daai tonne werk! Jy WOU my 70 gee, maar jy sê “Dis hoekom jy nie meer het nie”. En weet jy wat pis my af, o random leser van my blog? Dat ander mense wat in drie dae hulle taak gedoen het (hoe de hel doen jy ‘n 2000 woord derde jaar politiek taak in drie dae?) 70+ gekry het! Hoekom? Want hulle was te haastig om sources te kry so toe suig hulle duim. Nou dink die lekter “Wow, hierdie persoon het ‘n opinie, kom ons gee hom ‘n onderskeiding (al het hy net drie sources). Maar hierdie ou wat 12 sources het en moeite gedoen het, hy pleeg amper plagiaat (want hy gebruik ander bekende slim denkers se punte MET verwysings) en verdien daarom 68. Skroef sy toekoms. Jinne hierdie pla my.

En daai werk was okay. Inteendeel, dit was vrek interessant. My volgende taak en toets gaan gaan oor feminisme en kolonialisme… en die lektor is ‘n vrek subjektiewe feminis. Hoe de hel gaan ek 70 hê? Gaan sy regtig objektief wees as ek sê “marxist feminism is fallacious, the effects of colonialism is overstated (if not overrated) and African socialism is doomed (Western capitalism is the best system)”? Dis my toekoms op die spel! Ek vertrou haar nie! Ons derde jaars is nie guinnea pigs nie! Ons verdien slim professors om ons belangrikste jaar aan te bied, nie jong sopas gegradeerde (radikale) meesters studente nie.

Ek het nog nooit, op universiteit of op skool oor my punte gemoun nie. Ja soms is ek ongelukkig en ek voel die lektor kon bietjie beter wees. Maar overall sou ek elke keer net dink “Wel, jy moes harder gewerk het”. Die keer het ek HARD gewerk; klomp sources gelees, opgesom, mooi toegepas. Jy sê self dat alles great was!

O wag en wat nog?! My abstract is nie flippen in diep genoeg nie! Ek het net gese “This discussion on neo-mercantilism is followed by a critique”, maar jy wil hê ek moet sê WAT die critique is in my abstract ook nog… asof dit nie die werk van die conclusion is om hierdie detail te gee nie. Hoe baie kan JY se in 100 woorde, vroumens?! Net hierdie bogenoemde sin is 9 woorde! ‘n Tiende van my 100 woorde cap vir die abstract! Bleddie hel. Ek was reg om in eerste jaar, toe daar twee lektore was wat die vak aangebied het, uit jou klas uit te beweeg het na die ander een toe. Nonsens!

Anyway, ek gaan nou aankyk op Supernatural. Ek wil sien watse snaakse goed daai twee broers die keer gaan aanvat. Miskien is daar weer ‘n mooi, goeie meisie wat hulle red.

Waars Jy, Meisiekind?

Waar de hel is jy? Wat de hel doen jy? Hoe de hel lyk jy? Hoe de hel is jy? Wanneer kom jy? Ek sit hier en wag vir jou, man. Ek wag vir jou, ek dink aan jou, ek droom van jou, ek bid vir jou.

Maar jinne jy vat jou tyd! Hou jy daarvan om my in angs te laat sit? Dis nie baie mooi nie, jy weet. Glad nie mooi nie. Asseblief moenie my vir ewig laat wag nie.

Hou jy daarvan om jou gesig te verskuil? Eenkeer is jy blond, ‘n ander keer ‘n brunette en ‘n ander keer het jy rooi hare. Soms het jy sproete, soms is jy erenstig, soms lag jy. Sal ek jou kan maak lag?

Hou jy daarvan om nooit vir my ‘n enkele woord te sê nie? Of te wel jy het eenker darem iets gesê: jyt gesê dis “oulik” om my ver te laat ry na ‘n plek toe net sodat jy my kon kom optel. Slegte maniere, meisiekind! Glad nie mooi nie!

Aai man, maak gou.

Damn this Book!

Yes. Damn it. I have not been so angry at anything in months. While reading it I got so irritated with my friends, my mother and even the damn moths in my room! I’ve never been so sensitive, so irritable!

 

One of those books where you like the main character so you much that you feel offended for him to end up in such a state. A book where midway you feel ecstatic over what was happening… only to see that fall apart.

When I was halfway in, when everything was still positive and good and when I had no idea how the story will turn, I had a foreboding that whatever the ending is, that it will put me through the roof.

And what book is this, you wonder? A good book. A great book. It is one of those stories you read in which the end makes you so furious that you don’t know who to blame. Do I blame the prince for his decision? Do I blame that… witch? Do I blame that devil? Or do I blame the author?

How can I forgive him for turning his back on her (he deserves that title for that decision)? How can I forgive the other “her” for tormenting him so? How can I forgive that devil for what he did? How can I forgive the author for the destiny he gave this hero? For shattering everything that noble heart put forth?

Yet despite all of the above it is, in a twisted, beautiful way (as twistedly beautiful as Natasya herself)… a great book.

It is “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

(Damn this book!)

The Prince is Sad

From the book, The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (translated by Garnett).

And at last she stood before him, face to face for the first time since their parting. She was saying something to him, but he looked at her in silence; his heart was too full, and ached with anguish. Oh, never could he forget that meeting with her and he always remembered it with some anguish. She sank on her knees before him on the spot, in the street, like one demented. He stepped back in horror, and she tried to catch his hand to kiss it, and just as in his dream that night, the tears glistened on her long eyelashes.

‘Stand up! Stand up!’ he said in a frightened whisper, raising her. ‘Stand up, at once!’

‘Are you happy? Happy?’ she asked. ‘Only say one word to me, are you happy now? Today, this minute? Have you been with her [Aglaia]? What did she say?’

She did not get up. She did not hear him. She questioned him hurriedly, and was in haste to speak, as though she were being pursued.

‘I’m going tomorrow as you told me. I won’t… It’s the last time I shall see you. The last time! Now it’s absolutely the last time!’

‘Calm yourself, stand up!’ he said in despair.

She looked greedily at him, clutching at his hands.

‘Goodbye,’ she said at last, she got up and went quickly away from him, almost running. Myskhin saw that Rogozhin had suddenly appeared beside her, that he had taken her arm, and was leading her away.

‘Wait a minute, prince,’ cried Rogozhin, ‘I’ll be back in five minutes.’

Five minutes later he did, in fact, return. Myshkin was waiting for him at the same place.

‘I’ve put her in the carriage,’ he said. ‘It’s been waiting there at the corner since ten o’clock. She knew you’d be at the young lady’s [Aglaia] all the evening. I told her exactly what you wrote to me today. She won’t write to the young lady again, she’s promised; and she’ll go away from here tomorrow as you wish. She wanted to see you for the last time, though you refused her. We’ve been waiting for you here, on that seat there, to catch you as you came back.’

‘Did she take you with her of her own accord?’

‘Why not?’ grinned Rogozhin. ‘I saw what I knew before. You’ve read the letters I suppose?’

‘Have you really read them?’ asked Myshkin, struck by that idea.

‘Rather! She showed me each one of them herself. About the razor too, do you remember, ha-ha!’

‘She’s mad!’ cried Myshkin, wringing his hands.

‘Who knows about that? Perhaps not,’ Rogozhin said softly, as though to himself. Myshkin did not answer.

‘Well, goodbye,’ said Rogozhin. ‘I’m going away tomorrow too: don’t remember evil against me! And I say, brother,’ he added, turning quickly, ‘why didn’t you answer her question: are you happy or not?’

‘No, no, no!’ cried Myshkin, with unspeakable sadness.

‘I should think not, indeed,’ laughed Rogozhin maliciously, and he went away without looking back.

 


 

The story is about prince Myshkin. He’s not royalty. Rather, he has the title of “prince” because of some distant ancestry. He has epileptic fits, is incredibly kind and compassionate, and as a result of these factors he is considered an idiot by everyone, even by those who love him. “She” (Natasya) is a woman of incredible beauty, but who is locked in her own maliciousness and thus thinks herself unworthy of Myshkin. Rogozhin loves Natasya. Aglaia is also beautiful (second only to Natasya), who has a good heart, though very stubborn. Natasya tried to get Aglaia and Myshkin to marry, simply so she won’t have to wonder about Myshkin. Aglaia believes Natasya will commit suicide if Myshkin and she (Aglaia) marries. Myshkin may be in love with Aglaia, though he pities (if not loves) Natasya.

 

 

 

 

That Feeling of Being Left Out

I’m writing this while I’m feeling this feeling, though, strangely, in a slightly happy feeling. Feelings…

The version of the “feeling left out” feeling I get is the one where you feel anxious. Where you feel as though you are wasting your time if you are not there. As though all those people are living a life, while you were planning on reading about International Mercantilism or watching the newest PewDiePie video.

Sure I get the other one as well: the “Why didn’t you invite me?” feeling. That is darker and I’ll talk about this as well.

I never had this problem. It started two years ago when I was going through a tough time with my friends. On one occasion, my best friend who lived a kilometer away – and whom I’d not seen in weeks, along with my other best friends, who I’ve tried to see for weeks… met up with the girl I was in love with, going to the mall without me.

Since then I’ve had this problem. A shitty problem. If those two friends just meet normally without me I get this feeling. I immediately analyze it as an irrational feeling and then I move on… but I do get it.

Besides the two friends mentioned who live at home, I have two or three other friends at varsity. Two guys and a girl, though I’m only close to one of the guys. A few minutes ago I saw a Facebook post of the girl posting something about a Varsity Rugby match being held at a stadium nearby – just one block away. I could go! But alone? Why didn’t she invite me?

I thought this year, being the first year I have a car, I will drive around a lot and visit numerous places. But now I’m wondering, with whom? I don’t want to go alone, so now I don’t go out at all.

A year or so ago I told that girl that I’m not a fan of Rugby. What I meant is that I’m not the kind of guy to watch it on my own time and talk about it as though it actually matters (it doesn’t, global nuclear war does, though). Yet don’t confuse me! I’ll never say no to an opportunity to watch a match with my friends! The whole outing with my friends is what I want.

But people always misunderstand me, in more than one sense.

But for those in the same or worse position, take courage! Either your feeling is irrational, in which case just realising this will help, or your friendship is faulty. Either you need to mend it by spending time with them, or you need to forget them and wait for the right ones. Don’t lose heart. Let me know if you need support.

You Will Be Disappointed in Me

You’re the first girl to say you miss me. You’re the first girl to be my friend. You were the first girl to care.

Yet I don’t love you in that way, do I? I think about you a lot. I even, at times, miss you. I rarely miss people. Yet I’m not in love with you, am I? I see you as just a friend, don’t I?
Why then do you take so much of my thoughts? Why then did I love your voice in the voice note you sent me? Why then do I get jealous when other guys speak to you?

You sounded excited to see me again tomorrow after four months – what a long holiday. Yet you will disappointed in me. I’ve seen this before: if you leave a good impression on someone, then in time that person will forget all your bad qualities – both personal and physical (especially physical) and only remember the good ones. Yet when you see me you will be reminded of all my bad qualities. You will be disappointed.

And perhaps that’s a good thing, isn’t it?