A Little Good News

Bill Neinast

neins1@aol.com

Anne Murray’s song “A Little Good News” is a lament about the prevalence of bad news in 1983.  If penned today, the longing for a little good news would be even stronger, because bad news has become even more dominant.  


The little good news that does exist is being pushed further back by the growing evidence that stupidity is contagious. 


The contagion has spread to Texas.  The outbreak of the affliction in the state dominated the national news last week just below the coverage of the tanking of Obamacare.


The severe case of stupidity in the state is being treated in Aledo. That is the home of the football coach whose team beat the Western Hills team 91-0.  The coach pulled his first string after the first 21 plays, played the last strings of his team for all of the second half, and the game clock was not stopped through much of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarter. 


So what is stupid about that?  It is not the game or the coach.  Stupid comes in as the father of a player on the losing team.  He accused the Aledo coach of bullying.  Even though the coach of the losing team has no complaint with his competitor, the Aledo school system was still required to investigate the complaint.


If Mr. Stupid, the father, is ever identified, there should be no objection to picketing his home with signs reading simply “STUPID.”


On the other hand, maybe there should be more sympathy than signage.  After all, as mentioned above, stupidity is contagious.


The bullying complaint was filed just after the publicity of sheer stupidity in another state.  That is the case of honors high school student Erin Cox, who was captain of her volleyball team in a school near Boston.  She went to rescue a friend who had become wasted at a party and realized that she was too drunk to drive.  So she called her friend to come and take her home.  The sober friend did so in her own car.


The not so brilliant administrators in the school of those two young ladies took disciplinary action against both.  Among the punishments of the girl who kept her drunk friend from being a danger behind a steering wheel is removal from her leadership position on the volley ball team and suspension from five games.


This news was being broadcast over radio stations that are airing the Ad Council’s “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” ads involving the young girl whose arm is broken in an auto accident caused by her friend who is “just buzzed, but not too drunk to drive.”


Are the administrators who disciplined one of their sober star students for “associating” with other students who are drinking, stupid or just caring?


To repeat, stupidity is contagious and is spreading rapidly.  The rare day of news is one in which there is no case of applying rules without exercising one iota of common sense.  


The senseless or stupid actions frequently occur under policies of zero tolerance.  


This altering or closing of the thinking process leads to actions like suspending two students from school for playing with air guns that shot soft plastic balls.  They were not on school grounds but were in front of the home of one of those “dangerous shooters” that the administrators thought was too close to school. 


In another recent case, a high school student was suspended for bringing his fishing tackle box to school.  The box was locked in the trunk of his car in the parking lot, but nestled with the tackle was his fishing knife.  That’s it!!  Another case of zero tolerance.


That case could possibly be fodder for a spirited discussion about what is essential to protect school kids left under the wings of school authorities.  If the conclusion, however, is that there can be no exceptions, even for fingernail clippers in one’s pocket or purse, avoiding use of the word stupid becomes increasingly hard.


Less difficult to place in the stupid column is the case of suspending the two youngsters for playing the ageless boy’s game of cops and robbers and pinging each other with their hands cupped in the form of pistols.  Right beside that one is the suspension of the young boy who ate his pop tart into a shape that looked like a gun to his teacher.


The peak of stupidity, however, is reserved for the federal government.  The brains in Housing and Urban Development spent 2.6 million of your dollars to build a complex of 75 apartments specially designed and equipped for the hearing impaired in Tempe, Arizona. Wait a minute, however, denying residency in those apartments for people who can hear would be discrimination.  As a result, only 18 of the units will be made available for the deaf.  


So here’s the perspective. 


The spreading rash of stupidity can be traced directly to the current passion for political correctness.  Everyone is a winner, no one can be a loser.  If a student gets a failing grade, his or her self-esteem may suffer, so do not let anything put anyone else in a losing column.  Treating individuals differently, like recognizing some of their unique abilities, would be unfair and politically incorrect.  So everyone always wins an “A” and “F” and thinking is banished from the dictionary.


This list of idiocy proves the validity of the adage of stupid is as stupid does, meaning that an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid.

 enough



 
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