Opinion » Columnists

About retards

One of my dear readers recently accused me of, well, I’ll just use his words, “I love how the author likens all Americans to being Stupid Dicks, NOT.  The author must be making that statement to describe their ownself.  I mean really, Indy cars and NASCAR cars do not run on gasoline.  I guess I could have appreciated the article more if a simple fact would have been established correctly and that is that those cars run on methanol.  Hence, the reason I believe the Stupid Dick comment is merely a reflection of the wordsmith that wrote the article.  What a retard!”

I will be the first to admit I’m retarded.  I’ve been retarded all my life, I have retarded my growth in almost every conceivable way from the moment I had the capacity to do so.  However, I am willing to acknowledge that fact and change.  Stubbornly holding on to one notion regardless of the facts is a great way to get yourself in heaps of trouble, simply because the facts always change, that’s the darnedest thing about facts – they are slippery fish.  It may be the reason we can’t get a grip on what’s going on in Iraq and the Middle East in general, we simply don’t have all the facts.  If we had people, a large number of people examining all the facts objectively without inserting ideology and personal interest into the equation we might just get somewhere.  Instead we have a small group of people convinced they are right doing everything in their power to prove it so.

When you get into an argument with a child there is no altering their opinion, they are almost physically incapable of letting go of a position.  I know, I had a debate about SpongeBob this very morning with my toddler.  In such a debate you must either concede and let the kid have what he wants or create a diversion.  It’s the only way out without a tremendous fight.  So, you turn everything upside down, you look for a way to change the subject, you try to see the situation in a different light.  I’m willing to accept the possibility I might be retarded, if the rest of the world will look around and say to themselves, “We’ve been retarded, too.  We have been retarded by fear and self-consciousness, and the only way to move forward is to stop being afraid and stop caring about what other people might think and just do what comes naturally.”

When I was in grammar school we had to do community service and part of that was visiting mental hospitals where I’d be forced to spend time with retarded kids who would sit, and rock and stare off into space drooling.  It was an unpleasant thing for a 12-year old to have to do, but I’m glad they made me do it.  Not because I think I helped the “retarded” kids any.  In fact they have helped me.  It doesn’t take much to think that those souls in there behind the vacant eyes were not simply the morally superior being, but were closer to perfection I could ever hope to be.  We all enter this world as souls from the void, people can claim they know where we came from and where we are going, but the truth is we have no idea, all we know is how to make the best of the time we have here right now.  It’s all we can know, yet the very young and the very old are closer to that void and can sometimes articulate wisdom unbeknownst to us.  The retarded are like that, too.  There is a purity I cannot describe, a trancelike quality exhibited publicly most prominently by the Atlanta Braves pitching coach, Leo Mazzone.  Yes, I might be retarded, but being retarded isn’t what we think it is.

As far as being a stupid dick, well, I think that goes without saying.  Cars that run on gasoline, what kind of idiot am I?  If the best, fastest, most safe cars in the world run on methanol then surely all the other cars in the world would run on that, too.  Ahem.

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