Feb 112002

We count on stupid people to say stupid things, but it’s always more surprising and delightful when stupidity effervesces from a source commonly regarded as intelligent. So friends, for our mutual amusement, I proudly present to you three stupid things I’ve heard in the past twelve months. Enjoy!

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

The president of Reuters News Agency said this in the wake of the September 11th attacks, and, while the idea was soundly rejected by the majority of average Americans, the phrase continues to thrive in Academia where it regularly pollutes campus discourse.

In response to this moronic conversational trend, I’ve decided to start saying “one man’s spoon is another man’s fork.” Then I will smugly raise one eyebrow in the hopes that dimwitted listeners will become awestruck at my brilliant display of counterintuitive anti-wisdom.

Because I care so much about my CSU colleagues, and because it embarrasses me when they mindlessly parrot ill-conceived brain-flatulence, I’ll do a favor for the semantically-challenged and briefly distinguish terrorism from proper insurrection: if you feel oppressed, and you attack anything military (ex. a tank, an ammunition depot, an armed person wearing a uniform) then you are a freedom fighter. If you feel oppressed, and you intentionally attack anything distinctly civilian in nature (ex. a disco, a shopping mall, a skyscraper) then you are a terrorist. If you feel oppressed and you attack a 12-year-old girl celebrating her Bat Mitzvah, then you, and all who support you, are sick, spoilt and well-deserving of oppression.

“Walker: At least he had a cause.”

This priceless gem comes courtesy of the Collegian editorial board in a recent “Our View” column of the same headline. According to this line of thinking, John Walker Lindh, the American found taking up arms against his own country, is somehow more admirable than the average “apathetic” student here on campus. Why? Because Walker “found a cause … something to give his life purpose.”

Aw, shucks.

Although the article did call Walker’s choice, “the wrong decision,” I had to wonder if my kindly overlords honestly believe that a commitment to routinely beating women and blowing up monolithic statues is somehow morally superior to humbly obtaining a college degree in the hopes of someday providing a family with financial security. I’ll give my ordinarily thoughtful handlers the benefit of the doubt, and assume that this ridiculous piece was the result of extreme exhaustion and tragic group-think.

“I’m really a feminist, but I only tell people that when I’m with my boyfriend. Otherwise I’m afraid they might think I’m a lesbian.”

Someone once blurted this in a heated class discussion about feminism, and, to my surprise, a number of women nodded their heads in knowing agreement.

Although the woman who said it wasn’t stupid by any means, she inadvertently reflected ridiculous stereotypes society has about both homosexuality and feminism. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a lesbian, and, based on it strictest definition, any truly fair-minded individual is a feminist.

So don’t be afraid to publicly proclaim yourself a feminist (with or without your manly boyfriend there to protect you). Should anyone mislabel you as gay, and, as a result, think less of you, then that person is backward and ignorant. One thing college has taught me is there is not enough time in life to worry about impressing or offending stupid people.

Jon Watkins is a senior majoring in English.

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