Why Do I Let Stupid People Get Up My Nose? – By Abubakar Ibrahim

Our local folks say, when you want to get a fools attention, tell him his mother is dead! Yes dead! Most people that really know me, know that it takes a lot to truly set me off into a fit of anger considering my jovial happy-go-lucky demeanor.

It is true sometimes you might get me sarcastic, irreverent, or sharp with a comment here or there but to reach epic vitriolic spewing fury, you’ve gotta do a lot to me. I’m a hard to forget person so I’m careful when and where I say what. Sometimes I let bygones be bygones; agree to disagree, and I generally have the attitude to live and let live, and allow people to float their own boat. I also like to string clichés together.

But I’m finding it harder and harder to stay calm. My typically sanguine and non-confrontational manner is assaulted almost daily by a never-ending awareness of the stupidity of so called latter day political unemployed graduates on the social media platform.

I have come to observe that time after time, when you try to teach them the reason why there is an A at the end  of China, they tell you their China is in Africa and not South East Asia.

Agreed: I might not be the best thing that ever happened to social media (and why should I be since I ain’t sugar and spice?) but the little time I have been on it, it has taught me a simple lesson. You can brand yourself! You can be identified with something. Some choose to do fanciful fantasy fotos of either sex, some like to be known and seen as sex symbols. And crazily enough some also see themselves as the definition of beauty (albeit they look as ugly as sin)!

I find that that awareness is messing me up for longer and longer periods of time. A lot has happened on the political scene already, being an election year in Ghana. Senseless as it may sound, there are these unemployed-graduate- political-zealots who will attack every comment one makes about everything they think will hamper their party’s chances in winning the upcoming elections.

They will have issues with the public electricity pole on which their party’s flag hangs; how their candidates name is pronounced on radio/TV; the tonation of media men/women in stories their party/candidates feature, the brand of cigarette the Electoral Commissioner smokes to everything they deem to work in their favour or against them in the 2012 election.

I find myself gasping for breath and asking whatever happened to common sense. It is lately proving to be a very expensive commodity not so common. Every innocent comment will suffer  miscrospic scrutiny by these groups of people behaving like unofficial PROs of their party or call it propagandaism. I guess it is true what they say about doing whatever to keep your boat floating right? Are some people on social media to gag others from expressing their views?

I have shouted my voice hoarse trying to let those on my page understand that much as it would be nice to state their claims and make their cases, I would at least appreciate their efforts in letting people be and not seeing everything in party colours.

You say the President is wearing a nice sweet hair cut on independence day and they retort back to say Nana is more handsome and always wearing ‘sweat’ than someone trying hard to look like him. Is the presidency a beauty contest now? You go to say Nana is doing great on his tour of the country and someone snaps, ‘not after walking around with bottled water?’ Say Nduom will do better without a scrappy moustache, and they quickly question you, what is a muslim without ‘batakari’ (smock)?

Somewhere early this year, there were some youths (from the tertiary institutions notably from University of Ghana, Institute of Professional Studies, Central University, University of Development Studies, Cape Coast University, Accra/Koforidua Polythenic or so their profiles read)   who bent themselves double to try to explain Nana’s infamous ‘all die be die’ speech. Others countered it by saying ‘we will beat you to death.’ Some of us were fast to shove pictures of Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Kenya down their throat just so they dissociate  from violence and electoral/civil unrest of all types. Why some political zealots romanticize unrest for the sake of political power really beats me. Also, to think that they are youth at that so have their whole lives ahead them to live.

No one will fault an unemployed graduate from any tertiary institution trying to help their political party come to power so they get employed, but what happened to these youth being objective and having the love of our dear country at heart? Have we now as youth gone each one for themselves instead of holding the politicians to task to do the right thing? Do we want our children to live on trees or do we want to walk around another Accra with open gutters choked with filth? Are we happy with electricity coming and going without any reason? Does the monetised educational system send any signal to us as youth?

Have we left the responsibilities of the youth on auto pilot so we call for frantic all-hands-on-deck when things go haywire with our politicians? I thought that could translate the social media/radio/TV/Newspaper platform into a fully programmed channel where we call for responsibility on stakeholders in national development. I felt and still do feel some of the rallying calls to action by the youth didn’t work because some weary Ghanaians have grown fatigued with the national politics of bickering, insults and finger pointing.

Many are now seeking out a safe haven from television/radio/newspapers plus social media far removed from the partisan hectoring, staged altercations, and sometimes alcohol cum drugs-induced ‘din’ that have come to dominate the media.

I feel sorry for any graduate from any institution or youth in general, employed or not who sell their thoughts to any single person/party because they have been paid or promised something. What happened to freedom of thought to speak your mind devoid of any colouring? Perhaps it is true what people  profess:  “we all have our price” but whatever the price/prize, I honestly believe  selling your ability to think straight and  speak your mind is selling cheaply! This is because nothing can atone for some pay master calling the shots on anyone’s thoughts.

This past weekend, we were thinking of a meeting of fresh graduates to explain one or two things about forging  a non-violence campaign during the upcoming elections.  When I got to the meeting venue for the very first meeting, I noticed some really nice models of cars with one party sticker or another proclaiming different sentiments. ‘Power At All Cost’, ‘You Would Be In Opposition Forever’, were some of the nice ones. I’m always amazed at the folks who make up their mind on any issue. Always assuming a stance before considering other angles!Can anyone person be one thing till eternity?

This defeated the purpose of such a meeting so I was immediately in a rage. Rightly so for two reasons. The first was the logic of it:what in good heavens
do we need a non-violence campaign for when people have made up their minds about their parties and aren’t being accommodating about others?

And the second reason I got so mad was obviously that those thoughts had already caught on in the social media by some graduates I have blocked and/or unfriended on Facebook. My mood was affected and this took a better chunk of my meeting time to settle or make any meaningful contribution. The best thing was for me to confront these people and question them about their beliefs. Did I?

Good heavens I didn’t. Even when pissed off to extremes, I’m not confrontational with complete and utter strangers. That would be rude. (My mama taught me manners) But this episode caused me to spend the rest of the weekend questioning myself, as if  my life depended on it. Why do I let this kind of thing bother me so much?

Why do I let the educated illiterates and truly ignorant piss me off? Why can’t I just let it go? Or better yet, why can’t I let it go like I used to? Did I find the answers to those questions? Eh. Maybe. Probably not.

I’ve been on this planet for a little over three decades, and I’ve dealt with my fair share of stupid people.  As I get older I realize my patience has worn pretty thin. Plus, I think it’s fair to say that stupid people are reproducing on a massive scale these days and unfortunately technology allows them to spread their own particular brand of stupidity to whomever will listen to it.

The problem is, the more you hear something, the more you see or read something the more likely you are to believe it. So as the stupid breed, the stupid continue to indoctrinate their fellow stupids into believing stupid mess, which in turn will probably continue to piss me off until the day I pop my clogs.

Because we can’t stop the stupid – like it or not  – the stupid live amongst us, and like the common cold virus (or a cleavage showpiece at the Ghana Music Awards) there isn’t a cure, and I guess I’d better just get used to it. Because no matter how much I’d like to line ‘em all up and put ‘em against the wall as it were, there’s just too many of ‘em, and I’m smart enough to also admit that **gasp** perhaps I’m one of…

*Special gratitude to D. Duplessis for his inputs and advice.

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