Wednesday, March 4, 2015

You have been inadvertently enrolled in The Burt Grumple School for the Socially Retarded

As promised, one of our interns left this wet, crumpled manifesto on my work-desk this morning. Here at The Pleasantest Life, we understand that a conversation cannot be had with one voice alone. So, rather than set the story on fire, we have decided to run it. Ladies and gentlemen, Burt Grumple. 

Hello everyone! My name is Burt Grumple, and I am the proud founder of The Burt Grumple School for the Socially Retarded. Why did I start this school, you ask? Well, it all started one day when I said to myself, "Burt, why are all of your friends flipping social idiots?" I could not answer, so I decided to do what I do best. When that didn't work, I founded this school. 

Do you think you are ready for a healthy level of social interaction? The kind you see fancy people at bars and coffee shops engaging in? Sadly for you, if you are reading this, you are not even close. You might say to yourself, "I have lots of friends and I have a very healthy social life."

Introduction:


You are undoubtedly wrong in all of your assumptions about your social readiness.


This lesson is a tough one to accept and even harder to learn. The effect is even harder to overcome. Mostly because your big dumb brain is only functioning at a mere fraction of what it is capable.

On a daily basis, you wake up and go through your routine— or not, if you are the kind of shit that claims to "live in the moment". You go to work and have strained interactions with your co-workers, who you are forced to spend chunks of your life with, for little but a small monetary reward.

You go home and… what do you do?

You stupid shit. You get on your computer and sift through Facebook or scour through blogs and forums. Occasionally, you may go out with "friends" and see movies, or pass the time with a physical or mental activity. Maybe you'll catch the latest TV show that, though it hasn't been interesting to you since your favorite character died, you keep watching so you can perpetuate the mundane interactions with your drone counterparts at work.

This is all symptomatic of your Social Retardedness. 

It's okay. You're here now. Things will improve.

I am going to take a moment to show you something.


There it was.

Do you feel like socializing with that individual? 

No? Why not? Did he have nothing to offer you? 

No. You have nothing to offer him. He has seen through your pathetic attempt at judgment and is now disgusted by your superiority complex. He had the cure for AIDS and none of you would talk to him. He is better than you, and here is why.



He involves himself in none of these things.

That man--we will call him Trub--has lived his life devoid of television, internet, and other forms of "social" media and infotainment. Man, has he got stories to tell. The things he has seen! He even saw a television once in the late 1970s.

While your grandparents are learning the ins and outs of sending letters to their family as Facebook wall posts, he has been a determined stalwart, avoiding the grip of social death that the technological world of today uses to strangle us. He uses a corded telephone to make his bill payments. He walks to the store to buy some lottery tickets. From time to time, he will even stroll by an underpass to drop $3 cash on sexual gratification. You may think him "old-fashioned," but all the while, throughout his day, he is making a concerted effort to have real, face-to-face human interaction. He does this all day long. 

He has no problem chatting up a stranger, because to them, he is stranger.


I am by no means a technophobe but I, like Trub, realize that when using the modern world's communication conveniences, the human element is masked or removed.

Oh, sure. You can try to say these methods of communication add some ease to your soul crushing, mundane existence, but in reality, they are isolating you. You sit there, conversing with a machine that is relaying what someone else has conversed with their machine to relay to you. You have added a layer--a barrier--to your social interaction. 

Does that sound like you moved forward? 

Sounds like you need some learning from my programs. 

In further lessons we will explore this and other topics in extreme detail. You may regret participating in this school before you are done. You may drop out, and continue to be a dullard. 

The choice is yours.