Yesterday I spent a huge chunk of my time watching Twitter talk about what’s happening in Egypt. I have to admit that watching a “revolution”/government overthrow happen online1 and in real time (basically) is fascinating to me. I was both cheering on the protesters and nervously wondering if this meant that Egypt was going to fall to Islamic fundamentalists. Then I was torn because if when the government falls, what’s going to happen on the border with Israel? Good for the Palestinians and bad for the Israelis and vice versa. Who am I supposed to root for?! Oh, my but it’s been a long time since I’ve been excited/torn like that. ***Note: Don’t try to dissect my thinking or educate me. This is what I was thinking and that’s that.***
So, I had to go to work2. When I got there I tried to talk to numerous people about Egypt’s turmoil. No one knew what the hell I was going on about. I explained and would get the “Oh. Um, well…” or “Good for them. Why do I care?” or “Huh?” or “That’s nice. I guess?” WTF? I know I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, considering where I live and work, but I was. How was it possible I was the only person at my job that knew what was happening over that?
Now, I don’t work in a small, family-owned establishment. I work in a corporate-owned restaurant that sits 300 people comfortably. If we’re on a particularly long wait3 then they’ll stick chairs on the ends of four-top tables, so we can really get more than 300. On weekends (and Wednesdays for some strange reason) we go on long waits and are fully staffed. So we have around 100 people working– counting the host staff, the SAs4, the bar staff, the wait staff and the kitchen folk. Since I’m not afraid to ask every fucking person I work with the same question5 I think I got a pretty good sample of folks in my neck of BFE. These folks get excited about “Jersey Shore” regularly6, but had no idea that there is an uprising happening with one of our allies. Woo hoo!
Don’t worry. Not many of them actually vote. No lie. They’re proud to tell you that too. Also a good number of them are actually students at the local state university that I attend. Doesn’t that give you the warm and fuzzies?
I tweeted this to my good friend and soul sister, Kelly. Her response was:
I can’t even comment coherently on that. No one knew about Egypt? Do they all live under rocks, or what?
No, my darlink, not under rocks- in BFE7, Ohio. It’s such a lovely town to visit if you like Amish made quilts (and bland Amish food) and/or seeing trucks strewn together with duct tape. If you’re looking for intelligent conversation? Better stick to the intertoobz. If you discuss something that they clearly don’t understand– like the Egyptian uprisings8 or the Comcast/NBC merger– they will laugh at you and pretend that you are the ignorant one and they are teh smaht. It’s both sad and amusing. But mostly hair-pulling frustrating.
Here’s a great example: I was getting ready to leave and was eavesdropping on a host and SA who were discussing science9. Both were in agreement that science and their religion can coexist. Yay them! But then they started discussing things that, in their opinion10, science can’t explain. How is it that some things are just perfectly harmonized if it wasn’t in God’s plan…blah blah blah. That sort of thing. Then the young lady says:
I don’t get why people think they have to be sooo smart. Why don’t they trust in god’s plan? No one needs to be smart if they believe in god.
What. The. Fuck.
I had to leave. I had to just get right the hell out of there because I was about to rebut that. And you just can’t rebut willfully stoopid. These are the kind of people that surround me. These are what the pundits and politicians like to call “real Americans”. They congregate at the mega churches11 and listen while their pastors tell them what they need to know then promptly infect the rest of us with their “well, you’re too smart and god don’t like smart” bullshit. It all just makes my brain hurt.
It’s even sadder, though, when you hear the young children spouting such nonsense. Lil’lady, who is 612, has a friend who oftentimes tells her that Jesus is the only person who can make people smart. So people who don’t go to church aren’t smart. Lil’lady has been becoming worried about me because I don’t go to her church. She even told me once, when I gave her an answer to some question or another, that Jesus must have put that thought in my head. Argh!
I’m fighting desperately to prevent her infection, but, sadly, I’m fighting against her father, grandparents and her friends who go to that damned mega church. I’m outnumbered here, people.
At any rate, I wish I wasn’t shocked every damned time the people around me prove my point that my neck of the boondocks doesn’t like to know anything. But I am because I can’t believe that people here so willfully uneducated. That’s only because I’ve been outside of this little bubble and have actually met people who care to learn anything besides shit like “Jersey Shore” and Farmville. I’ve made my own life worse by actually learning about outside cultures. Great. Heh.
- The protesters organized on Twitter and Facebook before kicking off. [↩]
- Bills need paid and all that jazz. [↩]
- People will wait 2 hours for a table in our joint. No lie. [↩]
- Server Assistants [↩]
- I’m annoying like that…ha! [↩]
- I watched that show once and damned near poked my own eyes out because of what I saw. High class all the way. Pfft. [↩]
- I use this term frequently and have no qualms about it’s continued use by me even though it mentions Egypt. The acronym = Bumfucked Egypt. [↩]
- I consider them more of that than of just protests. [↩]
- while doing their closing silverware rolling duties…which is funny if you’re me. [↩]
- Not plural because it’s an opinion they share. [↩]
- There are, I believe, 5 such churches in my general area, which is populated by less than 20,000 people– county wide. [↩]
- For those readers who aren’t familiar with my children. [↩]