Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hey Dummy!

Something finally snapped in my head the other day. I think it was my tolerance tendon, reacting to yet another instance of abusing, misusing, molesting, adulterating and exploiting the word "smart".

Thinking about this phenomenon, the first abuse I can recall offhand is "Smartfood"; I think they make popcorn and stuff. Then there is "Smartlease", a GM product. Go to various shopping outlets and you'll see references to "smart buys". Many of us carry "smartphones", and I laugh at the morons that drive those little "Smart" cars (which doesn't seem too smart after all, according to the crash studies in the news today).

Those of us who have been in the Army in the past 20 years have undoubtedly heard of the "smartbook", a new soldier's bible. And in the corporate world, you have the "S.M.A.R.T." goal methodology. And all you high achievers out there probably eat that Smart Start breakfast cereal, huh? How many of us have those new "smart cards" that have the RFID chip in them?

So, being the anal and literal person I am, my tolerance tendon got pulled askew every time I saw examples like these. Are these companies calling me a dummy if I don't buy into their "smart" stuff? If I buy my car instead of going the "smartlease" route, is GM inferring that I'm of lesser intelligence? If I eat Cheerios in the morning, that makes me more of a drooling, inept knuckle-dragger than if I were to eat Smart Start?

Just how smart can popcorn be, anyway? Is it going to help me pass the Mensa test or explain the pythagorean theorem from right there in the bowl? And this phone - it can't be that damn smart if it doesn't stop me from drunk dialing. How smart is it to have a credit card that allows who-knows-who-all to track where you are and what you're spending money on at any hour of day or night?

I'm pretty content being a big dumbass. I'm not a big fan of GM, don't like popcorn that has no taste, and don't eat much cereal. My memories of my smartbook are painful, and you'll never catch me within ten feet of one of those little deathtraps known as Smart cars. I sure don't need any more credit cards, no matter how smart they are.

Then again, I'm very attached to my smartphone, so maybe I'm not as big of a dumbass as I thought. Maybe just a smartass.

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