Monday, April 2, 2018

I Think We Are Doomed

As human beings we all experience embarrassing lapses in judgment, forgetfulness, misunderstanding and miscommunication. I am right at the top of the list in all these areas. Sometimes I run across things that cause a major wave of despair in my American soul. We are perhaps the most arrogant people on the planet but I often run across proof of our very real stupidity. Coupled with our signature American hubris, our nation is doomed to fall.

I needed graphite paper to transfer a detailed pencil drawing of horses to a canvas for a painting. I assumed it was available wherever art supplies or crafts were sold but not 100% certain. (I have wasted so much time wandering in those huge stores looking for things they do not have!) I researched online before making the trip to town. With the magic of Google, a billion returns instantly lit up my computer screen including the ubiquitous customer reviews. One woman had taken the time to complain that after "five or six" uses, the graphite paper was no longer effective. She used her real name.

Another time I was researching auto repair garages in Topeka, looking for a reputable place. I carefully read all customer reviews. One place had many satisfied customers and only a few dissatisfied reviews. One particularly dissatisfied customer had made a long, detailed complaint. The more I read the more I doubted I should take my car there, all the other glowing reports aside. That is, until I got to the next screen where it was revealed the time lapse between the repair at the garage and the failure was in excess of two years! The man was so obsessive about detailing his complaint that he actually documented a string of his own failures to avoid a catastrophe. Any reasonable person would have taken steps at the first sign of trouble - trouble that appeared two years after the fact. Not only was he a dumbass, he had publicly and carefully documented that he was a dumbass... AND he felt very strongly someone else was to blame for his own dumbassery.

It would be helpful if our phones and computers would ask "Are you certain you wish to make a dumbass of yourself?" before the Enter key is functional. Better if there was a committee review.