Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Eavesdrop - probably the first of many.
Neighbours in the back garden chatting. 2 friends have been to India independently - one loves it, one hates it. One trots out what he knows is a clichéd story of a gifted child who started his education in a hut and gradually rose to become a consultant radiologist. He includes the factoid that at the age of 6 he had to walk 5 kilometres to get to the 'school' for which his family all chipped in as his parents couldn't afford it on their own. The female companion of one of them comes out with the 'kids in this country wouldn't walk to school' bullshit and then my interest disappears as rapidly as the rather cute woman's head buried itself up her pert little backside. It's far too easy to vomit out trite, sneering cynicism, especially when directed at a group you have no direct contact with or experience of. Such a shame; to be unable to avoid clichés even from people who at first glance are intelligent and worldly. Still, as repeatedly pointed out in John Brunner's “The Shockwave Rider”; intelligence can be engineered, wisdom cannot, and it's wisdom we need.