So, some curious experiences with some self-certified ‘bright’ people of late have made me realise that it is in my interest to not take their claims at face value. Saves me from disappointment and them from embarrassing themselves.

Given the context, I think a good way to suss out their ability to think – independently, and with depth – is to just ask them if something is truly complex or merely complicated.

If they respond by saying that am playing with words or it’s just semantics, then one knows – for sure – that they have never really dealt with anything tricky in their lives, that they likely cannot think to save their own lives. A probable extension of this line of inference is that they have never had an original thought in their little addlepated heads thus far.

A similar test would be to discuss the difference between what is simple and what is simplistic, though this has its limitations.

EQ Test?

So, we were having chai at this fancy tea-room somewhere the other day. There were a bunch of fresh kittens playing around with their mom-cat at the entrance. We took care not to step upon them while going in.

A while later, the kittens got into the tea-room. The doorman starting making a noise to shoo them out and made as if to hit them. He stamped his foot near them and picked up a stick. Initially alarmed, I held back from intervening. I decided to watch.

The person I was with, however, felt outraged enough to walk up to the guy and haul him up for hitting the kittens. Which he decidedly did not do. Which I doubt he would – in public view, in such a place – likely frequented by the likes of our outraged warrior.

So the warrior gets back – with a look of disappointment at me for my lack of activism and outrage – and lets off a mouthful on the behaviour of the doorman. I could not help but repress a bemused smile.

Outrage i.e. getting your pretty knickers in a twist, is the public pleasure of our times. And it is the ultimate form of self-validation. Sadly though, very few people take the bother of looking deeper to see if there is more to it than meets the eye.

Consider this:

Apart from what I mentioned about the predominantly outrage-friendly clientele of that place, it was obvious that the cats kind of lived there. In fact, they may have been encouraged to hang around the place because it is the perfect thing to attract the hip chai-sipping crowd – those not averse to cats, that is.

If so be the case, then it follows, naturally, that the doorman (unless he was new that evening) had his own equation with said felines. Which implies that the whole shouting at them and threatening noises with his stick were part of his routine song-and-dance with them. Probably designed/evolved to keep the non-cat-loving customers happy.

Which means that the whole reaction from my companion was an exercise in premature ejaculation.