I am not one.
I could have been, had my life not been taken over by rock n' roll, pop culture, Spaghetti-O's, and hour upon hour upon hour of "The Beverly Hillbillies." I could have dug deep into the recesses of my brain, and thought much more about Things and Why Things Are They Way They Are And Such and become a true Bulge Brain. But instead I went for the immediate, the flashy, and definitely unsubtle. I did read many classic books, read a newspaper everyday, watched the tv news every night, spent many hours thinking about the workings of the brain, and the chlorophyll in grass, and what went into the genetic mashup of the dachshund. But I am simply not serious enough to be an intellectual. I can ponder and wonder and poke and prod, but then something in my excavations will seem absurd or pointless or hilarious, and I will abandon them forthwith to get some gum or something. Some of this is laziness, but some of it is efficiency.
I have produced papers of intellectual worth, but they weren't worth anything to me, just to the professors that liked that I was able to vomit back their blather. Intellectuals seem to want to go endlessly over their subjects at hand, whether it is literature, music, poli sci, economics, religion blahdeeblah, but nothing ever really seems to come of it other than precious opinions. Is that harsh? Oh, who cares. So much of what passes for intellect is really just the ability to be more convincing in your opinion, as long as you don't actually hit someone in the face because that doesn't count. I like when there is a point to discussion, other than lip-flappery. I like it even more when someone actually does something worthwhile, rather than talk about someone else who has done something worthwhile. There are flappers, and there are doers.
My favorite kind of intellectual conversation is one where the topics keep veering off into unlikely tangents that keep you on your mental tippy-toes. It's easy to spew on topics you are comfortable with, another thing altogether to stay in the ballgame when you are really farm team level. It's fun. It's too easy just to stay in your comfort zone, and I think you end up losing respect for yourself after you've heard yourself deliver the same solid but tired rants a thousand times over. If I think about it, the best things that ever happened to me came out of situations where I was at first deeply uncomfortable, afraid, intimidated, worried, or self-conscious. That is where I find value and growth, not so much in making a checklist of what correct books, movies, political stances, educational experiences, or job choices other people think are right for me to take on. I am delighted to listen to flappery a good deal of the time, if it is given from a passionate and knowledgeable perspective. But I will only take on the things that really resonate with me. Those things I can describe no better than that they are things that feel at home in my brain and my heart, like they always had a place set up there, even if they may at first seem not that way at all. There is the immediate, and there is the considered.
Anyway, my point is that I am really just a goofball. Thank you.
I am not one.