Thursday, July 07, 2005

Smart People

I love hanging out with smart people. The smarter, the better.

Oh--it's humbling, for sure. In fact, nothing quite stings like hearing someone articulate off-the-cuff, with seeming ease, something you've been long been struggling to frame and verbalize.

But it's good, too. It keeps things in perspective.
It also saves me a lot of mental work.

Funny people tend to be smart. I mean funny in the says-clever-and-amusing-things kind of way, not funny in the oh-my-god-what-a-bonehead, GW kind of way. Perhaps that's part of why it's so much fun to just hang out in the background and listen to smart people talk.

Oh, I suppose you could make a case that it's intellectual voyeurism. I'm okay with that, actually. I can certainly think of worse perversions.

(These observations are leading up to my point, in spite of how it may seem otherwise.)

I like blogs, because I like to listen to smart people. Reading the blogs of smart people is polite, non-intrusive, and convenient. There isn't that awkward moment where you're hanging about listening, even though you aren't actually included in the conversation, and trying to pretend you aren't listening...

Thank god for smart people and their blogs. They've saved me from having to cope with my own social ineptitude.

If I notice I'm late for something, I don't have to make any apologies and try to unobtrusively exit a conversation. I can just close the screen. It'll still be there when I come back.

It's all sort of a huge party, where you circulate and eavesdrop on or even chat briefly with total strangers. Some of them are fascinating people, and you look forward to your next encounter. Some are simply dreadful, and you fidget while looking desperately for an avenue of escape.

Reading someone's blog on a regular basis is like the un-relationship relationship.

If someone usually witty and interesting is having an off day, I can just navigate away. I don't have to find polite ways of saying, "oh Christ you're boring today..." Thus, I don't have to burn any bridges, and when said person returns to their witty and stimulating self I can pick right up as if they'd never had a bad day.

And if your eyes are glazing over about now, that's okay. I completely understand. I never need to know.

I'll try to be wittier next time.


Ray said...

Why do you keep hanging out with me, then?

-- Mr. Bonehead

Mac said...

Goofball. Don't sell yourself short. (Ray)

Dawno said...

You've perfectly articulated the way I feel everytime I read the comments at Making Light. The analogy of being at a huge cocktail party is very apt.

Mac said...

Dawno, precisely so!

dawno said...

OK, Patrick posted "SQUEEEE" in the comments section of the July 17th Making Light article "The Coming Race" (which I'm just now getting around to reading after following link after link after link on the whole snob lady outs nanny in the NYTimes thing).

(I'd try to post the link but I'm afraid I'd fubar up the comments)

Anyway, just popping back in to say: "ah ha! Them smart people say squee too." Maybe there's hope for me yet.(do you say squeee? even better)


AmyF said...

Hello, you've successfully articulated something for me that I've had a hard time trying to verbalize. That's also why I like smart peoples' blogs. Also, they tend to make me smarter as well, b/c you can learn all kinds of new things!

Mac said...

Hiya, Amy, and welcome. Jump right on in anywhere you'd like. :)