Monday, July 29, 2013

Stereotypes are bad and stuff.

"Utah drivers are terrible."

This seemingly-cliche declaration of vehicular superiority never really made me all that mad, but it did seem pretty unfounded. Those who threw this bit down were usually from Idaho, where the roads seemed to be the site of a NASCAR qualifier that no one had bothered to put an end to. How can they stamp on the Beehive State's honor like that when, where they're from, a vehicle that can't flatten a hippo isn't a vehicle worth driving?

It gets five feet to the gallon, too.

When the word "stereotype" makes it to CNN, they're usually flashing pictures of racial differences, religious bouts, and the like. Most stereotypes that we deal with, though, seem fairly petty in comparison (such as driving + home state). While some are out of left field, there are a few staple snap judgments. Some are unfounded (see above), but others have a ring of truth. Does that make it better or worse to mention them?

I don't know. If you want moral direction, turn to Mr. Rogers, not someone that just denigrated the population of Idaho. Oh, and to "denigrate" means to "put down," my friends to the north.

I kid, I kid. Really, Idaho is one of my favorite spots on the planet. I'm half-Idahoan, for taters' sake. How can you hate Idaho? They're gracious enough to share the most fantastic potatoes in the US of A. And who doesn't like potatoes?

Terrorists, that's who.

"Infidel fuel."

Anyway, some more stereotypes? Might as well; I've already angered the folks of the Gem State. My time may be short.

"Have you heard their Southern drawl? They must be pretty dull."

We have cartoons to thank for this gem. How many Disney bits have the scientist or mastermind dropping "y'all" here and there? (On that note, why are all cartoon scientists German?) When someone wants to feign stupidity while telling a story or relaying an event, you've got the customary pitch drop and horribly-rendered hillbilly accent.

I was in the South for two years, and I can bust this one. There were people down there that could out-brain any of us with their hippocampus tied behind their back. All that, with a drawl as thick as molasses. "So there aren't any cognitively-challenged individuals down yonder, then?" Of course there are; you can find dimwits anywhere, if you look hard enough. There just happens to be an abundance wherever you find [insert rival sports team] fans.

"She's just a stay-at-home mom."

Ooooooh, man. You just... you didn't... Oooooooh...

Welp... It's been real, friend.

Find three cats with symptoms of ADHD, and inject them with class-A heroin. Then, disarm a nuke under the streets of San Francisco with sunglasses on at night. While that's all going down, make sure that satellite launch you're overseeing in Croatia is going according to plan, even though one of the engineers showed up drunk.

Bundle that together in a Uranium crock pot, set on "devastatingly unpredictable," and let it simmer for a few days. Gather the results, and multiply by about the radius of Neptune. In feet. You've about reached the difficulty level of being a stay-at-home mom. Now repeat 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as long as those "ADHD/heroin cats" decide to stay at home.

Kind of a... colorful way of describing it, but from what I've observed (and what little I understand), being a stay-at-home mom is hard. Very hard. We're talking Chuck-Norris-knuckle-tips hard (they can break steel, diamond, and the fabric of spacetime). So when a woman is asked what she wants to do, and they respond "be a mom," I don't roll my eyes like much of the professional world. Have you ever seen the ending of "Rudy?"

It's like that, but in my head. Props, moms and future-moms.

Speaking of the female folk:

"Women are illogical. They're totally run by their emotions."

Nope. Not gonna touch this one. I've already got Idaho crying for blood, I don't need half the Earth's population to join their ranks.

"People who go into psychology are crazy themselves, for sure."

Okay, I'm biased on this front. Yes, it's true you can visit any psych department at any university and find your fair share of dingbats. However, as with the "where to find idiots" idea, you can observe nutters in any field. I was astounded, as a psychology major, at the lack of insanity among my ranks. Most are very stable men and women, who have a passion for people and how they work.

Now, if you're looking for a den of lunatics, there are other buildings I can direct you to.

"The syllabus... I can't stop seeing the syllabus..."

"You're 6'6", and you're afraid of heights?!"

"You spent nine months in a uterus, with no wiggle room, and you're claustrophobic?"
And boom goes that logic.

What about you? Any misguided pigeonholing that gets your goat? Proverbial horsing around that gets your tail in a twist? Some piggish ideas that you'd like to rat out?

Okay, I'm done.