Known Johnson

January 7, 2008

Stupidity, charm, and ignorance

Filed under: General — Tom @ 1:59 pm

In the kitchen at work, on the dry-erase board, someone has posted details about pinto beans – what they’re made up of, their nutritional value, and a suggestion for how to cook them. There’s nothing else posted of the sort anywhere in the building, nor, humorously, is there anything else on the board but this one page of printed text, which is taped right in the middle. I’m new to the building, so maybe there’s some sort of very random, very low-key do-it-yourself food-nutrition course being conducted through this method that I’m not aware of. Or perhaps it’s some kind of artistic statement.

While Frank Zappa the musician is fascinating to me as he’s an incredible guitarist and composer, I’m not a big fan of his lyrics – and, yes, I know much of what he says in his lyrics is for effect and to make a point, not because he actually feels that way. No amount of explanation is going to get me beyond thinking many of them are gross, sexist, and pedantic. The intention is not the perception. Zappa the speaker, however, is an entirely different thing. He was easily one of our most intelligent musicians in rock, if not in any genre. The man had a great mind and, luckily, a big mouth, so we have a lot of evidence of his thoughts on pretty much everything. The quote I ran across today that got me thinking about him: “Stupidity has a certain charm — ignorance does not.”

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