Count On It

“I’ve got to stop saying “How stupid can you be?” Too many people are taking it as a challenge.” — George Carlin
” A little ignorance can go a long way.” – Curmudgeon
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of us are stupider than that.” – George Carlin
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not always sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

This is not the first thing I’ve found to laugh at since last November, not quite. But I do like it.
German neo-Nazi mayoral candidate laughed at when he called to ban Arabic house numbers
Otfried Best appears to take a satirical question seriously
Jeff Farrell|
6 days ago|
The Independent Online

A neo-Nazi mayoral candidate for a German town was greeted with laughter when he promised to ban Arabic numerals displayed as house numbers if elected – unaware that they are the same as western numbers.
Otfried Best is running on an anti-immigration ticket for the ultra-right NPD party, in the small town of Volklingen in the district of Saarbrucken.
Along with three other candidates, he was questioned about his policies in a debate ahead of the election in front of an audience.
Uwe Faust, representing the satirical Die Partei, appeared to set a trap for Mr Best when he asked him a joke question over a supposed regulation in Volklingen.
“According to the building code, paragraph 126, each owner is obliged to label his property with the number given by the municipality,” he said.
“I find it alarming that in Völklingen many house numbers are displayed in Arabic numerals. How would you like to take action against this creeping foreigner infiltration?”
Mr Best replied: “You just wait until I am mayor. I will change that. Then there will be normal numbers.”
As he appeared to answer the question seriously, Stern magazine reported that around 600 audience members began howling with laughter. He appeared to brush off the raucous crowd, adding: “Wait a moment, Mr Faust, until I’m Lord Mayor, and I’ll change that.”
Atef Alshaer, a lecturer on Arabic and Linguistics in the University of Westminster, told The Independent: “A German man actually translated Arabic numbers into the Western style used so it is incredible how ignorance can lead to this kind of political blindness.”
Arabic numbers are based on the decimal number system and originated in India in the 6th or 7th century, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. They were first brought to Europe in the 12th century by Arab mathematicians and paved the way for modern algebra.
The NPD party is accused of neo-Nazi links. Intelligence services in Germany have described it as racist and anti-Semitic. But politicians in all of the country’s 16 states failed to outlaw the party in a bid through the Federal Constitutional Court. It dismissed the appeal in January, saying the party’s concept “disregards human dignity” but there was no “concrete evidence” it could achieve its nationalist goals.
Oh my people! Here’s my latest moral dilemma. Do I shriek and tear my hair because there is anyone this abysmally clueless, or do I take comfort in the fact that several hundred people did get the joke and laughed? Also, this was not, as it so easily might have been, Arkansas or South Dakota. Although … is it truly encouraging to find my country has no corner on idiocy? Perhaps not.
And next, not that I’m cynical, I wonder if this little faux pas will help or harm the man’s election chances. Anyone care to start a pool and guess how the poll numbers will run? Me, I’ll just wait and see. As one of our illustrious Ohio football coaches once said, either team could win.


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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15 Responses to Count On It

  1. I guess we have to laugh, eh? What a sad state of affairs.

  2. sojourner says:

    Linda, the movie, Idiocracy, as far as I am concerned, was a documentary, not a comedy! The dumbing down is just about complete.

    • Sojourner, I hear you … and remember I’ve spent most of the past few years in southern Ohio, where it’s even more flagrant.
      But … doesn’t “dumbing down” suggest we were once slightly smarter? As individuals, here and there, all right. But as a herd … I’m not sure we’ve ever been a good insurance risk as a species. I also saw a quick headline this morning, claiming a Florida sheriff was warning folks not to shoot at the incoming hurricane. Didn’t have the heart to check that one out! Though now I’m wondering just what would happen to bullets when they hit that eye-wall. In my next life, maybe I’ll try that.
      Thanks for your good, unexpectedly optimistic, comment, and (do not make me repeat this) don’t try shooting our next tornado, I just can’t think that would go well. – Linda

  3. tubularsock says:

    Linda, fear not! Stupidity is the BACKBONE of mankind! Otherwise we would have left the planet years ago!

  4. Great to see you back, Linda.

    • Thanks so much! It’s good to be back … I just seemed to run out of stamina while dealing with several deaths and serious illness in my family. When I have the energy, I should now have abundant material for major indictments of our so-called over-priced, overrated and unfair health care system.
      Thanks so much for your tireless efforts to keep us informed and indignant, which I’ve at least skimmed in recent months. I’m hoping to get myself back up to speed now I have a bit more time … while it lasts.

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