Collegiality and the Google Dumb

Collegiality is my least favorite social concept because when its toes are crossed all it does is manufacture a semantic debate.  Collegiality is connected to being politically correct. Being politically correct is based on the golden rule. I don’t want to be called a racist or misogynistic term so I won’t call you one.  It goes beyond that but not much further like don’t make Cancer or HIV jokes because you never know whom in the room may take offense. You may find the joke funny, many others will not.

Collegiality is different.  The concept has helped to bring the Google dumb soaring to new levels.    These are the people who can’t make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of soup.  Both tasks are skills that need to be learned and the answers are readily available to all at our fingertips.

On the top of the list is Donald Trump.  He has a phone and therefore has Google, contacts and Twitter.  If he asked the question, ‘How to flatten the curve?’ Worldwide data would pop up that would say to pretty much shut everything down, wear masks, test everyone at tedium and restrict movement of high risk people and high risk carriers.  He could even call another world leader from countries like Turkey and France and they would say the same. Yet, he does not and not doing so proves that Trump is Google dumb regardless of intelligence or just an insane sociopath evil doer.

Masks: I protect you, you protect me.

The inspiration for this blog came when going out to walk the dog after watching  the above YouTube video. There is a saying out of sight out of mind. Up until a month ago I certainly didn’t know about the proper technique of wearing a face mask or gloves.   Never had a job dealing with deadly contagions so why would I? I wouldn’t. It wasn’t part of my life. Now that it is, I am learning as quickly as possible so that I protect you with the hope that you protect me.

Today, it is mandatory where I live and yet many don’t wear one and others only cover their mouths and not their noses. To them, pluck you! We are in this together and although, I don’t want you to die, I would prefer it to be you than me if you are making choices that are Google dumb.  You are putting my life in danger that is wrong. 

The problem in instances like this is that the other person is clearly in the wrong yet they make themselves out to be the victim when they are confronted.  Why are you telling me what to do? Are you my boss? Or just a plain hand gesture or fuck you. This is when collegiality makes me want to break stuff. Somehow the applied theory makes the dumb person the victim when clearly that is not the case.

Last summer I was in Italy and I had just seen my girlfriend off at the train to go home and I had a few hours to kill.  I went to a cafe. It was sunny outside and there were 20 tables outside on the street, all empty. I sat at the far end alone with my dog at my feet.  I ordered and waited. As my food arrived, a couple sat down. They immediately put cigarettes on the table.  

I said, “Excuse me, would you mind moving to another table.  I am about to eat and would prefer not to smell the smoke.’

They immediately got angered, stating, ‘Who do you think you are? We are free to smoke?’

I got up and moved.  But who do I think I am, someone who doesn’t want to smell smoke when eating at an Italian restaurant outside in the fresh air. Also, someone who believes the writing and pictures on the box that say smoking kills you and second hand smoke kills others.  It’s not debatable anymore. Yet they made me out to be the aggressor and them to be the victims. At the heart that is collegiality. It forces the person in the right to get angry and enables the Google dumb to play victim.

I am certainly not the smartest person in the room and I make mistake after mistake.  I own them and enjoy the process of learning. Seems to me that many others like to play the part of victim and fight change even when change is needed and more importantly, would be good and help others.  

Trump’s Pandemic has made me think a lot about others again and who they are and what makes them different or the same. I tend to live in a place of hope yet it seems harder and harder lately.  I don’t want to get mine. I want to get ours and if that means me having less, I am okay with that. But it seems others are not even those with less. It’s almost like most people are unwilling to try to find empathy or a broader and global perspective.  It is needed more today than ever. Coronavirus is global and it needs a global solution which means we need to all come together to solve a human problem that is bigger than self, city, state and nation.

I write to find answers and try to get closer to a common truth.  When I am wrong, I admit it, apologize and ask how to move on. Many others seem to get stuck in the mistake of them or others and it stops forward movement.  That’s a problem, especially today in these uncertain times when unity is so clearly part of the answer.


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