Supposedly long ago in a land that might be far, far away, the notoriously cryptic oracle at Delphi proclaimed Socrates the wisest dude in all the kingdom, explaining in its self-important way, because he alone knew that he did not know. Puzzled by the always confusing oracle which seemed to delight in pompously spouting meaningless nonsense to the world at large, Socrates merely shrugged his shoulders, forgot about the whole affair, and meandered off into the countryside chatting pleasantly with dudes from all walks of life when, out of the blue, the shocking realization of what the oracle meant came to him. They didn’t know they were ignorant! If nothing else, he knew, dudes can always be certain of their uncertainty and, therefore, their ignorance. Yet, Socrates was a good listener and even the most accomplished dudes he spoke to seemed to be accomplished idiots who were uncertain of their ignorance and mistakenly believed they knew things which, in actuality, they did not. Dumbfounded Socrates smiled ever so wryly and drolly informed them, "True wisdom is knowing you don’t know dude" to which I can’t resist adding ignorantly accepting our ignorance is how we really come to know anything silly.
Some of Socrates’ rudest neighbors in Athens, where he grew up, laughed out loud at the oracle’s pronouncement thinking it a hilarious joke and then cruelly laughed in his face calling him a complete buffoon. He was believed by many to be among the shortest, ugliest, and most clueless characters alive with, distasteful rumors had it, questionable personal hygiene. Despite being a little guy they say he was just so odd and his gait so fierce that even the most obnoxious bullies were careful never to bump into him by accident and, since he had been a fierce warrior, they may have been wise to avoid any serious confrontation. His vigorous old age, martial abilities, exceedingly strange disheveled appearance, and any other personal quirks or past history aside, the dude was nonetheless affectionately regarded by a lot of other dudes as an extremely gentle, noncontentious, and easy going old fart who almost always wisely allowed his ignorance and virtue to speak for themselves and, much more often than not, chose to meekly ask questions rather than offer his own ignorant opinions.
Anyway, on those rare occasions he did offer his stupid opinions he sometimes joked that ignorance is merely another mundane fact of life it is best for dudes everywhere to merely accept. Once he even scandalously suggested dudes could embrace their ignorance at least a little from time to time. Like a lunatic Socrates would madly ramble on ridiculously explaining that, as far as he was concerned, few things if any are more commonplace than ignorance. Chuckling and doing a little jig he would dramatically wave his arms in the air insisting to stunned bystanders that ignorance is apparently at least as ubiquitous, indispensible, and desirable as the air we breathe.
If a person is not aware much less accepting of the fact that they don’t know how to swim, he’d drone on to any dudes foolish enough to ask, they are said to be ignorant when it comes to swimming, however, everyone else is also apparently just as ignorant of a possibly infinite number of things. On the other hand, he’d say with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, if we instead become aware and accepting of the fact we don’t know how to swim we gain wisdom around water and could even earn an Olympic medal if we happen to find out we enjoy swimming or just happen to be exceptionally talented. Mockingly covering his mouth and pinching his nose he would tease, like the air we breathe, it is usually best to just to accept ignorance for what it is not and to put it to good use.
Many believe Socrates himself worshiped Gods and was not agnostic, however, his profoundly ignorant wisdom, or knowledge and sagacity acquired by becoming aware and accepting of our ignorance, nonetheless remains the foolish heart of ignorant agnostic and even off the wall anarchistic dudes everywhere. Whether we like it or not we are all constantly becoming aware and accepting of our ignorance in new ways and a cyclone is a common Asian metaphor for this relentless lifelong process. Around the calm center of the maelstrom fly all our ignorant beliefs, expectations, and preconceptions in a violent cacophony as they mindlessly collide with everything in their path. The deeper we dive into the maelstrom like lunatics tilting at windmills, the more confused disoriented, and clueless we can become. We can struggle to make our way to the calm center, the storm may throw us there against our will, or we may really not want to know how we got there, but once well inside the calm center as the riotous echoes of the storm fade into the velvet silence of the void we can once again feel the (cough) profound depths of our ignorance and know in our hearts how much we really don’t know. In other words, no different from any other dumb decision where, understandably, if dudes are not able to hear themselves think much less remember all the stupid issues involved life can get a little too interesting as far as they are concerned.
There are times when every dude has to take a deep breath, walk around the block, talk to a friend, stand on their head, or whatever we do to find our way back to the dude we want to be before doing anything else. For ignorant dudes like Socrates, knowing that he did not know was who he considered himself to be and who he wanted to be or, in other words, the clown he knew he already was. He reveled in his ignorance and could not imagine ever possibly wanting life to be any different. His profoundly ignorant wisdom was a completely mindless instinctual affirmation of his own dim awareness that did not require any ignorant beliefs, ideologies, or methodologies unless, of course, you consider ignorance itself a belief which is pretty weird if you ask me dude.
Meanwhile, back in Athens, despite his neighbors’ sometimes low opinion of him as a rather odd duck who asked a lot of really stupid boring questions, Socrates could be a complete bliss bunny at times and thoroughly enjoyed aimlessly wandering around schmoozing and reveling with the ignorant citizens of his beloved clueless democracy. As a result, perhaps unwisely, he witnessed countless clueless lives altered forever as, much to their chagrin, dazed and stunned dudes discovered they had somehow mindlessly congregated into groups like cattle and began inanely asking each other insipid questions such as, "How did I wind up here?" Thus, producing a never-ending stream of insane solutions to nonexistent problems, then inventing entirely new problems and, you know, all the usual foolishness that results from ignorant relationships which sometimes became so stupefying on large scales it literally takes your breath away, then changes, maybe grows completely out of control, and gives birth to new and totally clueless relationships everyone else knows are destined to ensure much pulling of hair, gnashing of teeth, laryngitis, and the occasional severely chapped lips.
All of which encouraged the goofiest dudes among them to excitedly abandoned their old ignorant beliefs at the first opportunity, only to immediately rush out to replace them with supposedly new and improved versions which, it was hoped, might at least pay for themselves or confer some members only advantage. On several occasions when vast hordes of clueless dudes and dudets assembled in one place they could became "self-organizing" like a bee hive or a garden where different kinds of ignorance and belligerence might crassly flourish in close proximity to each other, rub elbows and other body parts that shall remain unmentionable, until they had become mindless zombies breaking out in a feeding frenzy, attacking anything that moves, mobbing fast food franchises, and in their feasting orgies sometimes producing spectacularly ignorant, completely off the wall, unheard of, outlandish and/or, at the very least, extremely puzzling and confusing results which caused them to ask, "What was that shit?" Being an avid gardener of ignorant wisdom, all too familiar with bees, and considerably faster than any zombie dudes he knew the otherwise completely clueless Socrates, who by all accounts must have been breast fed by an absolute moron, was foolish enough to be destined to master the occasionally homicidal rage inducing but, otherwise, exceedingly dull and tedious monotonous art of asking insipid questions which, considering the job requirements, only the most ill-fated and totally clueless dudes ever insanely attempt, much less, manage to do any justice.
Not being altogether there to start with, Socrates diligently went about his dull day job as a teacher awkwardly stumbling and bumbling around the crazy place mindful to remember to laugh inappropriately at random intervals, while idly wandering around insipidly asking his more unconscious students lame questions he already knew they didn’t know the stupid answers to when, from out of nowhere, mad inspiration struck and, being the fantastic twit he was, just like that, the fool decided to take his insane job home with him. Unlike his not so bright students who were well practiced at ignoring his mindless prattle the other already confused citizens of Athens had no clue what to make of his strange questions and bizarre dialogues which some dudes said were boring because they pointlessly ran in dumb circles, while others dimly believed that, like a magician, he had magically manifested dude’s ignorance on stage for the whole world to see.
Inured to ignorant dudes sometimes rudely yelling at him and calling him a buffoon, and deciding to experiment with something a little different, Socrates ignored a lot of the ranting and raving over his stupid questions. He wasn’t demanding anyone listen to his questions and if ignorant dudes did not want to listen they damned well didn’t have to as far as he was concerned. Having too much fun just being his usual off-the-wall wacky self, he resolutely pressed on asking lame questions of any dudes foolish enough to listen and buy him drinks. The name calling and ridicule he was used to, but the comments about his mother confused him and he relied on his ignorant wisdom and metaphors to keep himself grounded in the midst of what, at times, seemed to be impending mass hysteria which, at any moment, might lead to a zombie feeding frenzy.
Crazy dude that he was Socrates naively believed that genuinely ignorant questions are ignorant by definition and can be senseless gifts of grace, that is, a mindless windfall or bequest dudes often don’t even know exists and, which, none of us ever did a damn thing to deserve anyway so it really doesn’t matter and is a waste of time to think about. Sometimes you’ll hear dudes say things like, "Mama didn’t raise no fools, I worked hard to become the man I am" knowing in their hearts the meaningless grace of ignorance can come from the most surprisingly lame sources and few things can surprise us like our own ignorance. Some say reality can but, I wouldn’t know and the only thing Socrates would say is, "The only thing I know is that I’m a know nothing". Anyway, with the possible exception of a few outlandish ideas about reality or whatever over-educated quantum mechanical experts are calling it these days, these kinds of simple ignorant questions have saved countless clueless lives, while any dudes foolish enough to get involved can feel absolutely nothing but nauseatingly pathetic and overwhelmingly mind-numbing insensate saccharine and, almost, orgasmic gratitude for having had the absurd opportunity to both give and receive such exquisite tripe and twaddle. A lot of misguided single-minded nose to the grindstone dedicated hard work also routinely generates boundless undeserved asinine gratitude for clueless dudes which get a lot of attention from the foolish press, nonetheless, the modest gift of a stupid question can speak directly to the altogether too often embarrassingly dreary issue of what it means to be a human being. Thus, it can become an easy target for producing amazingly pointless, clueless, and meaningless grace for ignorant believers, disbelievers, agnostics, and just plain ordinary dull lazy dudes from all walks of life which, being an ignorant people person himself, Socrates thought extremely appealing in his own rather odd and, perhaps, best not dwelled upon too much role as the officially unrecognized teacher, social butterfly, and town clown.
Irreverently, Socrates realized, our ignorant questions are what make the entire asinine species possible in the first place and, from firsthand experience, the dude knew that the most insane regrettable and deplorable friendships could produce an enormous wealth of ignorance. Of course, not all ignorant friendships and questions are equally meaningless, foolish, and/or of questionable taste, and some dudes are just better at asking and avoiding different kinds of ignorant questions, while a lot of us, let’s face it, are just plain clueless and it’s pointless to attempt to discuss the issue of why it is pointless to discuss the issue. Whatever stupid personal issues dudes have, the mindless sages supposedly ask the most stupefying, yet, insightful questions and Socrates himself said that, perhaps, the Gods themselves bestowed their virtuous clarity of ignorance at birth, or what we might call mindless genetic inheritance today. Nonetheless, his uncouth dictum was "Know thyself!" and he cracked the whip on his students just the way they like it, while passionately encouraging every dude he met to thoughtlessly think for themselves, ask stupid questions, join ignorant groups, and otherwise be stridently socially ignorant and nurture their ignorant wisdom like all good and stupid people do. Being so gregarious a lout I suspect Socrates didn’t waste a lot of time with inexperienced wallflowers, however, here was an ignorant dude you could say in all honest stupidity, at the very least, probably had an ignorant question for every clown he ever met.
Socrates, the prolific if somewhat indiscriminate, odd looking, smelly and, quite possibly, seriously deranged Johnny Appleseed of his own home grown not so secret recipe for spouting ignorant metaphors and soliciting ignorant questions, went on to reap their often irritating, haphazardly arranged, and sometimes cloyingly odious and, occasionally, even disturbingly creepy yet, nonetheless, strangely captivating and bewildering mysterious ludicrous bounty. And in the salad days as the fertilizer was pungently flung far and wide to be summarily dodged and, thereby, further scattered to the four winds as the crap got on everyone’s shoes and was trampled over hill and dale, rivers and streams, gutters, sewers, and kitchen floors, and the occasional chance landing in whatever shopping carts and convenient containers happened to be left out in the open Socrates’ ignorance invariably grew to know-no bounds and in small quantities multiplied a thousand fold inspired glazed looks, shocked expressions, and unsurpassed foolishness wherever he staggered or passed out, quite possibly drunk and malodorous, and like the king of fools he had unknowingly and unwittingly become, even when seven sheets to the wind flat out unconscious on the floor the dude still somehow managed on several obscure, unknown, and unidentifiable real and imaginary occasions to blindly, pointlessly, meaninglessly, futilely, awkwardly, clumsily, ingloriously, tragically yet single handedly with the unconscionable assistance of those clowns who wish to remain forever anonymous, did triumphantly transform ignorant ignoble defeats into meaningless noble victories all of which, of course, he was totally oblivious to and, let’s face it, in all likelihood the dude couldn’t have cared less about assuming he even understood you in the first place.
And, rambling on, amidst the cruelest winter of his despair his decimated, shriveled, desiccated, emaciated, brutally savaged, pounded, stomped on, pulverized, liquefied and, finally, crispy fried and baked harvests were bitter, raw, gritty, meager, insignificant, easily ignored, demoralizing, and just plain tasted horrible and as the foul cold winds blew he often heard a strange chattering sound he couldn’t identify which, along with his cold, numb, and misfiring brain, confused him as to which direction he should face when relieving himself. And when he could no longer cut the cheese because there was no more cheese left to cut he would use his head to break bread and when he could no longer break the stale bread because his brains were so scrambled he could no longer find it in the first place he would heroically hold his nose, close his eyes, and eat those really vile old pickled eggs and kimchee that smelled so bad no other fool had ever dared to touch them, all the while dreaming nostalgically of cutting the cheese in better days and tightening his sphincter. And when the last of the pickled eggs, kimchee, flatulence, bowl, and other unpleasant discomforts were gone and his bad breath no longer caused even the flies to leave him alone he would shuffle around aimlessly looking perplexed, sniffing his under arms pits and anywhere else the dude’s nose could reach and wistfully stuff small handfuls of dirt in his mouth idiotically puzzled about what it was he craved and like the starving pea brained mammal he had come to resemble rooting around in the dirt, whilst rummaging prone on all fours discovered much to his amazement the small dense pebbles he kept oddly finding in his mouth seemed to distantly remind him of something and then he thought of his dim witted students and began to drool with anticipation. And upon discovering his random rummaging about had guided him to a student’s home the dude was saved at last by the mouth watering and irresistible bouquet of a sumptuous feast whereupon he promptly dined upon the flowers and shrubbery. Naturally, of course, Socrates developed unnatural feelings of affinity, kinship, and stewardship for the mindless land, ignorant dudes, and small pebbles everywhere. Scandalously, however, deep down in his otherwise best quickly and completely forgotten, dismissed, and never to be mentioned again loins he had developed a growing aberrant desire to mindlessly shepherd and midwife the ignorance of past and future generations. Almost as if in eating the lawn the dude had completely flipped his wig and begun to identify with sheep.
Thanks to the enduring popularity of stupidity everywhere the story of ignorance remains a classic to this day and, in fact, the number of insane dudes continues to grow vigorously worldwide at a breathtaking rate that touches something missing inside everyone. Unfortunately for Socrates at the ripe old age of 80, and impatient for the old fart to die, some very ignorant dudes indeed condemned him to death for repeatedly and publically professing his ignorance, asking too many stupid questions, and foolishly teaching his ignorant wisdom instead of making them money. They say he had a chance to escape, but chose instead to die, preferring that to moving to some strange country I suppose and spending his few remaining days mindlessly playing with ignorant metaphors for hours on end or whatever silly things old dudes did back then to pass the time when they don’t know anybody in town and couldn’t find anyone willing to listen to their stupid questions and buy them drinks. Most of all, he said, he just wanted his hapless students to know he was not going to ignorantly abandoned them and for the whole world to foolishly remember that, although ignorance can know-no bounds, ignorant dudes everywhere can still share their ignorant wisdom and, like the happy idiots we all know we can be, actually learn to enjoy the prospect.
So ends the tale of Socrates the fool who became an infamous legend in his own time (well, sort of) because he didn’t know when to stop asking stupid questions, spouting ignorant metaphors, and cracking jokes. Some say since those dark days when flamboyantly ignorant dudes were more commonly persecuted and executed they’ve become harder to find but, personally, I never have any problems finding total idiots everywhere I go. Others say when the student is foolishly prepared the clueless masters of ignorance find them or they end up in mental institutions or whatever crazy nonsense, however, in my admittedly worthless opinion, ignorant dudes say a lot things and I should know. Anyway, along with countless other famous flamboyantly foolish dudes in history the legend of Socrates with his ignorant wisdom and his ignorant sacrifice, survives ignominiously enshrined for all posterity and posteriors in holidays such as April Fool’s day celebrated by ignorant agnostic dudes and other jokers around the world.
The legend of Socrates itself is an absurd variation on the ancient theme of the "divine fool" which attempts to tickle or humor the confused, gullible, and often easily amused audience into forking over their money without thinking. Fans can eagerly anticipate being able to admire their favorite batty actors playing characters even more dim witted then themselves and eagerly anticipate following the same monotonous and dreary lame plots about progressively clueless and insane dudes who don’t get the joke and become the butt end of jokes. As you can imagine the jobs of the brainless actor, director, and writer are extraordinarily demanding considering the average intelligence of the public at large. Their complex ignorant metaphors and sweepingly vague scenarios lend themselves to a genre perhaps best described by the basest of art critics as ignorant sock puppet peek-a-boo theater which, of course, in addition to comedy also lends itself well to horror and the usual unrelenting existentialist angst. Although widely renowned for its often disturbing and just plain irritating qualities ignorant sock puppet peek-a-boo theater can also support marvelously complex metamorphic transformations that grace such intriguing and complex classic tales of ignorance as, "The Ugly Duckling", "The Three Stooges", or whatever.
Many dudes naively believe Socrates intentionally used his ignorant humor to promote humility and, certainly, by almost any standard ignorance is about as humble as it gets, nevertheless, as Will Rodgers once complained to his manager he could not tell just any stupid joke he wanted because dudes will never laugh at anything that is not based on the stupid truth. Being a teacher who other idiots foolishly assumed knew the ignorant truth and who, oddly enough, loved to hear people laugh insipidly, Socrates was just a big enough fool to believe that what our ignorance requires most of all is foolish understanding and acceptancewhich, of course, can lead to anything from a new school of comedy to inventing a better shampoo or political chaos and widespread panic in the streets. Inevitably another crazy, crazy dude named Aristotle invented the foundations of modern logic based on the ignorant teachings of Socrates and blew the entire insane world’s mind.
Aristotle’s ignorant logic became unbelievably popular among dim witted dudes everywhere who ignorantly make money off other people’s ignorance or whatever and today the concerted worldwide efforts to find new and interesting ways to both conceal and expose ignorance continue unabated as they have done uninterrupted since the dawn of time. Baring the occasional random monkey wrench some demented dude throws into these efforts just for fun, they continue pretty much unchanged today with the exception of a renewed interest in the more off the wall and socially unacceptable slapstick methods thanks to the enduring legacy of questionable characters like Socrates. Notably quantum indeterminacy remains utterly unfathomable to over-educated dudes everywhere, with the possible exception of the a few of the more brain dead among them, and indistinguishable from the void of their own ignorance. Additionally, no single type of logic has proven ignorant enough to be capable of describing every stupid thing foolishly believed to exist and whatever the idiots mean by "existence" when talking about quantum mechanics.
Anywho, in the last century confused but, nonetheless, cunning linguists have erroneously come to believe they’ve made significant progress with ignorance and insist they could established a science of the ignorant spoken word sometime this already outrageously slapstick century. If so, academia could be thrown into total chaos as enormous volumes of hot air accumulated over the eons are, at long last, ventilated which, one assumes, will be accompanied by loud hissing sounds, farts, relief, and who knows what. At that point I also expect to hear renewed incoherent and inconsolable howls of indignant protest, pain, and outrage as well as the usual minor complaints about boredom or whatever, regardless, it must be at least feebly remembered by an easily dismissed and overlooked vanishingly small, illiterate, mute, aging, repulsive and, quite frankly, extremely unpopular if not blatantly and vehemently despised minority of complete idiots, you know who I mean, those ignorant dudes who shall remain forever anonymous, nameless, and otherwise unrecognized for unspoken and, perhaps, entirely unknown and unknowable reasons still the idiots must at least on rare occasions dimly and distantly remember that these are merely ignorant tools for authors of ignorant stories who still foolishly depend on their ignorant dudely wisdom.
Evidence of just how painful and traumatic the social transition might be arose in 2008 when the evolutionary biologist Alastair Clarke published the first fuzzy logic universal theory of humor apparently establishing what could become the foundations for, ironically, a serious science of comedy. His account is remarkably and deliberately dry, dry, dry even by academic standards making it difficult to ascertain the full comedic potential, but as far as I can tell he has basically proposed that all of cognition itself evolved out of humor and the need for any living organism to be capable of detecting what is and is not likely to be complete and utterly laughable bullshit. Therefore, in order to fully comprehend exactly how civilization has at long last achieved this new lofty pinnacle of comedic heights is far deeper into the dudely bullshit than I care to get into right now if you catch my drift dude.
Doctor Joe says
Wow!!! What a diatribe. Really got into the meat and potatos of Socrates. I think I’ll go watch Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure one more time.
This has to be the freshest and most insightful take on Socrates I’ve read in a long, long time. Brilliant work, dude.
Alantis. love. Im a girl yo