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Idiots or Assholes?

I’ve been stunned by the circus that is the BP oil spill repair efforts. Seriously, it’s been like watching Pinky And The Brain plot to take over the world.

First we had the original accident, which was so unlikely to ever happen, that it was hardly worth doing inspections on the safety equipment designed to kick in if something does go wrong. And then when, against all odds, something did go wrong, the equipment (which went untested) shockingly failed to work. Once that happened, we watched BP’s brilliant engineers come up with a plan to stop the oil geyser on the fly, because there was no emergency plan in place. What did they come up with? They tried to slip a giant condom over the geyser. A plan which, by the way, even they didn’t think would work. When the condom failed, they decided to try a smaller condom! One that would just cover the tip. I’m not sure how one concludes that an extra small condom will get the job done when the XXL trojan didn’t work, but to no one’s surprise, this didn’t work either. The next plan is to clog the leak up with garbage. No, I’m not kidding. They have named it the “junk shot”. I wish I had the type of imagination to make this shit up.

There was a senate hearing into the matter last week, which was hilarious before it even began. We’re going to watch the lawmakers that lobbied for the loosening of regulations on the oil industry “get tough” on oil executives? Seriously? Predictably during the hearings, all three of the companies involved (BP, Transocean, and Haliburton) pointed the finger at the other companies. This, by the way, is going to be the strategy for how they’re going to stave off paying one nickle in damages for decades. The one thing that all three companies could agree on is that no one could have seen this coming.

This seems to be a common theme in America these days. One day you’re a brilliant and successful CEO of a very large company, touting your genius to every politician that you can buy. The next day, after something goes horribly wrong, you suddenly become clueless, an idiot that never saw it coming. We saw all of the bank CEOs transform themselves from genius to idiot. None of them could have seen the financial collapse coming. Angelo Mozilo (of Countrywide infamy) embraced his idiocy so vehemently, that he spun his sister (Lori Mozilo) into such an empathetic fervor, that she wrote this blog for HuffPo. She seems lovely, doesn’t she? I mean it. She seems like a lovely person that has bought her brother’s bullshit hook, line, and sinker. Congratulations Angelo, you’re an asshole that turned his sister into an idiot. Well played. I have to wonder, did these people adamantly profess their stupidity to the board of directors of their companies when they were negotiating their compensation packages? And will any of them be so wracked with guilt for being so over compensated (given the fact that they’re idiots), that they’re going to return the piles of cash that they made to the shareholders?

This tactic isn’t limited to CEOs who find themselves in trouble. This tactic of stupidity is everywhere. When people try to step in line in front of you, they always feign cluelessness for “not having seen you there”, or for not understanding why 30 people are lined up in a designated area. Oh, there’s a line? We see it when someone cuts you off on the freeway so that they can make the offramp. They didn’t cut you off because they’re assholes, they cut off because they didn’t see you there.

It’s the, “I’m not an asshole, I’m an idiot” defense. Personally, I’ve had about all I can take of this. Why does this work? Where did we get the idea that idiot is better than asshole?

Does anyone out there find an idiot less contemptible than an asshole?

I am of the opinion that an asshole that uses the idiot defense is the most loathsome kind of person on earth. But that’s just me. I own up to my assholiness when it’s deserved. Why doesn’t anyone else?

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