Friday, October 29, 2010

Entry 105: Lessons From A Fictional Trans-Gender

Hey there, peeps.

I finished a book by Gary Mathews titled "Little Red Rooster."  Good book, sort of a first-person coming of age story for a young smart-ass in a small town.  In a bizarre twist, the main character (Burris Weems- great name!) befriends a guy at his summer job whose girlfriend has a trans-gender father (mother?)... sort of.

Apparently the girl's father, "Gene," was married for years and occasionally dressed up in his wife's clothes (who doesn't?)  While not gay in the catcher/pitcher sense, Gene decides to pursue his true self by having surgery done to become a woman.  Like, all the surgery.  As in, doctors removed his wang and replaced it with... a vagina-like thing.  (don't even want to think about that.)  His doctors made him wait a year to perform the surgery, as they wanted to make sure he was certain as the surgery was irreversible. 

Gene was smart enough to tell the doctors what they wanted to hear and went through with the surgery.  Then he regretted it in every sense of the word and lived a miserable and depressed life, dependent on his daughter to take care of him and provide minimal emotional support to keep him from killing himself.  Which, in the end, he does anyway (and Burris packs him in the trunk of a car with icebags as part of a crazy scheme to get with the daughter.  Yeah, weird.).

So Gene was smart enough to get his way and what he thought he wanted, but dumb enough that he had no idea of what he really wanted in life.  Think about it: had he been smarter he would have realized that the surgery was a terrible idea and not gone through with it.  Had he been dumber he wouldn't have been able to convince the doctors to perform the surgery.

Putting the sex-change them aside, how many of you feel like you live in a gray zone somewhere between too dumb and too smart?  I think I do.  I've asked some of my friends if they could choose to be dumb but happy would they do it.  They all say no.  Why?  Would you make that trade?  Peace and contentment at the low price of your self-awareness and wits. 

I still feel most of you wouldn't trade your smarts for peace, but what if I threw in another bone: say, a great sense of humor?  Better looks?  What would it take?

I for one think I'm close enough to the boundary to just work on my smarts some and get out of the gray zone.  I know a few people who could stand to be just a bit dumber, too.

Smart or dumb, however, I ain't cuttin' off my wiener. 


PS did you read about the dude that hooked up with Christine O'Donnell?


  1. I feel like I'm in the gray zone. Unfortunately, sometimes my intelligence doesn't translate well & I still seem pretty dumb. And growing up in the south my whole life, it was actually pretty difficult for me to fit in with others because I was smarter than most my age. As if I didn't have a hard enough time being home schooled.

    The only thing I'd trade some of my intelligence for is to have thicker hair again. I took an anti-depressant 6 years ago & it made my hair thin & I'm SO self-conscious about it.

    That book sounds really good. How long is it?

  2. Don't sweat it, dude. My hair is thinning (thanks, dad) and I just get more charming to make up for it. Remember, if you were just good-looking, you'd never have to earn your keep. Know what I mean?

    Book is pretty good. About 200 pages.

  3. It's true. We have to make up for our appearances with personality now. Wonderful.

    200 pages in manageable.

  4. HAHA I posted as anonymous.


    PS it was me

  5. I haven't read this book but I feel like it's not so much about being dumb, but more about not knowing what you want. I feel like what you're saying is that if you can't think things through, all the way to the end with all the possible repercussions and problems, then you're an idiot. But it's impossible to be 100% sure of what you want or to know how you'll feel about something later (haven't we had this discussion before?). Things change and we change. I don't think it means you're dumb if you're not happy in the end. I think almost everything happens by synchronicity or serendipity. Alot of times it's the really small actions or words that change everything and decide on the course of the future.

    That's what I think anyway.

  6. No, if that were my definition of being smart than it would be impossible for anyone to achieve it and so no one would be smart. That wouldn't make much sense.

    In this case, the man himself wails that if he had only been smart enough to have the self-reflection to discover the real cause of his life's inadequacies, he would have been less likely to undergo a life-altering surgery (that he came to regret).

    Am I confusing intelligence for wisdom? Maybe. Am I wrongly implying a causal relationship between someone's intelligence and their outlook, personality, and lifeview? Definitely.

    Most of this stems from my friend's (Krust) observation that stupid people generally seem happier, and smarter people are miserable and usually medicated. It's hard to argue with that observation, though I won't sign off on it as fact.

    Theories of what happiness is, how it happens, and how we affect its influence on our lives abound. There is no real answer, but there are a lot of provocative questions! I highly recommend a book to read:

    "Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner. One funny and grouchy guy goes to 10 different countries to see how they define and pursue happiness. Hilarious and insightful! (like me).

    PS What do you mean? Synchronicity is a phenomenon where events unlikely to occur together normally do so anyway due to an underlying and unknown meaning. Serendipity is something fortunate happening by chance.

    You said "A lot of times it's the really small actions or words that change everything and decide on the course of the future," which is one thing causing another. While not exclusive, causality doesn't have much to do with synchronicity or serendipity.

    PPS Yes, I'm picking on you.

  7. Surely everyone is in the grey zone by their own standards? I'm pretty sure nobody would say "you know what? I am just the right amount of clever." Grass is always greener.

    I once heard someone saying that if they weren't so clever they'd have been blissfully unaware that their boyfriend was cheating on them and all would be fine.

    Personally I'd rather be smarter. I'm always one to improve myself though. I felt like telling this girl this... After all, if she was smarter she could have figured out he was an arse hole in the first place.

  8. ya one thing will cause another. Everything causes something, that's inevitable but I think luck(or another word that's not in my vocabulary yet)has alot to do with it. I just mean that no matter how much you think (or sometimes overthink)things there's nothing you can do. One little word might change someone's perception on you, or one event where you were at the wrong place at the wrong time might turn out to be the best thing that's ever happen to you.

    I'm not even sure what I'm saying or defending right now. I'll just go back and hide again for another little while. It's not my time to come out yet.

  9. Good point Laura. Thought "smart" seems to have little to do with successful relationships, depending on how you define 'smart'.

    Foxy- I agree with your principle. Though I hope you're not saying to just give up and never try anything because it makes no difference. I don't like that. I DO like the idea of not trying and worrying so much in life, knowing that there are no accidents in a perfect universe and that wherever and whoever you are is okay.

    As they describe the Tao: it does nothing and leaves nothing undone.