Stupid is as Stupid does. I have to thank Forrest Gump for that line. Over the past couple of weeks I have had a couple of occasions to remember this line.
First there was Adam Smith. No I am not talking about the famous economic philosopher. I am talking about the former CFO at Vante. You may know him better as the Chick-Fil-A bully. Here is one report about his antics and subsequent firing http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/02/adam-smith-chick-fil-a-drive-bully_n_1735357.html.
Now I have to say to myself – what was this guy thinking? He obviously planned on harassing the worker. I remember seeing the lines at Chick-Fil-A that day. He waited probably half an hour to order water and act rudely. Then he decided to record it. Did he not reconsider during that entire time he was waiting in line that this may not look well for him? Finally he decided to put this on Youtube. He must of thought about doing that while driving home. Did it not hit him while he was driving home and logging on to his computer how bad he would look? Did he think he would be seen as a hero? Did he think that he looked brave picking on some defenseless fast food worker? Did he think he was “helping his cause”? How could he not realize how much of a jerk he would look like? What drove him along the process of deciding to harass a worker, film it and post it? The only thing I can think is “stupid is as stupid does”.
But if that was not enough stupidity, I have NBC. Perhaps you have seen this story on a video that the company recently pulled from its website. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/nbcs-bodies-in-motion-video-backlash-objectifying-female-athletes_n_1764876.html. When I saw the story of this I had to think about some executive who greenlighted this terrible project. Did that executive really think that this would help NBC look good? I wonder how that conversation went when a producer came up with the idea of this video.
Producer: Hey I got a great idea for a video that will feature the athleticism of women Olympians. We can call it “bodies in motion”.
Executive: Sounds great. We can feature all the sports, basketball, volleyball, tennis, weightlifting ….
Executive: Well okay. I guess that makes sense. What kind of video shots should we use?
Producer: Well we need to slow it down at a lot of points so that we can really appreciate their…ah…form.
Executive: Okay. Well do you have any idea of music we should put to it. Maybe classical music or inspirational or jazz or…
Producer: Well I heard a song the other day while I was watching “Debbie does Everybody” and it really fits with this spot. Just trust me on this one.
Executive: Man this sounds great. I do not know if we can fit it into the on air program but we can for sure put it on our website. Get to work!!
Okay so maybe the conversation did not go precisely like that but at some point someone decided to put this video on the NBC website. Did that person not think about the consequences of doing so? Had that person not heard of feminists or conservative Christians, groups that normally do not work with each other but both are sure to be up in arms about such a video, and consider their reactions? At some point the executive has to realize that this is a rotten idea for the video especially in the way it was executed. All he (and yes for obvious reasons I am assuming it was a man who greenlighted this) had to do was at some point along the way think ahead to all the trouble this video would cause and then he could have the foresight to pull this insulting project. I guess once again – stupid is as stupid does.
Now I know that I am not the smartest person in the world. But I think that if I ever lose my mind and decide to film myself berating a fast food worker or put a semi-porno on the web that I will be smart enough to stop at some point along the thought process and consider the stupidity of what I am about to do. I guess I am not surprised at the actions of Adam Smith since I have known hateful people before or the actions of the NBC individuals since I expect some men to act like that with beautiful women. But in both cases you would expect people to think about the consequences of their actions and abstain from that lunacy. You would think that they would take 15 seconds to think beyond the initial emotional enjoyment of their actions and reconsider what they are about to do. But these episodes show that we do not always think about the long term effects of our actions and warn us about the consequences of not doing so. If we do not take such warnings seriously then we may be forced to remember one day: Stupid is as stupid does.