If you ain’t smart, act like you is

Brian Lecuyer

Brian Lecuyer

Non Merita di creatore, se non Iddio ed il Poeta-Tasso.

Intelligence, like beauty or wealth, is something very few of us have. However, like beauty and wealth, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to know about your shortcomings. If you’re ugly, wear makeup; if you’re poor, get a credit card; if you’re stupid, act smart.

How do you act smart? It’s really quite simple. Take the quote that started this column: what does the average person read into that quote? Remember — the average person is an idiot. The average person probably thinks that I have a working knowledge of some strange romance language, and that I am familiar with the works of some guy named Tasso. And any person who knows another language and Tasso must be genius.

Or maybe not. After all, you do not recognize the above language-The above statement might be pure gibberish. And have you ever heard of Tasso? Tasso may be a famous Italian poet or it could be a name I took from the bottom of a microwave-safe dish. You don’t know. Nor does any other unintelligent person.

Which is how anyone can pretend to be intelligent — make stuff up. Don’t worry about details like facts and truths, and instead focus on appearing smart. The next time you’re having a conversation with someone, quote a Mandy Moore song, but attribute it to a famous English poet. Don’t know any English poets, I’ll give you a few-Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, Thomas; they’ll all work.

Don’t know much about history? That’s alright, all you really need to know you can learn at your local video store-movies like Pearl Harbor, Titanic, Thirteen Days, The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan and, if you prefer your history Scottish, Braveheart, all can help your pseudo-historical intelligence immensely. Yeah, I know these movies take some liberties with history, but who cares? It’s not like most people actually bother to learn about important historical events.

Still not quite able to convince you friends and loved-ones of your intelligence? That’s okay, you still have one trump card to play: statistics. Seventy one percent of people cannot tell real from completely false statistics, so just make up some numbers that help prove your point, attribute them to a “Gallop Poll” and walk away. Everyone will be stunned by the wealth of knowledge at your disposal.

Just pretend to be smart, and no one will be the wiser. Except for actual smart people.

E-mail comments to Brian at [email protected].