Matt the Mensan

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write,
but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

– Alvin Toffler, writer

Sorry, I’ve been on hiatus during the summer season. Life ain’t just about updating websites. But, I know, I gotta be more responsible and disciplined to keep the few of you folks that visit my site in mind. So, here we go again…

Here’s a follow-up to my last journal entry about the Mensa test I took. There were a couple of other fellow peers that took the test with me. And one of them qualified. His name is Matt Rau.

Matt RauWho is he? Well, I’ve known him since when he was a co-worker of mines back in my later years of BofA at branch #299. (mem-moor-ries…) In the beginning when he started out, he seemed like a quiet fellow who always had a book under his arm. (Don’t let this deceive you. He’s preparing for the coming of an intellectual Armageddon.) But when he spoke, it was always about tits and ass, so I realized he wasn’t lost to reality of this world.

On a side note: If you’re the type that likes to brag about how they haven’t read a book since high school, you’re a fucken geek.

Anyways, here is Matt’s response (unedited, uncensored, in its entirety):

Hey Ray:

Well, I read your site and I think we seem to see The Organization the same way. However, I think many of the objections that either you or IA had to it could be said of any exclusive association, not restricted merely to Mensa or even to so-called honor societies as a whole. I think that the elitist attitude that is so annoying is pretty common in members of exclusive organizations, almost by definition. I think feelings of elitism yet underappreciation, even being misunderstood, are pretty common also. And a rigid organization, as IA pointed out, caters more to the political leanings of the conservative than the liberal.

The only problem I see is that the prevailing attitude towards scholar societies is one of IQ snobbishness; in reality, anywhere an educated person goes, there follows the danger of the “insufferable boob” attitude rearing its ugly head. A card or acceptance letter no more changes your personality than validates your intelligence. Dave, you, and I went into the exam with an attitude of exploration more than seeing the test as a value-determining device. And had all of us passed or not I don’t think that attitude would change. A humble person remains humble despite changing conditions; an IQ dick will always be one.

The point that many geniuses you respect don’t give a fuck about Mensa is very true; my own heroes don’t give a fuck about society, much less a club within it. But I think many in Mensa don’t give a fuck about it either and instead hope to get some substance out of membership. As in any group, there will be a very visible section that are the “joiners,” for whom a title means most. But you and I and our friends probably don’t fit that description. Most of the people I respect are “focus on the fruit, not on the flower” types. Few of my friends even know I sat for the test. In fact, that little hoo-riding session on the way to Blondie’s was the longest conversation I’ve had about Mensa (before this one, I guess.)

My point is simply that I hope you don’t perceive Mensa to be more obtuse than any other group with selection criteria. A thinker challenges the merits of any exclusive organization, and so the fact that Mensa membership grows at all, given its credo to be the high intelligence society, is somewhat ironic. In fact, I haven’t yet sent in my registration due to my own reservations… after all, $49 buys a lot of whiskey….

Anyway, sorry about the length of the email, but reading your journal helped to crystallize some of my own thoughts. Lunch on Saturday sounds good – Mike is down, too.

Peace, bro.

Well, that’s the last words about Mensa for now.

I’ve found a new hero. At the risk of sounding cliche because of my ethnicity, his name is Bruce Lee. What is it with this new found interest? Well, I was watching A&E one day and they were airing the documentary on this cool cat called Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey. What I’m interested in is not necessarily Bruce Lee the martial artist but Bruce Lee the philosopher. He was a philosophy major at Washington University before he opened his martial arts schools. He held three main views that paralleled my philosophical views that I’ve learned throughout my years. (1) That ‘traditionalism’ is a hinderance. (2) That the existence of God can not be proven. As Micheal Shermer explains,”It is an unsoluble question.” (3) That Knowledge Of Self — Know Thyself — is the beginning of all Wisdom. Visit Tuttle Publishing for the official Bruce Lee library which is a collection of his interviews, letters, and, of course, his martial artist theories.

In light of the recent release of the movie “Signs”, here’s a good article entitled Harvesting A Hoax. As for the movie itself, I did enjoy it. But I’m not goin’ to give you a long-winded review by me. Roger Ebert gives more than enough thoughts here. In my personal opinion, M. Night Shyamalan has a certain wit and intelligence in cinematography and storytelling. He’s someone we should be paying attention to…

This journal entry is somewhat outdated. Matt wrote his response back in early July and Bruce Lee recaught my attention during the summer. And, of course, Signs came out about a couple months back. So, I owe you folks a more recent journal entry. There are new Life thoughts, dirty views, and bitching and moaning rants. But be patient… it’s already being written.