Sunday, 27 July 2008


TSTL – do you know what that means? I didn’t but then I’m not big on abbreviations or that trendy squiggly crap language – dots and dashes - people use now to express emotions. I like to speak my Australian version of English. It works for me. I never follow trends and I don’t like tags or cutesy abbreviations. I speak as I am and think for myself.

But back to TSTL – apparently this means too stupid to live. Yes, it’s another trendy way to describe someone who is not considered smart by the person labelling them TSTL. So who defines what is too stupid to live? Who is exactly is stupid? And can stupid work for you?

Definition of stupid –

- lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity.
- dazed: in a state of mental numbness especially as resulting from shock; "he had a dazed expression on his face"; "lay semiconscious, stunned (or stupefied) by the blow"; "was stupid from fatigue"
- a person who is not very bright; "The economy, stupid!"

So, there is the internet dictionary definition of stupid. You can be considered stupid if you are ‘marked by a lack of intellectual acuity.’ Well, colour me stupid then as I am not an intellectual in any way shape or form and to be honest I don’t want to be an intellectual –

Definition of intellectual -

- cerebral: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct; "a cerebral approach to the problem"; "cerebral drama"

Cerebral drama’ – don’t we get enough of that just watching politicians? My personal belief is we have too many people being ‘cerebral’ rather than assessing things on gut instinct like a normal person, without any agenda, and acting to achieve the best outcome without wanting a prize, votes or adulation. Give me raw emotion and real people any day. If that’s considered stupid by the TSTL crew – that’s okay by me. I’m stupid. As for ‘a person who is not very bright’ – who is all the time? Name me one person you know that is consistently bright every single day of their lives and knows every bloody thing there is to know? I would suggest the answer is no one – but my all means prove me wrong.

That brings me to who exactly is stupid? My personal opinion? No one. However there are evil, spiteful bastards out there like terrorists, war mongers, racists, rapists and pedophiles. Stupid does not apply to them. Why? Because they are lower than pond scum and to my understanding pond scum is not worth rating because it’s beneath us all and slime will always be slime.

So, to me, no person is actually stupid. We all have forehead slap moments where we think why did I say or do that? No human being is ever going to know everything and we are all, at some time, going to be considered less than ‘bright’ by someone who does not know us. That’s fine. I can live with that.

Can stupid work for you? Of course it can. There are some people who actively use ‘being stupid’ to get what they want. Have you noticed that? They are the ones that ask the questions that make everyone else do the eye roll thing. These pretend-stupid people then manage to get other people to do things for them. Have you seen that? I have and occasionally found myself helping the person and thinking later that I got suckered into their ‘I’m so helpless plea.’ And yeah there are genuinely helpless people but have you noticed they have more pride and independence than to whine for help. So yes, if you want something that you cannot get or be bothered to push yourself to get and you are prepared to dumb down for someone to help you get it – stupid can work for you.

Before tagging someone with the TSTL label – and we’ve all done it – myself included though I tend to say as ‘not the sharpest tool in the shed’ think if by your words and actions you may also fit that label.

Label – belongs on jars and school book covers -- Amarinda Jones

TSTL? LMNOP? XYZ? Please…lets move on to something less cutesy and try and talk in actual words…we used to do it before.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Anny Cook said...

Heh. Well, I believe that "label" is generally used in the romance genre to denote a character (unfortunately, usually a woman) who behaves in a totally illogical manner so as to place herself and possibly the other characters in unnecessary danger. Such as the woman who know that there's a murderer on the loose, but fails to lock her doors--or worse, lets a stranger in her home.

Sometimes, she's just a ditz. If the author deliberately writes her as a ditz, then that's on the author's head.

barbara huffert said...

I used to work with a pretend stupid who made it into an art form. What I never understood was that everyone knew it yet no one called her on it. I was so happy when I was transferred out of that department and no longer had to be involved since I was always being told I was picking on her when I wouldn't drop everything to help.

Sandra Cox said...

I like the Amarinda quote: labels belong on jars. Good blog as always.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

I think it's far easier to slap labels on characters than on real people. Real, three dimensional people are complex. Reading the old romance novels, I frequently despised the heroines who were written so thinly that the hero had to come along and rescue them. I much prefer today's books where the characters are allowed to have good and bad qualities and they're far more likely to work together to solve the problems.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've had plenty of "slapping the forehead" moments lately but would never consider myself TSTL. Lots of us do and say things in a "distracted moment" they'd love to take back. Sometimes I speak before I think and that's bad too. Figure I'm a work in progress. I keep trying to do better.

LynTaylor said...

I'm starting to get a callous on my head from all the head slapping moments :D

Unknown said...

I've only ever heard someone use TSTL in regards to a book character, never to a real live person. I hope no one would say that about a real person.

JacquƩline Roth said...

TSTL is usually a reference to a character in a book or movie. You know the guy who goes into the basement of the old house to look for his buddy who just disappeared down there screaming horribly? TSTL. The girl who decides to open the door when she hears a knock on it at 3am and has no idea whose outside it? You know that character is going to be toast.

I've also heard it referenced as a red uniform character...a reference to the unknown red uniformed ensign in Star Trek who beams down with the away team. Dude ain't making it back to the ship.

As to stupid, I always tell my students stupid means doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.