Being Smart is Overrated

Good afternoon y’all. I know I just dropped a post, but I got a lot on my mind today. Since I am on a roll, I might as well keep going. I know a lot of you are gonna look at the title of this post and be like, “Marc is bugging out with this.” Before you start thinking I been sipping on some green tea with traces of lead in it, just hear me out for a minute. Now obviously looking at 99.9 percent of the content of this blog, I am a brother that likes to read. Yes, there are people that read for recreation.  Odd, yes I know, but we do exist. That in itself would not be an issue, but it’s when folks can’t see past the pedagogy and regard you as just a brain. Not cool.

Yeah, I do like to read, but that ain’t all. In other words, I am “more than smart” however crazy that sounds. I mean damn, who wants to have their only claim to fame in life be that they are really smart? Imagine that going on your tombstone. “Here lies the remains of a smart cat.” Meh. Not exactly an endearing way to be remembered when you really think about it huh?

Besides, I am surrounded by intelligent folks in my life. Just calling someone smart doesn’t really illuminate what is different about a person. Not to mention that there are different kinds of intelligence, and different ways in which it can be displayed. It takes a different kind of mental acumen to be good at sports or science, or being astute at math or literature.  Even though I enjoy talking about history, you wouldn’t want me as a math tutor. #justbeingreal

In addition to that, smart doesn’t say anything about a persons character. In my opinion, it’s also about what a person or group of people do with their intelligence.  The good people of Wall Street who are responsible for crashing the economy and concocting sub-prime loans are “smart” but I don’t want to be lumped in with them. I mean damn as much as they are loathe-worthy, having the skill to make numbers lie is some genius stuff.  Also, the people in charge of the media forces that are today shifting the public’s attention to those pesky public workers away from the banksters and punishing 9 to 5’ers for a mess brought upon by corporate misconduct are “smart” in framing their message to be sopped up. It doesn’t mean they are ethical.

So I am saying all this to show that being smart in of itself is overrated. Are you principled? Do you use your intelligence to deliberately mislead people? Lie to them? Part of the reason I read so much is to keep from being in the dark. The old saying was that if you want to hide something from Black people, put it in a book. I never should have read that quote. It’s the reason my bookshelf is overcrowded. Ha. We got 8 more days of allowed Black History, so I had to squeeze in that point. In March, it’s back to nonsense as usual. #PublicPSA

In closing, I must re-iterate that smart people are people too. Now enough of this smarty-art ish, it’s time for me to go skill-up in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Ha ha! Peace!

-Marc W. Polite

More than just a Brain


  1. Well said, Marc. I think what you point out is what happens when “smart” people hang around “not smart” people and then have to be “the smart one”. I grew up as “the smart one” in my family, among my school friends. I decided to go to any Ivy League college with the hope that, amongst a group of people who were always “the smart one”, I could forge a new identity. It turned out that I was right, and I became “the funny/sarcastic one”, which assumes that we’re all smart and that my sense of humor is what distinguishes me from others in my environment.

    Food for thought: I wonder if this happens to folks other than African Americans?

  2. Thank you Deltra. Sometimes it can be almost a stigma only being known as “smart” Glad you were able to get from under that limiting designation. I believe it does happen to other folks besides Black Americans. Look at the entire mainstream culture of video games and comic books and how the folks who partake are regarded as smart but nothing else. It’s not particular to us, but there is a twist when Black people are noted as intelligent.. because the stereotype is that.. well we aren’t supposed to be. I have been in situations when people I interact with were overly surprised that I knew as much as I did about certain topics. But that is a whole nother post. Ha ha. Thanks for your reply.

  3. LOL! This was awesome! You raise very good points! I’d hate to be grouped with the smarties down on Wall Street as well. I can appreciate wanting to be seen for more than meets the eye. Great read.

    P.S. I completely moved my blog to WordPress via your influence. 🙂

  4. Thanks Aisha. I wanted to write this just to differentiate myself from smart folks with no principles/morals, and smart folks with some type of social consciousness. Wow! Congrats. Welcome to the wonderful world of WordPress. You gotta give me the new link.

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