Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, 7:05 by Denis Chabrol
By Paul Sanders, New York, May 2021
Mentally lazy. The new, powerful political buzz phrase. Real catchy thing. A nice lyrical ring to it too. Very condescending. Who cares? A lot of people are running with the vogue-lazily, without any mental effort.
Because laziness comes easy. Isn’t that’s what the devil wants – an idle mind? And that’s the gist of mentally lazy. Let’s anticipate the professors in the fellowship incorporate this term on the list of pathologies in the text book manual of psychology and psychotherapy. Hopefully, this becomes a discipline with specialization for career development. It seems as if Guyana is the epicenter for the mentally lazy; the country provides ample evidence for a quick scientific corroboration and empirical research. But such work is for the mentally adept, the mentally adroit, the mentally astute – not the mentally obtuse, the purblind, the junkie. Which might suggest an entirely different approach: outsourcing of the project.
Realistically, there should be enough credit for AWD, the chick who catapulted the term to prominence. She got jokes, man. But Indo-Guyanese are not laughing; they don’t think it’s that funny. True. If a fella like Freddie Kissoon isn’t laughing, then this ain’t funny. Mentally Lazy appears an infection, a sort of thinking disorder that goes viral with the underpinning of a rabble rouser who’s pretty good at rhetoric. The good news is that it is not as mortally dangerous as the COVID-19. Death is not a consequence, unless, of course, if the death of a soul is a matter of the toll.
There’s plenty of that in Guyana. President Irfaan Ali made a huge misstep the other day with some embarrassing historical references in his Indian Arrival Day speech. That was bad. Totally messed up. An academic with a PhD, a president in the middle of a very volatile racial environment stumbled badly in front of a podium, in the presence of a nation begging for transformative leadership, for brainstorming. Yeah. That is mental laziness. Real sloppy research for national presentation. Bad strategy too. But it’s not entirely President Irfaan Ali’s fault. The president’s men who are supposedly to be vetting his speech are top of the heap of the dull, insipid, mentally lazy. Then there is that brainiac, a real dopey, ditsy dude, who wrote to the editor that it was just a “simple mistake.” Simple mistake? Huh! What a dumb ass. Where is the intellect? Where is your sense of history? Aren’t these the people getting fabulous money for exercising intelligent, sensible applications?
Say yes, please. This kind of mediocrity that touts itself as edification is a fraud. And yes, its tackiness has its roots in mental laziness. And that’s the problem. The mentally lazy is a powerful legion that has dominated this country for decades. No wonder the country is so damn blighted. They have elevated mental laziness into an art form. Moronic ideologues keep presenting witless, tasteless ideas for public examination and national discourse; tone deaf political leaders bragging about old, archaic, obsolete, worn-out designs as part of national development paradigm and the way forward; opportunists, carpetbaggers and grifters of the partisan type bawling about advancement with hawkish excitement; the retooling and nostalgia of Cold War notions of democracy and the passions of ethnic strife keep resurfacing every now and then in the name of triumphalism.
Isn’t the Skeldon factory an illustration of how mental laziness can affect the national psyche? Take a look at the shambles of the D’urban Park. Isn’t that a monumental accomplishment of what mental laziness can do to a nation? And that insolent Gas to Shore proposition without a feasibility study – isn’t that food for the indolent? The current pillage of the mangroves will give you an insider look at the magnificence of the mentally lazy.
Oh yeah. You can find these people everywhere: mentally lazy people in the upper echelons of the PPP and PNC’s hierarchy, across the spectrum, across racial lines. They are ubiquitous; in the villages and towns, in the churches and the bars. Masquerading as flagbearers, these lackadaisical, good-for nothings exemplify perennial thickheaded, senseless, sluggish opinions as creative concepts. It goes by the pseudonym: revolutionary thinking. And the contradiction? The aim of their influence is for followers to follow what they follow. It’s a sad story.
The champions of the mentally lazy have gone international. They are in the diaspora; the zombies on Facebook with their unenlightened ideals and gaffe, trafficking old fashioned racial stereotypes and grudge. Unmotivated, unwilling to modernize their mentality and contemporarize their thoughts, they perpetually resist independent, critical thinking. Pradoxically, these mentally lazy people call out other mentally lazy people for an online trashing. The stupidity is stunning. Their originality is second hand. These are the dead souls, the damned. It’s not complicated. Mental laziness is parasitism of consciousness. It is a deliberate psychological dependency and an endowment to leaderism. The wackiness of this pushover mentality is demonstrated all over the country – in both PPP and PNC’s strongholds. A one-dimensional analogy won’t do it.
Had AWD broadened the exposition, there would have certainly been an exposure of the flamboyance of the mentally lazy people who have pathologize the Guyanese society. That would have a bigger bacchanal effect, a really pissed off horde of political and religious leaders. Mentally lazy is an old story. It’s our rabbit hole. And its genesis lies in the mythologization of political leaders, and the apotheosization of religious crooks. Yup. Mentally lazy is in our history. Indo and Afro Guyanese are quite happy to sign up for it. Like one of those match weddings down in the village. Mentally lazy is embedded in our ethos. Like the Original Sin. And it is in our future. No problem. Because the future is here. Thank God.