Canyon Fodder
On the Art of Being Inept
By Joe Dinki
Jan 1, 2003 - 4:48:00 PM

Are you inept?


Do your abilities, in certain areas key to human social survival, shall we say, lean toward the unsuitable?


You are inept, face it.


It is fine. 99 percent of Americans are inept. Our ingrained inept-ability is a blessing in disguise. Ineptitude allows one to function in life without having a function! It is good for the economy, allows for flexibility in both parenting and politics, and is a driving force behind, well, just about everything. Your innate ability to be inept will get you in and out of some pretty tough situations, force you to asses your real abilities and bring you comfort and success. Here are a few reasons why.


1.    You're an Inept Cook. Great place to start. If your cooking stinks, someone else will do it for you. If you don't know a Cusinart from your cousin Art, you won't become enamored with presentation, setting and calories. The thinner, trimmer, inept you will find something else to do with your time besides eat.

2.    On Being an Inept High School Kid. If you are inept in sports, math and science, or didn't know the difference between a jock strap and Jock Cousteau, you probably are or were inept in high school. Relax. The way things work out in life, you do not become an active participant in society and culture until 10 to 20 years later.  By then, everything they taught you that seemed so important in High School just sort of fades away.

3.    Inept Parenting.  Most experts who write books or appear on "Good Morning America" won't tell you this but I will: your inept parenting skills are the best skills to have. Being inept makes you stray from strict codes and structure, allowing you to roll with the changes and the accelerating cultural influences that affect your children. Inept parents think on their feet with the spontaneity of a child and the wisdom of an adult.  If your kids ask you why you can't be like the other parents, you're on the right track.

4.    Inept Office Politics. We are in the throws of an information economy, one that is changing the standards, practices and cultures of big business. More young, funny and inept people are permeating office park America. With them comes a level of ineptness in stodginess, prejudice, backbiting and gamesmanship. Our inept Gen-Xer's are changing things from the bottom up. Welcome.

5.    Inept Artists are Better Artists. A while back, I saw a film called "Buffalo '66." The director was a callow and inept man who just entertained the heck out of me with his unabashed innocence and lack of convention. Inept artists, unable or frustrated in their attempts at expression in traditional forums, just have this way of being heard from, come hell or high water. When they do, their ineptness becomes a virtue and we are all enlightened.

6.    Inept Greatness. Our greatest minds and movers in the world have been inept. Einstein couldn't get math. Grant flunked out of West Point. Edgar Allen Poe was a terrible speller. Henry Winkler wasn't cool in High School. Farrah Fawcett became a Charlie's Angel by default. However, when each was asked to perform, to step up and use their skills, they proved the experts wrong. Hail ineptitude.

7.    Inept People are more Fun at Parties. Inept people have no real skills at anything and therefore have nothing to brag about. Therefore, they are more fun at parties. Also, the inept don't go running around trying to out do everybody and be everything to everyone else. They just sit back and let it all come to them unfiltered by ego, self-actualization and competitiveness.

8.    Inept People are Healthier people. The stress that comes with success, the self-doubt, the inner turmoil, the sense of fleeting accomplishments, never, ever affects the inept. They are content standing on the sidelines or along the parade route of life, cheering on all the go-getters.

9.    Siegfried and Roy are Inept. There's no real magic -- they can't make anything bigger than an M&M disappear. Yet they are so cool and so good looking and so rich pretending to do so. Face it, if they really could make a train car full of Siberian Tigers disappear, instead of just shifting a huge mirror or two and adding some smoke and flicking their wigs, they'd be forced to work for the CIA in covert operations in some far off jungle. Ineptness has its rewards.

10.    Ineptitude is Divine.  The inept person's creed, the perfect mantra of activity and endeavor. To be inept is to have faith in one's self and one's place in the Universe, not to force things by sheer will and determination. To allow it to come to you.


Just what will come to you?


     Well, if the laws of inertia hold true: everything. Everything you deserve will come if you adhere less to organization, automatic thinking, traditional methods of communication and knee jerk reactions and more to, well, fun -- the joyful expression of making it all up as you go along. The ancient Chinese philosophers had ineptitude summed up a long time ago when they coined the credo "That to know is not to know." And you know something? They prospered for about ten thousands of years.

Copyright 2002   

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