Thursday, April 08, 2004

Don't Look at Me

I was watching an episode of Law & Order this week and I happened to hear one of the best quotes I believe I have heard from a movie or TV program in a long time. Picture this. The detectives are huddled in a room, attempting to solve a tough case. One of the detectives, played (rather well IMHO) by Ice T, comments that the suspect might be on "the down low." He goes on to describe how some black men don't like to admit they are gay and, therefore, maintain wives, children, and families while sleeping around on the side (or the "down low" I suppose.) At one point in his description, the detectives all glance at him and there's a long pause. "Don't look at me," he says, "I just know stuff."

Don't look at me, I just know stuff.

Think of all the trouble I could get out of with that line. Think of all the goings-on, the strange happenings, the peculiar concidences and whatnot that can be attributed to this line. This one little line has become my quote of the moment. Next time you are at a party where folks start talking "urban" and you chime in with some term that befuddles them, you can turn and resort to "don't look at me, I just know stuff." It's great. It has granted me freedom I never knew existed.

Imagine too if Condolizza Rice had used this line at the September 11th hearings. "Dr. Rice, did you willingly know of and ignore warnings for September 11?"

"Don't look at me, I just know stuff."

What if Saddam Hussain had used this line when the pulled him out of the imfamous spider hole. "Ok, Saddam, where exactly are the WMDs? Hand 'em over NOW or you die."

"Don't look at me, I just know stuff."

During the recent economic downturn and recovery, there has ben an accompanying shift towards assigning blame and finger pointing. Tyco, Martha Stewart, impending jail sentences, political rants, all finger pointing, blame games, and raising awareness of the inadequacies of the next guy. Everybody wants to be able to say, "hey, don't look at me, I don't know anything." It's so unexpected to hear the trailing "I just know stuff" and it kind of carries the implication that you know more than you are telling but that, much you their dismay and your liking, you don't actually know the specific point of fact to which everybody is referring. Kind of like a colloquial version of "needer needer needer: I know and I'm not telling." It's this great little line that shifts blame off of you, onto the next guy, without raising a finger to point and without admiting any inferiority. I wonder why we didn't think of this sooner and where this scarcastic slogan has been all of my life. The English language is so vast and cavernous and yet somehow the GoogleWhack! still exists and there are new words and phrases that can trigger a sentiment of "hey, why didn't I think of that?" from everybody within earshot.

Hey I'm smart, I know a lot of stuff, but I don't know that.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

No comments: