M. SCOTT MORRIS: No, they’re not stupid, just different

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

We all have views of the world that don’t always line up with the way other people see things.
That’s OK because other people are often stupid.
But there are occasions when they have it right and we have it wrong.
Cognitive dissonance describes the feeling we get when our ideas about the world don’t line up with the way the world actually is. Everyone is deluded in some way, and it stings when our delusions are revealed.
This is psychological rather than physical pain, but most would prefer a cut to the body over a cut to the soul.
Not that it has to go so deep. I recently experienced a trivial case of cognitive dissonance, but it messed with my head.
Thursday’s meeting of the Association for Excellence in Education went into extra innings and folks were ready to leave, but I claimed 30 seconds before they could escape.
Here’s what I said: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
If that’s gibberish, you’re not alone. The AEE folks responded with blank stares, when I’d expected to hear, “As you wish” or “Have fun storming the castle” or “Inconceivable!”
Fans will recognize all of those lines from the 1987 comedy/fantasy/adventure film “The Princess Bride.”
It’s a modern-day classic and a joy for young and old. It was directed by Rob Reiner and stars Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, André the Giant, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage, Peter Falk and Wallace Shawn. Whenever I see any of those actors in other films, my mind goes back to “The Princess Bride,” if only for a few seconds.
I was shocked to learn the sentiment isn’t universally shared. In a room with 15 AEE people, only one said, “Oh, yeah, I think I remember that.” The rest smiled politely, though they were in a hurry to get out the door.
“The Princess Bride” didn’t do particularly well during its initial release, but it’s grown in cult status over the years. I’d deluded myself into thinking everybody had been won over by its charms: “The Cliffs of Insanity?” Anyone?
It would be easier if I could lump everyone on the AEE board into the stupid category, but that’s not the case. They just see things differently.
Or maybe they haven’t been exposed to the right things. I highly recommend downloading it or renting a DVD.
You also might want to catch Link Centre’s staged reading of “The Princess Bride” script at 8 p.m. Friday in the concert hall. Tickets are $10/adults and $5/students. The bar opens at 7:30 p.m. (Full disclosure: I’ll be one of the readers.)
If you go, you’ll experience a thoroughly entertaining story, and you might come over to my way of thinking, which would clear up my cognitive dissonance problem nicely, thank you.
Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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