We are all dumbasses on this blessed day.

Son, you don’t have bad luck. The reason that bad things happen to you is because you’re a dumbass. Now fix it.

Red, That 70’s Show

A dumbass is a person who, when faced with a situation that is undesirable, makes no effort to understand the root cause of that situation. Instead, the dumbass will find a strategy that requires the least effort to make the problem go away. Note that the dumbass is not necessarily interested in solving the problem, just in making it go away, by whatever means necessary.

The dumbass’ first course of action to make any problems disappear is to deny knowledge of the problem and refute any evidence of such a problem. This most commonly happens when other people present their problem to the dumbass. In such cases, the dumbass can pretend that the problem is not there at all. This strategy is commonly deployed when a situation is either subjective (e.g. relating to personal wellbeing of another person) or if the problem slowly came into being over a long period of time (boiling frog).

When the dumbass does eventually acknowledge that a problem exists, nevertheless they may still reach for their second favorite strategy: Insisting that the problem shouldn’t be there. In such a case, the problem itself is acknowledged, but the dumbass actively refuses to search for root causes. Instead, reasons are given for why the problem should see sense and reason and finally realize why it shouldn’t exist and just evaporate in a puff of smoke. The dumbass insists that whatever the problem is, it doesn’t deserve to exist. Commonly uttered phrases are “I didn’t mean for this to happen”, “I meant well” and “This shouldn’t happen, my source says…”.

The third strategy a dumbass deploys is by shifting blame to the person reporting the problem. Often this is done in a covert manner, by suggesting that the problem is other than what it seems. One strategy is to suggest that the problem is not a tangible problem at all but rather a matter of mindset, lack of motivation or a defect of character.

The fourth strategy is to acknowledge the problem but to fail to engage their thinking mind. Instead, the dumbass repeats the problem over and over, without having any original thought of their own. The dumbass wants someone else to fix the problem for them or, if that fails, to instruct them how to fix it. Indeed, most of humanity consists of people clucking around like chicken, repeating that things ought to be different. This fourth strategy eventually always results in the dumbass finding a method to suppress the symptoms of the problem, rather than finding the root cause. Dumbasses end up placing buckets in their attic, rather than fixing the leaky roof.

The professional dumbass

Special note must be taken of the professional dumbass. This person has reached level 4 dumbassery and combines this with some of the features of the wiseass. Whereas a wiseass has a silver bullet that prevents certain type of problem from arising in the first place, the professional dumbass spends his entire working day fixing the damage that a problem has caused. The root cause of the problem is never addressed when you are dealing with a professional dumbass.

A professional dumbass will sell you a service to take away the full buckets of water and placing new, empty buckets in your attic every day, rather than offering to fix your leaky roof.

The professional dumbass makes a living from his trade. Because their livelihood depends on deploying their tools and techniques as often as possible, the professional dumbass may present these as preventative measures.

A professional dumbass can be identified by the phrase “This will help prevent…” followed by a proposal to deploy their tools before they are necessary. You will be offered a service to place new, empty buckets in your attic every day, even though there is no reason to place a bucket in your attic in the first place…