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footrings on mugs stupid what?

updated fri 28 feb 97


R Wuetherick on sat 15 feb 97

Regarding your answer to my post. I must say it is the first time
that I have looked upon one of your posts with a most critical eye.
For you see I am as many others on this list a child of pottery.
So often I have read your posts admonishing those that will
discredit or otherwise stifle the creative growth of a child. When
we use the word "children" I think sometimes we forget. That in
the end (without any religious implications at all) we are all
Upon reading your post of how "most of the coffe cups you have
seen look stupid with a foot ring" This is not something you would
say to a student and/or a child would it? I ask with great interest
as I am under this steely shell in which I have cleverly created over
the years a very sensitive and passionate man. I steadfastly hold
on to old (incorrect) taught belief's and at times shun those which
I know are right. To the great chargin of others I will activly
disagree with others on that which is right to stir the currents of
the mind. To open new doors - in the end to have dialouge.
Stupid is a word that a very long time ago I made a choice never to
use in my relations with people. Ignorance and stupidity are as far
away from each other as the earth and the moon. One can be of
the most ignorant in a specific area of life but stupid they are not.
I may look stupid when I put a lampshade on my head and throw a
pot naked in my studio on a cold winter day. Though looking stupid
and being stupid again are different things all together aren't they?
If by looking stupid one is happy then thay have found greatness in
the simplity of their souls. It is not up to others to judge! If it
makes them a happy and caring person.
When one poses a question of apparent stupidity! I often look
close and ask why? Is the "stupidity" just simple ignorance? Or is
the stupidity an amazing mind that has learned to question the
esthetics of human interaction. My post was neither. Mine was
simply a quest for understanding of what others did. All (except for
you - and I admit was surprised) answered as I thought. A footring
was a question of thine own desire. Not a requirement! This I really
knew before I asked the question. So if I knew the answer already
then why did I ask? Simply put I wanted to see who would teach
by opening doors and who would not teach by closing doors. I
simply wanted to know how others felt.
All those who in the years made those brave attempts to scale the
Berlin wall or those who stood in front of communist guns in china.
By accounts of there own masses they must have been very stupid.
Through this apparent stupidity they challenged the conventions of
the old and rocketed all of humanity into a new era.
So in closing I will say there is no stupidy only ignorance.
Ignorance is a quest to rid ourselves of I suppose. Though ignorance
is sometimes a good thing to attain. I choose to be ignorant at
times. Like the other evening when the media filmed cold blooded
killers clubbing seals to death on national television. I am not
totally gnorant of this brutality. But my mind quests to be ignorant
of it as much as I can. I disdain it and abhor it. It the brutality
in this
world shocks me sometimes so bad that I cannot sleep. So for
me there are things better left alone. I know there are people
"STUPID" enough to go out there and fight these murderers.
Sometimes they too become the victims of these killers clubs.
I choose only to support them in their quest-that if it is neccesary
to deplete the seal population that it is done in a humane manner.
If you do not like mugs with foot rings on them. You do not need
to buy them or even look at them for that matter. But they are not
stupid. Interestingly enough after reading that post I went to my own
cupboard. I found that 80% of the mugs in my cupboard have
footrings. I did not even know of them. For their foot rings are as
mine - hidden. Unless you picked up one of these "stupid looking
mugs" you would never know that under the grace and care of a
loving hand in which created it, was a stupid foot ring that just
didn't look right. Unless you stupidly dumped hot coffee in your lap
to see that stupid foot ring in which a ignorant child potter
created. Not knowing the conventions of the elite. What is truly
stupid is imposing these conventions on people.
Kinda like the North American ideal of the perfect women. Today
by common convention that unless a womens ribs protrude from
her skin. Unless you can see all of her skeletal structure she is
fat. This again is really stupid. This is where I would use the word
stupid. Through some strange societal convention we stupidly have
our nations youth starving thereselves in order to satisfy someones
insidious idea that to be attractive you must starve yourself.
The only thing that is stupid in the world is imposing conventions
on the masses that sully the very reason for our existance. Love -
love for others, respect for others- to experiance in all its glory
life! If some person wishes to enjoy their life and work without
abiding by societal restrictions. If they are not hurting themselves
or society in general. That in which they do is not stupid but
When Ross Perot was asked why he supported Steve Jobs (founder
and creater of Apple computers in his garage at 16). Mr. Perot
answerd that the reason why Steve Jobs can do what he can do is
simply this. He was never formally trained in the computer sciences.
He was not taught by educaters of what was impossible so through
ignorance (can you put stupud here - I think not) Steve blindly
accomplishes things which were thought impossible. He simply did
not know better. You know how far a flea can jump. Metres
literally! If you take that flea and put it in an old mason jar and
screw the lid on. It will jump and jump and jump. Constantly
banging its head on the lid. Until soon it becomes tired of banging
its head. It will soon jump just high and far enough not to bang its
head any more. If at this point we take that lid off. That flea will
never jump to it's freedom. It will die of starvation not because of
a physical limitation. But from the artifical limitation that it set
for itself or shall we say its captor - its educator. Simply from
banging its head one time to many. It as we do some- times
cannot tell the difference between the limitations society puts on
us, the ones in which we put on ourselves and the real actual
limitations that we have. Which really are few in number!
Whomever said to society that we can only use 10% of our
minds power? What a wreckless human that was! Who said
humans can't fly. I am right under the flight path and I only
know to well and am reminded several times a day. That is
fact we can - quite well!

Rod Wuetherick in overcast Calgary today. Pondering the meaning of

Vince Pitelka on sun 16 feb 97

> Upon reading your post of how "most of the coffe cups you have
>seen look stupid with a foot ring" This is not something you would
>say to a student and/or a child would it?

Rod -
That was quite a treatise on the use of the word "stupid." But I never said
"stupid," I said "dumb." And I did not say "coffee cups," I said "coffee
mugs." Many coffee cups do need a foot ring to look right. The particular
shape of most mugs just does not work with a foot ring, in my opinion.
Regarding the word STUPID, I cannot eliminate it from my vocabulary, because
it is very handy for referring to some politicians and bureaucrats, and
certainly to the Tennessee Tech. University administration.

Maybe "dumb" is still inappropriate. How about "Most of coffee mugs I have
seen look AWKWARD with a foot ring?" Yeah, that's it.
- Vince
Vince Pitelka -
Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
Appalachian Center for Crafts
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

Bill Amsterlaw on sun 16 feb 97

Every Child an Artist ... every artist a child....

We are all vulnerable to thoughtless speech ... but it is easy to be
thoughtless. We SHOULD BE vulnerable. If we had thick skins, we wouldn't have
the sensitivity needed to see/do art. This forum should be a safe place for
vulnerable people to participate. We should celebrate and support and protect
each other's thin-skinned nature ... and do our best to choose our words

- Bill Amsterlaw
Plattsburgh, NY

If you do not like mugs with foot rings on them, you do not need to buy them
or even look at them for that matter. But they are not stupid.