Playing Chess with a Pigeon

BY Meghan Vogt reporter

We are not created equal. We are not mentally, emotionally or physically equal to our peers. We can all be classified by talents, personality traits, abilities, and so on. Within each category of human classification there are inferiors and superiors. Intelligence is no exception. How exactly does one define intelligence? By the way one speaks? By the way one thinks? By the way one expresses opinions, acts in public, spends one’s leisure time? There are many ways to determine how bright someone is, but no matter how it is done, the classification occurs.

Start, like most every high school, contains students of varying intelligence. Classes labeled Honors usually do an okay job at separating students higher on the smart scale from those on the lower end. The hallways, lunch room, and required general classes, though, offer little to no protection. When these students interact, the results are most always the same: the ignorance of the dull brains cannot be beaten.

There’s a popular analogy regarding the frustration of attempting to hold an intelligent conversation with someone not likely to be described similarly that compares the experience to playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how great you are at chess, the pigeon will still knock over all of the pieces and strut around as if he has won. Now, this may seem like a rude thing to say, but really situations like this are win-win. One goes away feeling victorious and the other goes away a little wiser. If not win-win, then win-lose in the pigeon’s favor. The bird is feeling happy and victorious while the human is left in outrage at the ridiculousness of his opponent. The phrase ignorance is bliss could not be more correct.

Society tends to praise the intelligent members and see them as better off in life, but in the end the pigeon is much happier than the chess master, isn’t he?

Contact Meghan at