Damien on… Mensa
Mensa began as a small club for egg-heads, immediately following WW2.
But when I joined (with one point to spare) in the early Nineties, its numbers had swelled to thousands.
This was due in large part to one Harold Gale, BA – whose BUSINESS acumen had resulted in umpteen new people (including THIS writer) to join up.
Sadly, this golden period in British Mensa’s history was not to last. Clive Sinclair and his cronies SACKED Harold in circumstances which many saw as having been grossly unfair.
And a number believed that Harold’s death, a short while later, may well have resulted from Mensa’s hounding of him.
But of course, Mensa Magazine reported NONE of this, preferring as ever to concentrate on its “society” pages, while its INTERESTING contributors – along with nearly half of British Mensa’s membership – slowly drifted away.
Which is a damn shame – since Mensa fills a VITAL role in British society.
The thing is, the “gifted” offspring of university professors and the like can generally expect to go through “good” schools – leading to jobs where they will continue to find themselves surrounded by those same gifted people.
But people born to AVERAGE folk, who happen – by a genetic fluke – to be born similarly gifted, are likely to grow up in standard schools, surrounded by kids who, to them – are MORONS.
And then, they will often find themselves in jobs peopled by GROWN UP morons. Those who like to do things the hard way, to look BUTCH.
And when they use their analytical skills to save time and effort, they are told in no uncertain terms they are WRONG.
And it is hard to reconcile the fact that THEY are right and everyone AROUND them is wrong – without feeling like a MEGALOMANIAC.
Which is where Mensa’s strength lies.
It brings together people whose only commonality is their high IQ. Brain-wise, they are the top two percent of humanity.
And thus, at a pub meeting, they can talk to OTHER people who will assure them that they WERE right and all their work-mates were WRONG!
When I went to these meetings, I used to wear a badge I had acquired YEARS earlier which – coincidentally – was in Mensa’s colours (black and gold) and read, “I’M SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS!”
I was persuaded to stop wearing it…