But you also often hear the phrase used by one person or group in reference to another. For example, someone can say, "He (or she) just doesn't have a clue," or he (or she) is clueless." When used in this context, the message usually is, 'He (or she) is a stupid bastard (or bitch)." This is widely regarded as NOT a compliment.
But, whichever way the phrases are used, there is always a subtext of truth to them. When you say it about yourself, you are acknowledging your ignorance about whatever is being discussed. When said about another, it means the person (or group) being referred to also deficient in knowledge on a specific subject or the issues under discussion. Since the phrase is depreciatory, it is all too often used in an insulting way against someone else.
But all that may soon change.
A little-known subsection of the 'Stimulus Package' (H.R. 1, ‘‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’’) seeks to remedy the paucity of clues for anyone who needs them. Language inserted at the last minute which provided funds or the establishment of a 'Office of Clue Research and Promulgation'. The money will be used to hire experts to be on call to research any matter requested and provide clues on demand, particularly for clueless politicians. Many formerly clued in politicians quickly become clueless in the rarified air of their Congressional life. The same is often true in areas of individual state governments.
Now, any clueless individuals or groups may have them by simply asking for them.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky successfully inserted the provision at the 11th hour. "I've been pretty much totally clueless my entire life." Senator McConnell declared. "So, I really know what I'm talking about. There's been way too many times I've shot off my mouth about something only to realize later I was blowing smoke out my ass. Of course, a lot of other people knew better all the time, so it has been pretty humiliating along the way."
"And Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is really excited about this too." McConnell went on. "I don't know how that puppy finds his office every day. If he didn't have a couple low level staffers to keep him sorted out, he'd never be able to leave his house."
President Obama indicated he was solidly behind the new clueless office. "It's a real tragedy we didn't have this over the last eight years." he said. "I can think of a lot of people who might have benefited from it. I don't want to get into naming names, but my immediate predecessor was surely one of them. My new dog Bo has more clues than he did."
But, former presidential advisor Karl Rove strongly criticized the provision. "Besides being against the entire bailout package in principle, I am very upset by this so-called Office of Clue Research." he declared just before his appearance on his Fox News show. "The more clues you give anyone, the smarter they are. It's just like education. Clueless folks usually vote Republican, unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”
But many other politicians from both parties eagerly embraced the idea. Former presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are expressing renewed interest in the 2012 elections now that the Clue office will be available to them. Katherine Harris declared she would run for governor in Florida, and even TV evangelist Pat Robertson said he would be able expand his broadcasts into new markets.
"It's really a gift from God," Robertson said. "and, I'll take full credit since I had a talk with God about it the other day and asked him to cause Mitch to put it in the bill."
Sarah Palin of Alaska said, "Hooray! Now, I'll be ready to put some brand-new lipstick on this pig!"
On the Democratic side, former SC Senator Fritz Hollings said he thought the new clue office would definitely benefit Al Gore, or anyone who didn't know what the definition of 'is' is. Congressman Charles Rangel of New York declared he didn't vote for it, but 'just didn't give a damn one way or the other, but what the hell. Another 100 million or so cain't hurt all that much'.
* (The above is a parody written entirely for my own pleasure and gratification. I hope others may also enjoy it.)