Saturday, October 5, 2013


"Accuracy first" Sonny would say .... "I don't care how big your gun or how powerful your bullet, if you can't hit me it means nothing".

Same could be said for opinions, critiques and commentary.

We all have opinions about subjects we care about, and some about things we find less engaging, but they are only opinions ... they are not 'true' or 'false' or 'the one and true way' .... they are just opinions.

I personally think it is important to have a point of view about things as it gives me a place to speak from. It also gives me a place to move away from if convinced to do so, because right alongside my opinion should lie the space where the opinion can change. This can happen from internalizing new information, or from a change of viewpoint created by time/age/circumstance/whatever.

Most importantly, this open mindedness should in no way dilute my opinion. I like to be clear and reasoned, and if there is no reason, admit that it is a gut feeling, or simply a personal preference with no more reason than 'I just like it', or 'I find it beautiful/compelling/fascinating' whatever.

Also, I want my opinions to be as precise as possible. I like to know exactly what I have problems with, and what I do not, what I like about something, and where that 'like' ends, because it is far easier to debate a point when both parties know which particular element forms the disagreement.

I say all this as a plea to those who throw out blanket statements, ill thought out critiques or avoid having opinions at all.

Most will be familiar with the lowest form of critique - the point and laugh approach, or the erroneous extrapolation from "If A is no good, then everything that sounds like A is also bunk".

However, almost as bad (though perhaps one step up from the screaming monkey mob) is 'Politically Correct Land' where everything is valued and praised, and though this may encourage, 'An open and positive environment of acceptance' .... really it is almost as useless as the cheap laugh in moving understanding forward.

Please, instead of choosing 'being nice' over 'being an ass', how about pointing out, PRECISELY, what you find worthy and what is bunk .... in your opinion .... You really are allowed to have one, like I am, and just for the record, you are also allowed to be wrong, ignorant and naive - all totally acceptable, just don't be malicious, bigoted or close minded - These are not.

And remember, my personal opinions come from my personal experience and my skillset, so they only have worth as far as that reaches ... they need not effect anyone else unless they resonate or annoy enough to open a new point of view to look out of.

And lastly, please have a sense of humor and let your opinions have enough thought behind them to be robust. I can give you reasons why I believe as I do and how far I've thought things through (or not) .... and if you care to listen, feel free to agree, or point out to me why you disagree with me ....

It's called a conversation, perhaps a debate or an argument. It's all good. Perhaps we'll both even learn something ...

1 comment:

Scott said...

Ahh the pen is mightier than the sword...especially if it is this pen...
Still it is rarely heat (argument) or light (insight) which makes a blind spot go away. For that we must some how stop being who we are.

And yes I miss you too!