Basso (bassocantante) wrote in cheetahsandswan,
Basso
bassocantante
cheetahsandswan

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cAt's call for opinions

I think this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: Many people are unable to divorce a bald statement of fact or opinion from the weight of perceived connotation that it carries for them. Similarly, most people, when making comments such as those you outlined, DO intend to have that weight of connotation behind the comment, perhaps because they want to be bitchy/nasty/arrogant, or perhaps because they just don't appreciate that an opinion can exist without emotional content. So, which came first?

In broader terms, I believe that most people haven't really thought through the tenets and precepts by which they live their lives and view the world. When someone poses a contrary opinion, and has the will, skill and information to back it up, they become very scared and defensive. However, I like to believe the situation is slowly improving in Western societies. Historically, this has been the whole attraction of organised religion and radical governments: "Come to us, and we'll comfort you. We'll tell you what to think, who to exclude, and you'll be a member of a real group." Since the 60's, people have started drifting away from organised religion (in particular the Christian sects), and this has culminated in Generation X and continues to this day in succeeding generations. There exists a huge number of young people who are disillusioned, depressed, and who fail to see any teleological basis for their existence. The churches argue that this is because people have drifted away from the fold, but I believe that the opposite is true: we are witnessing the growing pains of a new spiritual/societal order, in which people are beginning to take responsibility for themselves and their own development. Certainly, there are many people who just can't handle it, and who retreat into drugs, sects and other reality-denying activities as a method of escape. However, my fundamentally optimistic view of humanity is that we are genetically predisposed to improve our lot and, now that a large proportion of first-world inhabitants have been freed from the back-breaking drudgery of working 12 hours a day tilling fields, this advancement is manifesting as an examination of self.

We run the risk of narcissism and solipsism as we pursue this path, but the pendulum must always swing to the opposite extreme before it can settle in the middle.

IMHO, calling Dubya a turkey is insulting large, edible avians everywhere.
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