February 28, 2014

I'm Telling You That's Right You're Wrong

I love a good argument.

However, I don't dare do it in the real world. Why? Because most of the time, not only do my arguments fall on deaf ears but they get me into trouble as well. Whether at work or at home, the post title is often thrown into face with a resounding HAH!!

So, I move myself into the cyber world, where not only is it a little safer, but where most people when they one, refuse to listen anymore or two, refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't conform to their point of view, will often finish the discussion by one, calling me a donkey's behind and two, calling me something that rhymes with spigot.

Which to me is fine. I mean, if you can't finish the discussion like an adult, then by all means, show your intellectual superiority over me by reverting back to your high school days. Believe me, I've had so many people tell me politely to do something that is anatomically impossible to do unless my manhood was two feet long (among other disgusting things) in the past seven years that I've basically lost count.

Anywho, back to the topic at hand.

I'm more than willing to consider the other person's point of view on a given issue, so long as they reciprocate. When they don't reciprocate, then all they're really doing is preaching to the choir. Which in turn forces me to buckle down and dish right back at them, politely of course. As I've gotten older, I have less of a tendency to use select adjectives when I shoot from the lip during my arguments, and more of a tendency to use a thesaurus or a dictionary to get my point across.

However, I've found with certain hot button topics (i.e. gay rights, gun control, Matthew Shepard and the Republican party), opposing viewpoints are not tolerated and the argument often develops into a nasty one sided flame war. Knowing this fact and accepting that I would also get strung up by my own petard hasn't deterred me one iota in trying to get my viewpoint heard/understood.

In a strange way, arguing about a given issue, is a fantastic release valve for me. Instead of snapping at the family when I come home after a particularly annoying day at work, I go online and argue/debate someone on a particular topic (this past week's topic du jour was the religious freedom bill in Arizona) for anywhere from five minutes to few hours. Afterwards, I feel great.

Now just to make one fact perfectly clear, I do not go online and troll. While I will almost always make a provocative comment on a given topic, I will, almost without exception, hang around to see what the end result will be. Win or lose, I always try to show a little respect to the other person.

Unless they tell me to do something that is anatomically impossible for me to do. In any event, I leave you with a moldy oldy from Monty Python.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. That's always been one of my FAVOURITE Monty Python clips! A true classic!

  2. Debra: Yes it is. I love how Michael goes all intellectual on John...sort of like my "discussions" on Facebook.

  3. OMG I love the Argument Clinic! I was wondering if you were going to post the bit from the Holy Grail:

    "What's your favorite color?"

  4. M: I never really got into that movie, so I didn't remember that little bit from it. Most of their movies I wasn't that found of, except maybe "And Now For Something Completely Different" and "The Meaning Of Life".

  5. I think the sign of a gentleman or lady is listening to the other side.

  6. Jannie: Absolutely.

    Too often we're so concerned about defending our particular viewpoint that we develop tunnel vision towards anyone who doesn't confirm/conform to our world view.

  7. There was a time people invited me to a good argument to speak on their behalf. Now I see no need. It rarely did any good but put another person down and leave me feeling a bit pained for my efforts. We each are right in our own beliefs.

  8. G.A.: I know the feeling. Back in my early days of chatting, I actually had people compliment me on how good I was chopping some poor slob down to size.

    But, as I've gotten older, I really have no need to chop someone down to size, unless I'm seriously provoked. If not, I find that the best thing for me to do is to simply walk away.

    In a few severe cases, I have either unfriended people on FB or if they have blog, stop following/subscribing to it.

  9. An out-and-out argument is rarely effective in getting someone to change their dearly-held point of view. I find one needs to be sneaky and apparently non-confrontational in order to have any hope of getting someone to see something from a different perspective. You have to catch them with their guard down. As soon as someone gets defensive, it's all over.

  10. S.R.: This is usually true, but in the cyber world, even if you got non-confrontational, most people are so entrenched in their viewpoint that nothing you say or do will change their mind or even make them consider your viewpoint.

  11. I realised a long time ago that getting into "heated discussions" about anything on-line or in real life is damaging to everyone. There are no winners, and it can cause great pain. I don't see the point.

  12. Joe: I would have to agree with you on that point. There really is no winners, only losers. It's very hard to have a civil discourse in anything nowadays.


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