Thursday, 14 January 2016

A Thought For The Day

It strikes me that one, in any discussion, has a choice: one can choose to be conciliatory, to try and be pleasant and try not to hurt anyone's little feelings...or one can stand for what one thinks.

If one chooses the first option, one might be the same way as whitewash is popular, or floral prints, or vanilla ice cream. It's the absence of any characteristic to which anyone might take offence. One might as well, in fact, not be in the discussion at all for what good it does.

There's just one little problem with the second choice: saying what one thinks always risks annoying, or hurting, or angering, someone or other. In fact, any principle worth defending will inevitably end up hurting, or angering, or at least annoying, someone or other. One might alienate friends or acquaintances or co workers or just somebody.

Sooner or later, if one has strong opinions, one might end up alienating everybody.

Well, so what?

One can be soothing and conciliatory, or one can be right. If one chooses to be soothing and conciliatory, one ends up, inevitably, supporting (if only by default) things that need to be stamped on, hard. There's no sitting on the fence on some things. Not when sitting on the fence means allowing psychopaths and imperialists to destroy nations and societies right in plain view, when not protesting, not making the truth heard, means letting the war criminals, capitalist vampires, and allied scum win by default.

Being vanilla means one either has no principles, or one is too cowardly to express them. Also, and for these ladies and gentlemen this is something they need to remember, one can never please everybody. One might be vanilla, day after day after day...and yet someday someone who prefers strawberry will blow a gasket. Sooner or later, even the most characterless, please-all glass of plain water will end up falling afoul of someone over something.

Meanwhile, if you stand for what is right, it won't stop being right even if you're the only person in the whole world who holds to that opinion. It may be a lonely position sometimes, but at least it's an intellectually honest one.

Here I stand, and I can do no other.


  1. You need to be shouting the truth where more people can see it. Unfortunately, you are NOT Jessica Cutler. She got a job as an intern to a US Senator, and wrote an anonymous blog for 10 days, until the Senator figured out who was writing the anonymous blog and fired her. She immediately got a book contract (but I don't know how well the book sold, and it was just about the fact that the most powerful men in Washington will pay lots of money for sex with an intern, so the book wasn't going to change anything, except Ms Cutter's bank account).

    Few blogs get picked up the way Ms Cutter's was.

    I just hope you can get this stuff published somewhere. It desperately needs to be seen by many more people.


  2. Some people are skillful enough to strongly state their principles in a way that is less likely to alienate their audience. It's not, I have found, an "either/or" situation. I have won more arguments by calm persuasive statements than I have by acerbic utterances.

    Likewise, when someone states his/her facts in a manner that is not condescending or heavy-handed, I am more likely to listen and change my mind.


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