Friendship Versus Argumentation

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Perception is a strange concept. On one hand, since the news is more readily accessible, it’s easy to see extremes in the world. That’s how news organizations have always operated after all. In another, earlier post, my assessment is that the radical voice is usually just the loudest, and rarely indicative of the majority. Is that a flawed assessment, is it accurate? With perception being so subjective it’s difficult to say.

Media is everywhere to a hyper degree. And it fosters this culture of shaming, and dividing people in to opposing groups. No one ever solved their problems, perceived or otherwise, by inflicting shame, or arguing with the other side. This is why MLK Jr. was so successful. Hell, avoiding arguments is one of rules in the Dale Carnegie book “How to Win Friends, and Influence People.”

Truthfully, it amuses me more than I like to admit being so stuck in the middle. Everyone seems to want argumentation rather than friendship, however, no one gets the better end of the stick in argumentation. Friendship has always been the only way to convince another person of an idea. Even if they don’t agree with the idea one hundred percent, friendship is the only way to get one person to agree with another.

This is a fact that always stays the same. Whether it’s  the alleged Jesus, MLK Jr., or  that man who converted KKK member by befriending them, shame and stigmatization do not work to foster unity. Shame and stigmatization do not create goodwill, or inspire people to do good. Yet, that is all the media ever seems to sell. And for some reason, as we grow, the news seems to be all we ever read.

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Cynical Catalyst

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A friend of mine joked one time that everyone in the state which I live has a cynical phase. Another friend of mine is currently going through that cynical phase. Maybe it’s the water, maybe it’s the England-esque lack of sunshine. Come to think of it, numerous comedians come from this part of the country.

No one is immune to cynicism. Whether that  means you are surrounded by cynics, (Run!), or you are the cynic. There is a quote from a character in a movie, or a novel, about how everyone is just a failed, miserable, person when they grow up because most people in western culture believe that they’ll be rockstars. Similarly, a Cracked article mentions a statistic like how fifty-two percent of Americans believe that they will be famous someday, and most of them become disillusioned as they miraculously never become famous.

This got me thinking about what causes everyone to be so cynical. Granted, my phase of cynicism is over, but my cause was never anything to do with fame. Lack of fame seems like a strange thing to cause cynicism. Also, can anyone really have one hundred percent control as to whether or not they become famous, or rich? Probably not.

Not everything can be in our control. Maybe that is what ultimately causes people to become cynical. You can’t control politics or the perception of where the world is going. You can’t control fame our fortune to the extent that you would like, so  cynicism is there like a terrible, warm, blanket. Now how does one avoid the cynics permanently? That is the key question.

Sex

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Yeah, it’s a title that’s straightforward. Also one, that admittedly, this blogger feels weird about writing. Surely many looking at it, (in more ways than one), feel weird about it too. But should we really?

One of the interesting facets of our natural urge to gather in groups is that we often follow along with the most convincing voices. This is a topic that has been discussed frequently on the blog, so we won’t go any further on it. Moreover when these groups are ideological, it seems one of the subjects they seem to all have rules on is sex. For some reason, whether anyone is a staunch Catholic, or Liberal, Conservative, their seems to be clear cut rules about sex.

No, I’m not talking about sex crimes. All prominent religions, and ideological groups are against sex crimes. (Insert snarky jokes after this remark). What all of these ideological groups love doing, for some reason, is building philosophies around controlling our urges. Unfortunately, most of those philosophies exploit our human emotion of guilt.

You must save yourself for marriage. Don’t sleep around. Monogamy is the best way to go about things. To create sexy women in fiction is a terrible representation of women. These are just samples, and there are plenty more where they came from.

Consensual sex is a stupid thing to feel guilty about. Desire is also a silly thing to feel guilty about. As long as you are responsible, and you aren’t manipulative, and underhanded, what’s wrong with responsibly having as many partners as you’d like? What’s wrong with creating characters who happen to be sexy? Isn’t great fiction grounded in reality anyway? Wouldn’t leaving the sex out of things be disingenuous?

If almost everyone who is alive has sexual desires at some point, and are unable to stop, what good reason is there to associate those desires with guilt? There isn’t any. People are already fine enough judge of characters, they don’t need someone to stop them from boning. All the association does is make people feel needlessly guilty over perfectly consensual sex. That doesn’t sound like freedom to me. That sounds like bullying.

The Moderate Voice

Being a moderate must be feel weird at times. When anyone turns on the news, or feels like getting enraptured by social media, it’s clear that the loudest most radical of us are the only ones whose voices will be listened to. And why not? They make for great television, great headlines, and appeal to our irrational nature as human beings.

As one of those people who, as my friend once put it, is “straddling the fence,” when it comes to politics  things can get frustrating at times. Republicans will think you’re a Democrat, and Democrats will think you’re a Republican. You’re damned if you speak, damned if you don’t.

Why is it that we do not listen, or have those people in the middle on television, or prominently in media? Is it because the truth is much more boring than the nightly news can handle? Can we not handle articles unless they have salacious headlines, and are presented by slick news reporters with buttery voices?

It would be nice to have a view that’s right down the middle. Well, we do have that view actually, but most of those people are comedians. For better or worse, comedians don’t have control of the voting public, nor do they have any power over policy. Hey, but at least they figured out how to be interesting.

In a culture where every voice is supposed to have a say, and where we constantly extol the virtues of freedom of speech, isn’t it weird that some voices get naturally stifled. Maybe, maybe not, maybe it’s just that the media has a requirement to be entertaining. After all, everyone has to sell ratings, and clicks. Some guy stating that the world is not that bad, and that everything is improving, is not going to have many people to parrot his opinion. And as it probably happens, many people probably think that way regardless of the media.