Thursday, December 04, 2008

arguing about important stuff

apparently I hit 1,000 posts yesterday or the day before. Wow. I should have held a party or something. Anyhoo...

In case you did not know this, as a contrarian I love to argue about certain things:
  1. Music (e.g. Coldplay is the Elton John of this generation, at best and Hanson is a good band)
  2. Film (e.g. see post below or any comments regarding Ron Howard or the film Crash)
  3. Politics (e.g. ideologues bore me)
  4. Sports (e.g. The Gators did not deserve their 1st National Championship)
  5. Television (e.g. Reality Shows bite, besides The Contender, season1 and Dexter is superior to the Sopranos)
  6. Art (e.g. Dali sucks and Twombly is a genius)
  7. Food (e.g. pork is superior to beef in barbecue and chili should not have beans)
  8. Drink (e.g. Merlot is dependably uninteresting and IPAs are overrated)
  9. The superiority of rescued animals vs pure breeds
  10. Much Much More (pretty much anything cultural)
I don't really like to argue about religion or anything else I find to be of eternal significance. In fact, on serious subjects I tend to try to be more conciliatory, finding common ground when possible.

On arguable subjects, I will take multiple positions just to see where the conversation goes and at times find myself defending an indefensible position, just to see if I can do it and bring the other person to the dark side, or because I find the other person's position extreme, simplistic and lacking in nuance. My poor friends and family, huh?

The beauty of such arguments is that they don't matter at the end of that day and are only opinions, which (of course) are held too tightly by most people. I know this because I used to get comments on the blog from angry people because I slammed their beloved ____ (fill in blank). Now, they have given up, if they still read. 

I even remember hurting some one's feelings back in the 90s because I thought Friends was a sophomoric, overly emotional piece of drivel that was occasionally funny and lacking in anything beyond faux sophistication driven by unhealthy views of sexuality. I don't know why the person felt attacked because they thought it was "cute and funny." Luckily, I have mellowed (a little).

I mention all of this because I ran across a couple of posts on the Onion's AV Club where they ask critics the movies and films that they have gotten into the most arguments about. My favorite point in the film section is the critic that has argued against Brokeback Mountain. See, I am not the only one.

Here is the film list (read the end in which the critics start arguing)- I would say the film I have had the most arguments about is American Beauty, which I did not like.

Here is the Music List -I would say it is the second Hanson album, which is excellent and everyone dismissed without hearing it because; it is Hanson and they wrote "MMMMBop" (yeah, when they were 12. People grow up. The Beatles wrote "Love Me Do" and went on to "A Day in the Life").

What music, television and film have you argued the most over (or anything else I mentioned above)? Send people, especially Cade, on over.


kristi said...

thank you for explaining this publicly. see, now you don't seem like a grouchy old man. just a wise, handsome man with lots of opinions. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely with you on #7.
I've given IPA chance after chance, and I don't think I've ever even finished one.
I hate to admit my lack of enthusiasm for Merlot, specifically because of the movie Sideways, and how many of its viewers wrote off Merlot because the movie told them that Pinot Noir is better.
I do admit I have a couple nice, earthy Chilean Merlots in my cabinet, but at $5 a bottle, they were hard to pass up.
As for the main point, I will definitely say that I find it easy to be argumentative when I'm discussing philosophical/religious (mainly religious) issues with someone who's far too sure of themselves, in which case I almost always end up playing the part of the Agnostic (or Gnostic, or humanist).