Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monopoly on Truth

“Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they all stink.”

That saying has been around for a long time, and I agree with it. Today, we hear from editorialists, op-ed columnists and the blogosphere about everything, from the current presidential hopefuls to family values, religion and a myriad of social issues.
All of these opinions bombard us at once and sound like static, a jumbled cacophony of ideas, biases and hysterical rants.
Absolute knowledge is a rare thing, if it exists at all. Political factions love absolutes. They love platitudes and hate specifics. They hate science, reason and logic and like the best lawyers, try to manipulate facts to fit their agenda.
Now every right wing nut job or left wing wacko can spew their own brand of venom without exposure to data or facts thanks to the Internet.
They politicize everything based on emotional impact or outright lies, crafting a brainwashing strategy only Machiavelli would be proud of.
Everyone believes they have the golden panacea for social utopia. Problem is, reality is never as perfect as the schemes our leaders present us. If any of these stubby-fingered charlatans read any of the great philosophers, they’d realize perfection and idealism aren’t attainable. Maybe we weren’t meant to live in utopia, whatever that is. Maybe we were just meant to make today better than yesterday, and tomorrow better than today. Maybe that’s the only certainty.
Strife and bullshit aren’t the zest of life – discovering commonalities between people is. It doesn't make you a genius if you can divide, but you're pretty damn great if you can bring different people together.
I never engage in arguments online. It's impersonal, immature and a waste of time. I prefer human interaction with my opponents - hearing their voices, looking into their eyes and understanding why they have passion and conviction in the things they believe.

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