Michael Moore (admiralmemo) wrote,
Michael Moore

Update Part 2

Well, on Tuesday, after telling Mrs. Shirley at work about a certain music artist I think she'd like, we got to talking, and I found out something. She is one of the people who believes rock and roll is inherently evil because it originated with pagan African drum rituals. I seriously didn't believe those people existed any more! She can't even contemplate Christian rock music. "Oh, they may call it that, but it's still pagan."
I'm one who believes that music is a tool, like any other. Any tool can be used for various uses, be they good or evil. Knives can help us in cooking, whittling wood, or stabbing people. Cars can get us from place to place or run people over. I feel that music is the same way, and it's the lyrics that truly define a song. Weird Al is a perfect example. Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" is a serious song about drug culture and the racial and social profiling of the police. Weird Al's "White & Nerdy" is a hilarious comedy song about nerd culture. They both use the exact same music. (This is, of course, not a good vs. evil example, but it shows an extreme contrast of what can be done using the same music.)

Some may wonder why I even talk to her, given that our values are so different. I've found that it is quite helpful to talk to people who have different values than you, if you keep it within the realm of civil discourse. The reason is quite simple: it keeps you grounded in reality, and keeps reminding you that other people don't think the same way as you. If all you do is talk to people with the same or similar views, you end up becoming a bunch of "Yes" men to each other, and mentally elevating yourselves above the rest of humanity, even if you don't realize it. Throwing yourself into a place where you must defend your views will prove whether those views are well-grounded and worth defending, or whether you've built a flimsy house of cards to hold up some opinion you have. If you have a whole bunch of views that logically fit into one another, but they are all supported by a single opinion, and that opinion is proved wrong, your entire belief structure will collapse. That can be devastating if you are unprepared and someone else takes your foundation away. However, if you do it yourself, searching for support and end up undermining your own values, you end up controlling the fall and it's not as bad, because you're in charge of where it falls. In the end of a good discussion of this nature, you usually end up stripping yourself of the mental rubbish you've accumulated and are bared to the core views you hold. Of course, there are some things that end up being entirely subjective and unprovable to others, and that's usually where impasses happen. (Of course, subjective experience doesn't make the views wrong. It just makes them unprovable.)

Side note: You shouldn't throw yourself to the lions all the time. There are times when you need similar-minded people to support you and keep you strong. To make an analogy, I'm thinking it's like the contrast between the sports field and the locker room. In the locker room, you get to rest, support your teammates, and be supported yourself. Out on the field, you're competing for what you want to achieve, and proving yourself worthy. Being in the locker room all the time won't help you achieve your goals, while staying on the field the whole time will just wear you out and make you ineffectual and that much easier to be run into the ground.

All of this makes me nostalgic and sad that I don't have similar conversations with queen_of_kithia any more. While Mrs. Shirley is more conservative than I am, queen_of_kithia tends to be more liberal. I thoroughly enjoyed our discussions, and I found her experiences fascinating, because they were quite unlike my own. However, one day, I happened to say that she was "misguided" and she took that word as an insult. I did not see the word as an insult and did not mean to hurt her feelings. I attempted to apologize and make up with her, but she did not want to listen, and broke off contact with me, to the point of banning me from her journal. I still consider her a friend, and would hope she would come around one day. I read her journal entries, and there are times when I want to comment, agreeing with her and sharing my experiences with a subject, but cannot. It frustrates and saddens me. However, I must respect her views and feelings, which is what I try to do with everyone, and would hope everyone would do with me. I have to apologize if I am quite blunt at times, but that's just the way I am.

(If any mutual friends of both of us can ask queen_of_kithia to read this, I would greatly appreciate it. Whether she does or not is her own prerogative, but I would appreciate the effort to ask.)
Tags: conservative, friends, sev, thoughtful_stuff, work

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