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It's all a plot

I was listening to Coldplay's latest album in the car yesterday, feeling vaguely ashamed of liking such a bland, poppy band that produces slick and pretty songs with no substance.

But then, I realized that I'm English, white, middle-class, and liberal.  This is the music of my people. 

I still can't bring myself to listen to Oasis, even though one of the brothers (I don't remember which) used to live right down the street from my mother.  I hate their music with a rare and fiery passion.

I've realized why I'm starting, in my near-forties, to become much more outspoken about the various -isms and social subjects than I used to be; I don't care if anyone approves of my views or not any more.  My friends will put up with me (at least, they have so far), Bob isn't going to leave me because I snarl at Burger King ads, and the people that can't stand my slant on the world aren't going to read my blog anyway (or they'll sign up, read for two days, and promptly de-friend me again; my numbers bounce up and down regularly).

And it's okay; I really don't mind.  I'm finally confident enough in my self (ego/id/cthulu-like tentacled mass of a brain) that I really don't care if people disagree with me (though I appreciate that pretty much everyone has the manners to refrain from attacking me in my own journal comments), and if they have strongly held views that are diametrically opposed to mine, I won't argue with them.  I'd rather work on the undecided and the uninformed than try to beat my (tentacled mass of a) brain out against the brick wall of someone's iron convictions.

That's been one of the pieces in the puzzle for me - people don't change their minds easily, and the more deeply-held a belief is, the harder it is (to well-nigh impossible) to change it.  I think this is also one of the reasons why internet "debate" (okay, most debate) is really just two sides stating their beliefs, over and over and over and OVER and OVER and OVER!!!!!!! again until one side gets bored, and the other side declares victory in absentia.

"No opinions were altered during the course of this debate", is the disclaimer.  Or should be.

I don't care if person A thinks I'm out of my mind on feminist pixie dust; person A is not whom I'm talking to.  Person B might be intrigued by my audacity, and stay to read more.  Person C agrees delightedly with everything I say, and is happy to have another voice in the fray.  Person D "never thought about it like that".

Person A is out of my equation; they can't reach me, and I can't reach them.  We're sitting on either side of an ideological divide, and the chasm between us is bottomless (and tentacle-ridden.  Watch out for falling cupcakes).  With person C, I'm preaching to the choir; I like the affirmation that other people think like I do on some stuff, but I'm not changing their world.  We're like-minded and probably have common formative experiences. 

But Persons B and D - there's my target (and now you know my secret agenda).  If I can introduce new concepts to someone who hasn't seen an idea from a particular angle, then I'm doing something right with my rambling.

(Or I'm advancing the Liberal Feminist Man-Hating Race Traitor Left-Wing Illuminati One-World New World Order regime, depending on your viewpoint.)

(But, due to the conspicuous absence of trolls in my little tiny cabin in the woods, I'm guessing no-one here hold quite that opinion of me.)

(Feminist, yes.  Illuminati, no.)

Sometimes, I get things wrong.  Sometimes, I'm just going to natter on about SCA stuff, costuming, and my day.

(Please?  I can hear some of you saying.  I am planning a project post soon, don't worry.)

But, since I have this bully pulpit, I'm sometimes going to use it for evil speak my mind on random subjects.  And I'm not really worried if you disagree with me; I'm not going to hold it against you.

As long as you forgive me my utterly bland taste in music and don't hold my like of Coldplay against me.

(I was listening to "A Chorus Line" this morning.  Trufax.)


( 43 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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(Deleted comment)
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
It is eminently listenable, in a completely unchallenging way.
(no subject) - grian_ruadh - Mar. 26th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
I like stuff across all genres - if it has a beat and/or tune and/or chord structure that I like, I'll listen to it. I do weird mix tapes of all sorts of stuff, though there are fewer rap songs and country songs that I really like.

I'm also a slave to my teenage years, and like '80s pop music far too much. :)
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
Having trouble emailing you
For some reason the emails keep getting bumped. In response to our exchance yesterday, yes I will be there a little early to help.

Mar. 26th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Having trouble emailing you
My work e-mail is in the process of being updated. Sorry.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
Great--now I will have "One" stuck in my head all day, thanks to your "Chorus Line" comment. Damn catchy song. :-)
Mar. 26th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
I changed the gender and sing that song to DangerBoy all the time.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
I like Coldplay, in part, because they try so hard to sound like U2, my favorite band of ALL TIME.

It must be wonderfully freeing to just say "screw you, I like what I like". I've got work on that more.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
It's simple when you have the attitude of "Life's too short for bullshit games."

Guess that's what I get for being 45. ;) :D

Yeah, and I like using smileys, too! ;) :) :D :p
(no subject) - janinas_nest - Mar. 26th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brickhousewench - Mar. 26th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - duchesspadr - Mar. 26th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Mar. 26th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - duchesspadr - Mar. 26th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brickhousewench - Mar. 26th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nicolaa5 - Mar. 26th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
I read your journal, because although I don't agree with EVERY stance you take, and disagree vehemently with some, at least you keep me entertained in reading your opinion.
When you've stated something that I don't agree with, you've been respectful of me as a person holding the opinion or belief. You may snark about the opinion itself, but never insulted me.
Which is why I keep reading, despite the differences.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I really appreciate that. I think there's a lot of emphasis put on everyone needing to think alike, when what's really valuable is being able to enjoy someone, despite the differences.

I have friends who hold very different ideological views from me, but I still like them - they're just coming from a very different place, and we see the world differently. I think I'm right, they think they're right, and yet somehow we manage to meet in the middle. I think the clue is respecting difference, not trying to erase it.
(no subject) - hsifeng - Mar. 26th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stringmonkey - Mar. 26th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Mar. 30th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stringmonkey - Mar. 30th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
I think, as I rapidly approach 40 myself (next year! OMG!), that I have definitely gotten to that "screw you, this is what I like" place about my clothes. And my spare-time activities, and a number of other things. But I still find myself not voicing my beliefs most of the time, or engaging in conversations about them with anyone who is not my husband or best friends, generally speaking. Remnants of "what if they don't like me anymore", I'm sure. Definitely need to work on that.

I liked Oasis, sometimes, but Coldplay? I can't get what they're about.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Heh. I have friends that think Coldplay is inane crap that no-one could possibly like, and I actually see where they're coming from - C.Play is the pop equivalent of elevator muzak. It's unchallenging, easy to forget, and uncomplicated in a really shallow way. I still like it. :)

For me, reaching the "I don't mind what you think, I'm still going to say it and believe it" space had a lot to do with seeing other people survive just fine doing just that, and also increasing my awareness with greater intarweb perusal (though I am also addicted to YouTube - "Boogie Boogie Hedgehog" being a current favourite). There's so much that can be done by just talking instead of shutting down, and so what if someone yells at me and calls me names?

Okay, I lie - I get very upset when someone yells at me, but I find that it doesn't stop me anymore. Finding other people who have experienced the same reaction, and reading their incredibly valuable words on the matter has helped me find a voice. It's a huge help to know that some of the arguments flung around are actually just designed to shut down discussion, and one is not wrong for speaking up in the first place. :)

The "what if they don't like me anymore" idea was very scary for me until I absorbed the concept of "someone who will dump me for not agreeing with them is a toxic person, and do I really want them in my life?".
(no subject) - leofwynne - Mar. 26th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pinkleader - Mar. 26th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
"No opinions were altered during the course of this debate"

LOL! I think I'm using that today in my Facebook discussion...
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
i like reading what you say. i dont always agree...hell, i dont always UNDERSTAND. but i do appreciate your passion about the things you write about, and the way you can string words together (not everyone can do it well!) and you make a lot of sense to me.

and i dont think i've ever heard a coldplay, but i adore sinatra. and i'm only 45. ;)
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
OT but speaking of opinions, I'd like to get your take on inter-kingdom art/sci judging. If you get some free time please give this post a read and let me know if you have any thoughts you'd like to share. I've had a lot of Laurels and apprentices weight in, but they are mostly from my own Kingdom and all refering to the same inter-kingdom art/sci event. I'd really enjoy to hear opinions from elsewhere. Thanks.

Mar. 26th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
It is funny...I have my blog over on xanga and periodically the lovely left-wing, hippy, "let's tear down the damn institutions and start all over!" part of me will come out. I was raised by two hippy parents (they grew up 5 miles from Berkeley, CA in the early 60s), so I come by it naturally. I will bring things up and discuss how things make me pissed off or happy or whatever...and sometimes, I have friends that will come in and argue with me. A few of them happen to be VERY dear friends...and also right-wing religious nutjobs (said with all love). And two of them...we have actual discussions. We TALK! We exchange ideas! And we can agree on facts, we just don't agree on interpretations. Such is life, but I very much enjoy the play back and forth.

That is actually part of why I really enjoy your blog. You have a wonderful take on the universe, I tend to agree with most of your views...and when someone disagrees in a logical fashion, you will actually listen and talk with them about it. Too often these days, folks just react with emotionally charged "You are WRONG!" and won't actually think. Thank you for being you and having the strength to stand up for yourself....as well as the strength to be willing to examine where you are standing.

Say hi to Robert...see you guys at Pennsic!

Mar. 26th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
It's ok; I like Coldplay, too. I even own a copy of X&Y somewhere. I'd put it on my MP3 player, but it wouldn't fit with the Marilyn Manson and Three Days Grace.

As for the rest, I'd say I walk your A/B line.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
I have a built in feedback loop when it comes to debating a subject. I enter with my thoughts/opinions/etc. BUT as I am listening to the other side(s) of the discussion I am constantly reevaluating my stance (is this new information that alters my stance, did I have mistaken information and that should be taken into account, etc.). I could probably flow chart the process that goes on in my head. I typically encounter issues when, as you mentioned, the person I am having the discussion with process does not have the same process going on in their head. I suddenly realize that the other person is SO entrenched in their stance, so inflexible in their thinking, or so emotional on the subject that logic and/or questions are being ignored. At that point I try (and sometimes fail, I haz flawz, sigh) to just...let...it...go. It is always a joy to talk to someone that tries to keep an open mind and can entertain the possibility that they might be wrong. Goodness knows I have been wrong on a lot of occasions...

Mar. 26th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Music need not be challenging . . .
Who says that music, in order to have value, has to be challenging?

There is a place in the catalogue for "ear candy."

As for eclectic tastes, I could almost be a poster boy. It's easier to name the sort of music I don't like than what I do. And that runs the entire gamut, from classical, early music, jazz, rock, R&B, pop, broadway, C&W . . .

Mar. 26th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Music need not be challenging . . .
"Who says that music, in order to have value, has to be challenging?

Mar. 26th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
I infinitely appreciate your outspoken-ness. It helps me find the courage and inspriation to speak my mind as well. For the most part I fall into your above category C, but living in Utah makes speaking these views a challenging experience sometimes. So, go you!
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