A Perfect Sadness

And everywhere is war.

Month: February, 2014

Wheaton’s Amendment

1.  Unless you’re talking to a conservative.  Then, by all means, be a dick.

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Disagreement and Derailment

Has this ever happened to you?

A group of folks are talking online about a subject you find interesting, so you read what they have to say.  Let’s say, for example, they’re talking about the taste of ice cream.  As the shape of their opinions begin to take form, you realize that you disagree with the group consensus.  For some reason they don’t like the taste of ice cream, but boy, you sure do.  So, naturally, you say, “Gosh, I disagree with you on that.”

Then there’s a pause.  Oddly, it seems the wave of agreement isn’t used to being challenged, and a little moment of stillness floats by as everyone takes in your apparent audacity.  Then it starts.  One of them lets out a gasp.  “You’re a troll!”

Others point fingers.  “He’s derailing!  Oh my god, he’s derailing!”

I ask because I’ve had this experience, not specifically with ice cream, but with varied topics, more than once, and always with the same bunch of nitwits and activists.  And by activists, I don’t mean the bold noble types who used to stand in front of tanks to stop wars.  I mean the poorman version, the kind who pat themselves on the back for sneering at anyone who isn’t PC enough.  Yeah, those assholes.

Anyway.  When disagreement = derailment, there’s a major problem with discourse.

It worries me.  I worry that too many folks in the world are conversing this way.  I’m beginning to fear that accusations of groupthink and thought policing are more realistic than polemic.

Derailing.  It’s when someone changes the actual topic of the conversation.  And if, in those conversations, I was legitimately derailing, it must mean I misunderstand the topic.  We weren’t actually talking about anything remotely close to the taste of ice cream.  No.  Instead, we were talking about: “In What Ways Does The Group Agree?”

Which is fine for the participants, I suppose, but it’s not a topic I want any part of.  It’s a conversation built for morons.

About 140 Words

This is an opening to a story that, in its completed form, never really worked for me.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about it again, so I might take another crack at figuring out what bothered me about it so long ago.

 

Reeves didn’t want to bury his wife under a pile of rocks, but he didn’t know what else to do.  Village law demanded that all of the dead and nearly dead be immobilized, so he sighed, picked up her litter, and got about the business of doing the law.

The funeral procession led through the center of the village, along the dirt road, to the outlying gardens.  Only a half-dozen villagers joined in the walk, a poor turnout, but there wasn’t much reason to expect more.  There just weren’t a lot of folks who wanted to be near the risen buried in the crypts.

Rose bushes were in full bloom, and though the scent was lovely, Reeves could only associate it with sickness and death.  The garden made a labyrinth around the burial caves, as if seasonal beauty could somehow silence the moaning of the dead within.