Steve courts controversy!

The fragile state of psyches today means that anyone who dares express an opinion risks causing someone who disagrees to have a meltdown.

This sometimes happens when expressing political opinions. “Sometimes” as only in the a.m. and p.m.
However, an online challenge from someone called Feo Amante challenges us to express 10 nonpolitical opinions that are likely to be very unpopular. Feo’s include:

3. AVATAR was not only the worst movie James Cameron ever directed, even SyFy channel has shown better work. …

5. A Matter Transmitter in THE FLY and STAR TREK sense (extraordinarily precise disassembling and reassembling of the atomic structure of living beings into the same living beings), isn’t as viably efficient a technology as transmitting matter whole from point A to point B via wormhole and String “bundling” (imaginatively launching from where we currently understand the concepts). …

7. We do not have a Bee die off Crisis, since the accuracy of research/counting of Bee populations / Colonies remains reproducible only when limited to Beekeepers and not the unknown but (in all likelihood) overwhelmingly larger populations of bees in the wild (which are virtually impossible to monitor thanks to their ever-changing nomadic lifestyle – though some scientists are trying). …

10. Extending the human lifespan more than 10 times its current limit is not only possible, but environmentally desirable.

Well … “Avatar” (not to be confused with the non-Cameron “Avatar”) was, from what I remember, entertaining. So was “Waterworld,” but neither was probably worth the hype nor the expense. The last two seem to be somewhat political comments to me, but that’s his list.

Readers may not be surprised to know that I have not shied away from expressing potentially controversial opinions. (Really? readers respond.) I once wrote a column for the Madison La Follette High School student newspaper, The Lance, that applied the concept from the book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche for “Real Lancers,” including such opinions as that women don’t wear more than one earring per ear. That didn’t make my girlfriend of the time, who had two earrings in one year (which was not as many as the five of a classmate of mine, which prompted the idea), very happy.

Facebook Friend Mike Baron, who first posted this, got some contributions:

  • I like pineapple on pizza.
  • Star Wars bores the shit out of me. I think it’s the most overrated franchise in entertainment history. Very weak tea.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is not the best Star Trek movie. That honor belongs to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Oh, and Blade Runner is boring.
  • … there should be a five-year moratorium on anything Batman-related. No new movies, no new comics, nothing.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is an overrated movie.
  • [Steven] Spielberg is overrated.
  • James Cameron should have retired from filmmaking after T2.
  • Pink Floyd and U2 are highly overrated.
  • Bruce Springsteen sucks. Two good songs – that’s it.
  • The Rolling Stones stink.
  • The Beatles suck.
  • No one actually enjoys those new IPAs. They just like to be known as someone who enjoys them.
  • I get the most hostile reactions to non-political posts. These are the things that really get people riled up:
    1. Any challenge to complaints about “incorrect” grammar, usage, spelling, or punctuation. These complaints are invariably bogus and ignore actual language history, e.g., there never has been a commonly observed distinction between “lay” and “lie.”
    2. Common names are more useful than “scientific” names in many contexts.
    3. The metric system is no more scientific than any other system.
    4. Civilization will not collapse because children don’t learn the difference between a salad fork and a regular fork.
    5. Health appears to have very little to do with diet.
    6. It is possible to overestimate the earth-saving potential of hemp.
    7. People who flock to stores to buy gifts on Black Friday are not being selfish. Just the opposite.

OK, let’s see how I do, and whether I can stick to the politics prohibition. (Without that, one thing I would say is that no one should be a member of a political party. Another is that fewer people should be voting.)

One: I do not like (which means you should not like) any musical group’s complete body of work. Every group has mutts among its thoroughbreds, and every artist’s or group’s song should be judged based on the quality of the piece, not on whether or not you like the group. Even Michael Bolton, the dubious talent of the ’80s, recorded one good song (because it was written by Bob Dylan). Even my favorite rock group, Chicago, recorded far too many sappy crappy ballads, which are among the group’s best selling singles. Which demonstrates that …

Two: “Quality” and “popularity” are not synonyms. (In fact, no one should ever be concerned about the popularity of anything, or make decisions based on popularity, in any area. No one should ever do, watch or buy something becasue of its popularity.) Which leads to …

3A: “Change” and “progress” are not synonyms. (I question the judgment and values of anyone who claims we must embrace change.) However …

3B: … those who say that things were better in the “old days” usually have selective memory. In fact, no one ever thinks things are good today, whenever “today” is, or was.

Four: This is my printable response to people of any ideology who claim to be offended at something:

Grow up. The fact you have an opinion makes it no more important than anyone else’s. Your claim that your feelings are hurt or you are offended means you weren’t raised right. I’d add a few other words, but I’m trying to avoid obscenity. Speaking of which …

Five: There are right times and places to use obscenities, and wrong times and places. Mature people know when and where, though they may not be flawless in their use of obscenities, though we should all strive to use obscenities with correct English.

6A: Many sports fans don’t know what they’re talking about. That includes (A) those who want everyone to be fired with every loss, (B) those who don’t realize that all players have sell-by dates (as Branch Rickey put it, better to get rid of a player a year too early than a year too late), and (C) those who don’t know what they don’t know because they have acquired no knowledge of the sport. However …

6B: No pro sports player, coach or executive should be beyond criticism. For that matter, no public figure — politician, entertainer, etc. — should be above criticism. What follows from that is …

Seven: Too many people who don’t know what they’re talking about express opinions. A lot of it is because of social media, but there have been people who couldn’t keep their mouths shut since speech was invented. One sign they don’t know what they’re talking about is their inability to justify their opinion by facts or logic. Such people sometimes resort to emotion (especially anger) and name-calling, which is not an argument, jackwagon.

Eight: I like roundabouts. I vastly prefer roundabouts to intersections with stoplights or, worse, four-way stops. I do not understand why people don’t like and cannot drive around roundabouts. I like roundabouts because …

Nine: … the only truly, provably nonrenewable resource is time.

Ten: Most people have the wrong attitude about work. On the one hand, I’ve never been able to understand those who claim to love their job and claim they’ve never worked a day in their life. For one thing, you should never love your job, because your job does not love you. (Bonus opinion: The word “love” is horribly overused, as is “hate.”) On the other hand, those who do the minimum to get paid are violating our duty to work, as stated throughout the Bible. You should do the maximum you can, because you’re supposed to, not out of loyalty to your employer (who is paying you the minimum he or she can pay you), but for yourself. The corollary to that is …

Eleven: People need to stop sucking at doing things. In other words, if you’re doing something, but you’re bad at it, and you’re not interested in doing it better, stop. Our world is a screwed-up mess in large part because of incompetence.

Twelve: There are at least two TV series where the original theme song was better than its more popular replacement.

Thirteen. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a life-threatening disease, but I believe that quality of life is more important than quantity of life. No one should expect perfect health, but I don’t want to spend my remaining years being useless. (Keep in mind, though, that, as economist John Maynard Keynes observed, in the long run we are all dead.)

Fourteen: Every human is flawed. Therefore, every human institution is flawed. That has always been the case, and that will always be the case. The corollary to that is …

Fifteen: People have the choice to be good or bad based on their actions. However, most people are not innately good. Most people will do the right thing and avoid doing the wrong thing only because of the consequences.

There are 15 points here, not 10. As I often say, journalism is the opposite of math.


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