Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weapons of Mass Discussion

   Without a doubt there are certain subjects that incite an emotional reaction and invigorate some deep seeded passion within us. No matter how calm and reasonable we can be, or even start out to be…there are just some things that we feel so strongly about that we digress and revert to something a little less than reasonable…or calm. We have all heard (or at least I hope we all have) to not bring up certain subjects in social gatherings…to ensure those gatherings remain amicable. Fortunately on this blog, we can bring these subjects up and discuss them without breaking up a party or throwing a single punch.

   Sports is one of those touchy subjects…especially depending on the teams being discussed. Walking around New York wearing Boston Red Sox gear might get you in bit of trouble. So will getting into a discussion wherein your prevailing opinion is that the Yankees suck, and Boston rules. Now…I’m not saying that mind you, I’m just saying that such a conversation would be a very tough one to have with Yankees fan. Personally, I don’t see what all the hubbub is about. I have never found sports to be an overly important subject, not even newsworthy really, and think the fact professional athletes get paid so much just contributes to making the world the topsy-turvy place it is. That said, my opinion is not shared by the millions of sports fanatics and all the bar room brawls, wagered money, and overturned cars in celebration make this subject one of the weapons of mass discussion.

   Politics is another touchy subject…probably on a more profound level than sports. I have never heard of someone attempting to kill their spouse over a game, but can never forget how politics divided this country so much that a woman ran her husband over and people actually petitioned to secede from the union. This is how polarizing and passionate people become over politics…and I think it’s utterly ridiculous. Politics is not rocket science and with some applied common sense, it can be easily figured out that most of our politicians engage in political monkey business and some serious reform is needed to either make them honest…or make them gone. There are very few politicians that will talk straight and I’m flabbergasted that the ones that do are not supported more…by everyone. Actually, I shouldn’t be surprised…the system (with the help of media propaganda)  ensures that so many people either see red or blue, donkey or elephant, right or left…without realizing both are colors, both are animals, and both sides are needed for a strong embrace. Proper etiquette in serene social settings says to stay away from the subject of politics…it is, after all, a weapon of mass discussion. I have to admit though that I relish when it comes up (especially when it shouldn’t) because it’s just another opportunity to declare my independence…and smack both sides around. 

   Religion is another touchy subject…so much so that this post marks the very first time I have ever discussed it in the three years of doing this blog. I have purposely stayed away from the subject as I feel it should be a private and personal matter…but that’s just not how it plays out in reality. Some people are very vocal and public with their faith (and in all fairness, many beliefs call for just that kind of attention in the service of bringing others closer to God) and use every opportunity to share it. Some of the nicest and spiritual people become very visceral when their faith is challenged. In a country where there is a separation of church and state, they become very intertwined when you try to burn the wrong book as your freedom of expression. You would think in a civilized world that killing someone because they choose to worship differently than you would be a thing of the past…but if by past you mean just the other day, then you’re right. I think beyond the fandom of sports, the polarizing effect of politics…religion is probably the most dangerous weapon of mass discussion. Anything can be justified in the mind that thinks it has been chosen by the almighty to carry out actions not meant to be questioned or understood. In this we can have calm…but still without reason.

   The touchy subjects of the weapons of mass discussion have been laid out before you for consumption and digestion. Indulge yourself and let social etiquette give way to base emotions. After all…it’s better you do it here than at the next social function you will be attending…and possibly disrupting. 

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