I was called a contrarian yesterday on Facebook for commenting negatively on Gore Vidal after a friend posted something about the guy. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here but even if I have, let me repeat, I loathe contrarianism. Not when people are contrarians (I don’t think that ever is the case, as I’ll explain in a second), but the idea itself.
I was called a contrarian/troll when, a few months ago, I expressed some concern for Prometheus, considering Ridley Scott’s poor track record of the past two decades (and I didn’t even bring up Damon Lindelof though I really should have, because LOL). It was a valid concern, I thought, but being called that didn’t feel so much of an insult as I thought that the entire discussion was being reduced to whether I was “trolling” earnest sci-fi fans. Come on.
Now, I’m being called a contrarian for not crying tears over Vidal’s death. Timing aside (I’ll bring it up so you don’t have to, because if you did, I’d just walk away), what are you trying to say here? That my thoughts exist nothing more than a binary opposition to yours? That I thought them up just so I could exist on a plane of said binary opposition adverse to yours?
If you want to debate the Hitchenses and Roiphes of the world and “win”, you’ll have to do a lot better than that. No matter how kneejerk and wrong-headed their opinions are, if you don’t acknowledge the entirety of their arguments, your own arguments will always come across as mere attacks, with no substance attached. You might say that some arguments don’t deserve to be discussed at the base level that I’m talking about, but I don’t buy it. I don’t buy that you can’t give their arguments all the merit that its owner wants, and that you’d just be giving them what they want. If you’re confident in what you’re saying, you can meet them at any level and still have a discussion worthy of your time. Otherwise, it all just reeks of playground-level attacks.
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- erikonymous said: Agreed. I’ve been called one more times than I can count. It’s ad hominem and derailing. But hey, at least we’re not cheerleaders.
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- theblueprint said: it’s “hater culture”. you’re not allowed to dislike things anymore, or have an opposing opinion, because that makes you a “hater”. (such bullshit. i see it daily on “rap twitter”)
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