Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Don't bring it up then

I have made a decision regarding my blog. While much of the time I write about things that don't inspire much debate, I sometimes write about things where people might feel the need to disagree with me. What's worse, they comment and post their disagreements. I've decided that I can't have that anymore. After all, I have freedom of speech, and people shouldn't be allowed to comment on what I have to say. Therefore, I will no longer allow comments on my blog.

Ha! Okay, what I just said there was totally ridiculous. Honestly, I don't really have a whole lot of people debating me on my blog, although it's been known to happen. While I suppose it is my prerogative to stop posting comments, I would never dream of doing it. After all, I stand by what I write, and I welcome disagreements. Shoot, I've even been known to ammend my opinion on things (like circumcision - I was pretty deadfast against it, but I developed a more nuanced opinion about it after getting into a debate about it), which I personally see as a good thing.

What prompted my little joke at the start of this entry was something that has come up lately, and frankly has always bothered me. I can't stand it when somebody brings something up and then tells you that they don't want to talk about it. I suppose that most people would find this to be only a minor annoyance, but to me it's aggravating as hell. In fact, I once had a family member bring up a subject a few years ago on which I had a strong opinion (and I also had, like, facts, to support it) and then proceed to tell me not to say anything about it. For me, that's maddening. I mean, if you don't want me to bring something up, I suppose that I can handle that (with some resistence) but if you don't want to hear what I have to say on a given issue, then don't start talking about the subject!

This came up a little bit more recently with a family member (in-law of an in-law) on Facebook, where he would post all sorts of ultra-right wing buffoonery and then I would respond to it. Then, he'd get all bent out of shape, citing his right to believe what he wants. The thing that I couldn't seem to drill in his head was that he was posting to a public forum, and in a public forum he does indeed have the right to express himself, but then I have the right to express myself right back at him. Ultimately, he tried to have some sort of a truce where neither one of us would be allowed to comment on one another's postings. To hell with that!

The thing is, I don't care if somebody wants to try and contradict what I have to say. The worst thing that will happen is that I'll change my mind, which could very well be a good thing! So, I told him that my only precondition was that we were to have no preconditions. He didn't go for it and proceeded to drop me from his friends list. Oh darn. In all honesty, I'm neither upset nor happy. I simply don't care.

Now, I hate to generalize here, but this is something that I tend to notice more and more from people who are supposed "conservatives". A friend of mine told me last night of a friend of hers who actually stated that she wanted to be able to just say her piece on a given topic and then not have it turn into a debate. In other words, "I can say whatever I want, but you don't get to say squat." I have certain in-laws (no, not my mother and father in-laws - they're not like that at all) who will do the same thing - bring up a subject but then end it when people say things that they don't like. Lastly, I can't help but recall the Rappin' Jesus guy at the Prop 8 protest, where his friends actively told him to not try and debate with me.

I suppose that there might be more liberally-minded people who are the same way and the only reason that I don't notice it from them is because I already tend to agree, so this issue never comes up. Hey, if there are any of you conservatives out there who do indeed like to debate, and you have an anecdote about a liberal who behaves this way, please post it in the comments section.

To me, it shows a weak mind, and an insecurity in one's point of view to not be able to handle other people commenting on what you have to say. Don't get me wrong. I realize that sometimes when an argument just keeps going on and on in circles, eventually somebody has to say, "You know what? Maybe we just need to drop this because it's not going anywhere." And I'll be the first to admit that I'm usually the last person to do that. This, however, is not what I'm talking about.

Remember, you have the freedom to speak bullshit, and I have the freedom to call it bullshit.


Matthew said...

Yes, there's just as much buffoonery circling around left-leaning social groups. Maybe I'll write something about it soon.

While I won't label myself a conservative of the same ilk as the RNC, but I have found that there's often an intellectual high-ground snobbery associated with lefties. It's as if all criticism of any social ideal is fueled by ignorant, dogmatic, religious fervor and surely any "science" to support the democratic ideals is beyond reproach. Heaven forbid someone should ever present some educated, well thought out questions regarding the "facts" presented by Al Gore or Michael Moore.

Remember that bumper sticker, "question everything?" Most people don't really mean it. Usually what they mean is "question religion, conservatives and free market economics," which are all good things to question. But, don't stop there.

With that said, I completely agree with you. If you don't want critique, then don't open your mouth, and for god's sake don't type it anywhere on the internet.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey, I don't want to hear what you have to say on this issue. I'm going to have to delete your comment...

Geof said...

You're position on circumsion is completely ridiculous. Save the foreskins!

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I am a position on circumcision is completely ridiculous?

Seriously though, I'm still against it. I just don't think that it's as bad of a thing as I used to believe.