Since it would be dickish of me to imply otherwise, I concede that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I’d like to borrow a qualifier from Harlan Ellison, who says “No, you’re entitled to an informed opinion.” Having an opinion about something you haven’t bothered to learn is lazy, and if you begin talking about that opinion, well, you’re talking shit. I don’t like people who talk shit. They’re a waste of time. Go read a book or watch some Jeopardy before you open that Big Dumb Mouth of Yours again.
Now, this means that if you do know what you’re talking about and I still disagree with you, I can’t be all that upset. And mostly I’m not. The only way I’ll get upset is if you take what you know and manipulate it into twisted little versions of bullshit to try and get your way. Because again, this means you’re talking shit.
I think it all boils down to interests. I am interested in lots of things. With the exception of Pinks or that show where that wilderness guy won’t stop drinking his own pee, I’ll watch pretty much anything because I can find something there that is interesting. Likewise with the Internet. Anyone searching my Internet history would find it hard to pinpoint a serial killer-esque pattern because there’s so much stuff there. StumbleUpon was invented for a reason, people, and only some of that was to keep us awake and clicking at 4am. Because of my varied interests, I find myself at least a little bit informed about a lot of things. I do this because a) Reading Rainbow told me knowledge was important, and b) it means I talk less shit.
** This doesn’t mean I’m smarter than everyone. Far from it; sit me down for a long division problem and I’ll probably wet my pants before a single number goes on top of that line thingy. I also can’t tell you all about the 15-year plan for the Federal Reserve (outside of “crapping the bed repeatedly,” I mean) or describe the internal combustion engine (I think it has something to do with fire, though). Big vocabulary aside, I am not 100% bright. I just have a wide range of interests and this is what makes me less of an asshole. Sometimes. **
While I can’t stand people who talk shit about things they don’t know, I’m also annoyed by people who frequently forfeit their ways out of conversations by saying that whatever topic doesn’t interest them. The worst: “Sorry, I’m not really a reader,” they say, and I cringe, or “I’m just not that interested in politics.” I mean, far be it from me to tell people what their interests should be, but if you’re going to have any at all, shouldn’t they be the words we use to communicate and the rules we all have to follow? You don’t have to be a genius about either, but just having a general working knowledge of what’s going on with both should be a requirement for interacting with other people in public places. (I get it that especially when it comes to politics, many people don’t want to comment because they don’t want to start an argument. This is fine, I’m just talking about the people who aren’t interested in politics and therefore have no fucking clue what’s going on in the first place. These are the same people who would never vote if it wasn’t for P. Diddy. Or whoever he is now.)
If everyone decided to be a little less ignorant about and develop a few more interests in everything, the world would be a far less frustrating place. There are even catchy (but profane) songs about it!
(Thanks to Courtney, whose post reminded me that Graham showed me this video way back when we started dating, and that it’s the reason why I sometimes stand in the deodorant aisle going “Speed Stick is kind of expensive, yo.”)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Mexican lunch date, a possible football viewing party, and the fifth episode of The Walking Dead to be interested in today. Will they destroy Amy before she turns into a zombie? I don’t know! Heee!
Erin, you quoted Harlan Ellison, the favorite author of a boy I’m dating. I have been somewhat obsessed with reading his “Angry Candy” (the title of which is from one of my favorite Cummings poems – a source of some of my obsession). Anywho, I came onto my blog to update my reading list to reflect this intention and in so doing decided to click on the link to your blog. Such a strange coincidence (but the fact that you enjoy him, too, makes me doubly interested in reading some of his work ASAP).