Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Man In The Mirror

Every now and again, life demands of us that we take a serious look at the "Man In The Mirror" (or Woman, as the case may be). These are times when the world outside gives a subtle (or not so subtle) nudge to remind of of who we really are and what our true place in the world is. Sometimes the image that we see has no reality beyond that we perceive.

I got one of these recently in a comment to a posting, in which it was pointed out rather strongly that my opinion is no better and no more valid than anyone else's in the world. They were right of course. While I take some pains to make sure that any insight that I try to present is based on logical argument and facts which I check assiduously, this does not mean that it can or should count more than anyone else's. The fact that I have recently commented so much of a political nature (which is not my profession) leaves me open to even greater error and potential criticism.

I may not reduce the amount of political commentary that I do going forward, but having made this introspective examination, I will try to recognize that others may not share my opinion, nor particularly care for the methods that I use to present it. Irony, sarcasm, and pithy commentary are not for everyone, though I hope that I keep enough of a sense of humility and humor about it most of the time to at least make it palatable. On the other hand, it seems that there are times when strict adherence to the facts, and reasoned and logical argument seem to be equally difficult to digest for some. I guess that it's just that political discussion can be unruly at the very least, and down right life-threatening at its worst. (As for religion, the other "third rail" of reasoned discussion, I think some subjects are best left alone by those still in training as Village Idiots.)

After all is said and done, this is the lot of position Court Jester position that I have taken up in writing this blog. I believe that speaking truth to power can be fun, but know that it always means walking a fine line (and sometimes crossing it) in the process. There are no "Falling Rocks Ahead" or "You Are Entering A Minefield" signposts to warn one of impending danger. Even when trying to make a joke to those who rule (or think that they do), one always runs the risk of sometimes severe disapproval (or worse yet, not being funny). Such disapproval has cost more than one guy with a funny hat the the funny little head that he fit it on.

For those of you who choose to take an opposing view and seek to criticize the things that I write, please know that I will never restrict your right to do so unless you cross the line of good manners as I define them for comments. Reasoned discussion and divergent opinions are always welcome. Bad breeding and poor upbringing, when they rear their ugly head, are not. Know also that I will read these criticisms closely, and will weigh them using my own good judgment regarding the positions that I have taken. I can and have been convinced of my own error in the past (though certainly such cases are a rarity, of course). Remember however, that your criticisms (even the personal ones), unless soundly backed by fact and logical argument, are nothing more than opinions. As you know, everyone has an opinion, much as everyone has a rear end (even me, though mine is mostly scar tissue these days). Unfortunately for the world, most of both stink.

The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.
- Winston Churchill

On a more personal note, I want to wish my sister Maureen a "Happy Tweener" (inside joke) on this auspicious day...


Hooda Thunkit said...

Yeah, but can I still post comments here?


Court Jester and/or Full-Time Buffoon in training that I am...

Tim Higgins said...


Your wisdom is always welcome ...