Opinions are like….

OpinionA bunch of the bloggers I follow like to inform their loyal readership whenever they are taking a break from writing.  I assume they do this because they don’t want their loyalists to panic when they don’t get their daily fix of wisdomor opinion.

So I took a week off of blogging the past seven days.  I’m pretty sure nobody noticed.

I’m ok.

Tonight, I recuperated from a long, ridiculous week by watching some college baseball, some Spurs-Heat, and catching up on what some of my favoriteand not-so favorite bloggers have been writing lately.

I follow about 125 online writers who post regularly.   They represent a wide variety of theological, political, cultural and relational positions.  Far leftfar rightand most spots in between.  I try to follow people who are reasonable and thoughtful in their positions, except for a few extremists on both ends.

It’s amazing how much influence the extremists have on each side of the middle.  Lots of loyal sheep.

I’m working hard not to be a goat.

While reading tonight, I realized why I go through spells where words are hard to find.  It seems like it’s all been written.

Pick a topic.  Any topic.  And somebodymultiple somebodieshave already written their opinions.  Bowe Bergdahl.  Donald Sterling.  Lebron. Any and all things Obama.  Same sex marriage.  Fake pot.  Real pot.  Church leadership stupidity.  Inerrancy of the Bible.  Tragic automobile accidents. Predestination.  Poverty.  The economy.  The border.  Guns.  Boxcutters.   Jack Bauer.

Opinions.  Opinions.  Opinions.  And you know what they say about opinions.

Tonight my brain is tired from reading.  My heart is weary from processing opinions.  My hope for a better world is discouraged.  My belief that being a follower of Christ is all about thinking and acting and metaphorically writing  like Jesus has taken a shot.   I feel a little empty.

I have nothing to add to the discussion.

My opinions are not needed right now.

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11 thoughts on “Opinions are like….

  1. The saturation of bloggers, writers, pontificators, spewers of textual garbage, and one-liner-quote-makers is deeply entrenched in our online discourse (assuming of course you CHOOSE to participate). We have been empowered by accessibility, comment-mini-discussions, ‘following’ others (21st century voyeuristic cyber-stalking) and ‘likes’. I know this because I’m play for both teams; I enjoy piecing words together AND reading opinions from all sides of all aisle (to a point, then sometimes I get frustrated and start ranting about freedom, hope, love, and humility). It’s all bittersweet to me. Some of my favorite current theological writers start to sound the same after a while: quirky, deeply heartfelt, cleverly punctuating their sentence structure with intentional ‘mistakes’ to make a point. At times I feel like an unobstructed conduit, other times I struggle to rearrange my word-play to sound less obvious, an attempt to back out of the cluttered detail-zone and look from above, a viewpoint that sees all people. This topic of the abundance of idea/opinion-sharing came up in class yesterday. It made me realize that choosing to engage my keyboard in the dialogue takes more courage than I had expected. When others agree, it can feel both reassuring and dead-on-arrival. When they disagree or challenge, it can be tough for me if I haven’t done my homework. Some people I read rely on their ability to reference the Bible, history, and pop culture so seamlessly I get lost in the conversation. Whatever the case, it’s important to participate regardless of our potentially hurt feelings, sense of inadequency, or brain-heart-burnout.

  2. Makemarks77 do you know how many times what you have said has been written already? 🙂 Chan Ho Park said it in less than 50 words a few months ago. Because this is a blog – I don’t mind taking shots at the rectors thoughts, except for the grasshopper posts.

    I don’t get the Balls, or the virtual balls of some people.

    All post regarding Politics, religion, and Pop Culture are written behind the safety of a cord plugged in to a wall.

    I dare someone to walk into a local bar or pool hall and say “we need to outlaw guns.”

    Or if you see a dark skinned lady walking up to a house you yell “Get out of here you wetback”

    I want people to act just like they do on Facebook, always walking around with a grenade in their hand. That would be civilized and human.
    Currently, our internet comments are no better than MaX Headroom’s

    TALK is cheap.

    1. Wow. I think there should be a Makemarks77/Bada@@ showdown at a local pool hall. Words only. I’ll play Max Headroom, the ref.

      And then I’ll write all about it on my blog…

  3. LOL, not really – Makemark77 makes sense. I am sure what I have said has already been said are few times as well.

    I just think the majority of us have become Asses on the internet. I wouldn’t like half my internet “Friends” if they were real life people.
    I want people to act the same face to face just like they do keyboard to face.

    I hope during the next presidential election, a conservative get elected. Just so I can identify the assh#&$ on the other side. I have some friends that still need to be snooped out.

    In my world, my biggest mentors don’t post to social media like some “shock jock” looking for a daily fight on the internet. I assume it is because they know their opinion is not a gift from God.

    With out blowing your head up. you are in my mentor category. My face to face conversations with you are more valuable than anything you have ever blogged about.

    1. I get what you’re saying. Shock, arrogance, and over-the-top boldness on the internet is all about baiting people for a fight. I hate it.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  4. It was really clear even though your seats were back. Like the Hollywood bowl.

    Be a blessing today, Mary

    >

  5. I hear ya bada@@. I teach my students that nothing they will ever create is ‘new’. Rather, they should consider their creative process as a rearrangement of existing things. I often have them deconstruct their art and reconstruct it something else. I encourage them to talk with their peers along the way, an additional effort for deconstruction/reconstruction to take place. I’ve never considered myself a wordsmith or writer of any sort. I enjoy reading, dissecting what I’ve read to its essential component, and reformulating it into my words as a way to better understand the bigger picture. Learning new vocabulary is also fun.

    I don’t understand what you feel would be accomplished by verbally announcing what people post on social media. If a political, religious, or otherwise post is contentious in its intent, what’s the difference if someone chooses to state it verbally? Is it so the person must ‘own’ it? I can assure you I’ve been taken to the mat over what I’ve posted. Granted, the veil of social media possibly saved me from potential physical harm, but I see no difference otherwise. And I might add your examples were a bit stereotypical in their assumption of people’s belief systems. I’ve spent many hours talking with strangers at bars (it used to a favorite way of learning about others pre-children) and while I tend to listen more than talk, it wasn’t always because I’m such a good listener. There were times where I chose silence out of fear (I’ve been to some less than safe neighborhood establishments). And there have been times where I was pleasantly surprised by people’s opinions about guns, race, politics, religion, etc. Social media has plenty of downsides, but one beautiful component is the ability to CHOOSE to participate. No one forces me to read anything. No one forces me to engage in the conversation. And absolutely no one forces me to get upset or whine about what I read. We tend to issue blame for our frustrations that usually result from our own guilt or shortcomings.

  6. I could end the conversation really quickly and hide behind “my comments are my opinion.”, and walk away.

    To begin, the opinions I am referring to below, are ones of daily controversy. Favorite bands, food, etc. is not what I am talking about.

    I think we all believe that social media gets us one step closer to celebrity status or mentality. I think inside us all, we hope that one of our opinions will go viral or get all our friends to hit the “like” button. Yes, Blanket statement and my opinion.

    So I am going to change my initial argument: Maybe it’s not that Social Media users want to start fights with their opinion, they just want people to like and agree with them on their polarizing stance. Maybe that’s what frustrates me. Watching my so called “friends” pick a side that’s set in stone, in a digital medium. This seems narrow minded.
    I applaud Mike F, because he gets it.

    Think about this Makemarks, you and I only talk over FB. For me, your love of Music and Art, make you in my mind. I don’t need to know your’s or anyone’s opinions about conservatives, gays, guns, immigration, church, etc. We know these are “hot” buttons and the configuration of words may start a war over these topics. But because of the miracle of Facebook, I know.
    IMO – it seems to be a waste of time to have an argument on “Topic Dejour” JUST because we have a world wide medium. EVERYONES opinion share the same value, which is nothing, vapor… we need to get over it. I think its dumb that most hot topic convos. end with “agree to disagree” What was the point??

    Marksmark, in reference to: “No one forces me to read anything…” Didn’t we hear this in the 80’s with television programming? Or was it EZ-E?
    I am human, I will look at car accident, if boobs pop out, I will look. I will look at comments posted. they were hypothetically posted in an instance so I would have to.

    Stereotypical? Of course my examples were stereotypical.
    I live in Stereotypical, and I have never ever been offended when someone thinks I am a Spanglish speaking, catholic, democrat.

    Just to be very consistent, I ride the fence in almost all aspects of my life. I could 180 my opinions tomorrow.

    We still go to the dive bar and the dive bar never changed. The same people haunt them and the conversations are exactly the same.

    1. I agree about the desire for ‘celebrity-status’; it’s in all of us. We’ve consumed the notion that we are somehow unique, when reality tells us different. I heard a great interview with Rob Lowe yesterday. He said the greatest shift in celebrity since he was on the comeup was the shift to a desire for instant-fame gained and expected through self-promotion. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of being too connected (and the trend of telling our children how special they are 24-7). But like anything else, a positive and negative side can almost always be found with any new technological endeavor. Facebook has probably ruined many relationships, but was also paramount in connecting people during times of great crisis (like the revolution in Egypt). I have a love/hate relationship with facebook. But no matter what, we always have a choice to participate or not. Claiming your human status is an excuse. What about pornography? Just because I’m male and feel horny does not make it right to look at it. I’m assume you weren’t making a blanket statement, but excuses can creep into any situation that requires self-control.

      I also agree with the limitations of an agree/disagree outcome of polarizing statements of belief. No matter how hard we try not to, what people choose to publicly post defines our understanding of them. It’s only a negative outcome if we seek no further to develop relationships with people past their facebook posts. Maybe our ability to dialogue has been diminished by social media. Balance should always be sought.

      Shock is dead. At least the power of ‘shock’ has been denigrated to a gasp, frustration and retaliation. Things will be always be shocking at times, but the definition of ‘shocking’ continues to evolve. I’m more shocked by outlandish selfless behavior that heals rather than hurts over behavior thats objectifies nudity, promotes irreverence, or dives deep into subject matter dark in tone.

      Let’s rise above this crap and make a better effort to talk in person, possibly over a coke.

  7. I like both of you better in person. Not because you say anything different to my face when we are together, but because presence always deepens the friendship between people who have genuinely learned to love each other.

    This was, by far, the best on-line dialogue my blog has ever hosted. Thanks for letting me be a witness. Now go have a coke.

  8. Regarding human status as an excuse and your example of Porn: Horny or not, It doesn’t matter to me because I am not judging you. Unless you were whipping it out in a parking lot and I had to explain to my kids what you were doing. then I may have to judge a little while I am posting it to Youtube.
    So If it sounds better to say we are all sinners instead of I am human, then I will go with that term.

    Actually, the three of us need to have a coke, but we need to agree on a good band to watch at the same time as well.

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