Tuesday 7 September 2010


What is that saying about opinions? (Excuse my language) They’re like a**holes, everyone’s got one. I’m thinking never a truer statement has been said. On a fundamental level I think humans need to share their opinions because it is like breathing; it means we’re alive. We exist. We’re not just window dressing or apparitions that can be dismissed. We matter damn it and we’re going to tell whoever is within earshot that we have thought about something, digested it, and formulated a response that expresses who we are and what we believe. Or in many people’s cases, what we’ve read, and we think we believe, at the present time. Always subject to change of course.

I think what fascinates me most about opinions is that they originate from so many different motivations if you will, depending on the person. Some people express opinions to show how intelligent they are – ‘damn it, my education paid off;’ others cause they just like to hear themselves speak even if they know they have no clue what they’re talking about; for others, it springs from a deep-seated narcissism that the world must hear things from their point of view cause they know best; or there is the fear of death motivation that somehow if one keeps expressing their viewpoints, they will leave a legacy and damn you world, they cannot be erased. In fact, there are so many different reasons to give an opinion everyone just can’t help themselves. It's like our brains are leaking out our mouths: “Running the country, I tell you how;” “How to raise a kid? Take it from me.” “How to look better, feel better, be better – Listen to me, I have all the answers!” In fact, I think that is what most businesses are founded upon – the 'I have an opinion about what you need and how to make your life better (or worse),’ business model. 

Of course not everyone feels the need to express an opinion. But the opinions are in there, trust me. They’re the people who call networks for inappropriate costumes at Superbowl half time and complain or write letters about defective products. The silent I have nothing to say types that inside have everything to say. They might not shout it in the street, but don’t be fooled, the pen is mightier than the…well in this case, voice.

In my opinion (ha!) this need to express one’s opinion usually hits its peak – on average of course – in one’s twenties. You’ve spent your teens trying to formulate your thoughts and make sure they make sense (often they don’t and your head just ends up hurting) and then you hit university or the working world – or both – and suddenly it’s awash in a pool of individuals all trying to outsmart the other and somehow stand apart. I remember in college I had a spell as an angry ‘women studies’ major. I’d give you my opinion on just about anything (some of you are not surprised I'm sure) usually to do with the oppression or objectification of women. I was a ball of laughs back then. It was also around that time I got some ridiculous tattoo expressing my woman-power. [Regrets, I've had a few].

Then a funny thing happens as you age – again, there are definite exceptions to this. You just get tired. And suddenly when you begin to voice your opinion, you realize you just don’t care to express it anymore. Either people know you or they don’t, and you telling them what you think about the skirmish in eastern Congo is not going to make one bit of difference in the grand scheme of things. And those that don’t, you don’t have the energy for anyway. You move into that wonderfully peaceful phase of ‘I could tell you what I think about this or that, but to be honest, I just don’t have the energy. True Blood is on.’ Or whatever show floats your boat.

Then again, for others, despite their age, they start a blog and waffle on and on voicing their opinions on just about everything. How pathetic is that. J

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