Sunday, May 17, 2009

'Smile When You Say That'

It seems that some of my online friends might just be thinking that I am getting a bit more ... conservative.

Whether that's in my old age or not, I'm not quite sure. And come to think of it, that particular question is perhaps better left both unasked and unanswered.

When Pogue first made the comment, it gave me a chuckle and I took it as a good-natured jibe. But he's repeated it a couple of times since and apparently Kris agrees. Which got to me wondering ... what is it they see (or think they see) that makes them think that?

I've been hanging out at Lex's since the summer of 2006. That was when I first discovered Rhythms and I became his forever. Metaphysically speaking, that is. Anyway, the point is that would be where both Kris and Pogue *know* me from.

I really hate extremism, be it from the left or the right. Frankly I think those whose trail to either edge are more than a little on the whacked out side.

And yet considering again this question of why some might think I have become more conservative over time, I am reminded that there are many comments made and thoughts expressed by those who inhabit chez Lex's with which I disagree. And yet I often make no reply, having learned the hard way that it really does not pay. To bring a knife. To a gun fight. No how. No way. Trust me.

And since many a time I feel that I am armed with only such a knife, I oft defer and conclude that discretion is indeed the better part of valour. Unless it's something where I feel that I can really defend my point of view. Or, of course, it happens to be one of those issues where I really am unable to help myself. Speaking of the latter, sometimes I think it might just all be a set-up. And then they sit back and snicker.

But I digress.

Pondering how this could all look to an observer, I realized that silence might indeed be seen to indicate consent.

Then again, perhaps they really do recognize something I haven't. Could it be true? Could I really have changed that much in a little less than three years?

But all of this is, of course, just speculation. And so I wonder (because I really do analyze things way too much ... as if I don't have enough else to do) what it really is that causes them to make such comments.

And if I will ever find out.


Isabelle said...

Here is a link to an article that discusses the dichotomy between liberal and conservative ethical standpoints that will give you something to think about ...

There is no such thing as too much analysis ... but it is important to know when to let something rest and come back to it later. I hope you will come back with another discussion on your potential conservative leanings in a few days.

Pogue said...

Gee, now you're making me feel bad... LOL. Yes, I am teasing you a little, but you have the relationship with Lex's site reversed. The commentary over there tends to the extreme right (with a couple of exceptions) as you know. Lex is a gentleman and even it he vehemently disagrees with ones position he can discuss it intelligently and not make personal attacks. Of course, I wouldn't want to cross the line with him since on the rare occasion someone needs an attitude adjustment he's quite able to provide one. His readership is largely along the same line, although frankly there are a few that seem to have replaced the left wing BDS with right wing ODS. I don't find that very tasteful myself, but to each their own. When the comments get on a roll and you dive in is when you are at your most liberal (and to be clear, I am not using the word with any implied negative connotation.) You state your positions well, and support them well enough that I think you strike a few nerves once in a while. A good thing. It's clear to me and I suspect everyone else that's a regular there that you frequently refrain from commenting not because you agree with a point but because you don't feel it's worth the fight at that point in time. I think you're respected - I know if I thought you were being attacked I would come to your defense - not that you need it - nor would I be the only one. I think you're the most reasoned liberal input there, Skippy-san loves to twist the knife, fliterman seems to love to bring an almost trollish element to a debate, and Laurie started off really well but seems now to be wrapped in her own dogma. It's when you post your own thoughts on your own site that the conservative side begins to show - when not being forced into a defensive position by the crowd your concerns, issues and thoughts seem much more moderate. As someone who "met" you at Lex's site and has stopped by with increasing frequency here my opinion is shaped by the different forums you respond in. I can't speak for Kris, she may have an entirely different view, and I'd love to her it as well. So don't worry about the conservative or liberal label, they're oversimplifications and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm waiting, because I know that one of these days you'll show some people that bringing a gun to a knife fight can be just as bad an idea as the reverse. ;p

MMC said...

Thanks, Pogue, that was really sweet. And helpful. I may perhaps lack a little in self-confidence (hard to believe, huh?!) and I often feel out-gunned at Lex's, like I rarely put together a good argument so it was nice to hear that. It's a very intelligent crew over there.

And your comments make a lot more sense to me now. But may I suggest it's that you're seeing much more of the "true me" over here. Not that I consider myself conservative, I would actually put myself as pretty middle of the road with a list (some days more significant than others) to the left. Although what I might consider middle of the road up here probably starts off as looking fairly liberal to many at Lex's. Perspective being everything.

I do know that being a regular at Lex's has broadened my horizons. I don't believe (or refuse to let myself believe) for one minute that any of my underlying values have changed but I do feel that I have learned a lot which has changed some of my viewpoints a little. But that's a topic for another day.

Anyway, thanks for responding. And thanks for your nice comments. I've always known I have a few friends at Lex's but I also know that I rub more than a few people the wrong way. So it's always nice to find another ally.

Now I wonder where Kris is ...

Kris, in New England said...

Kris is right here - amazed how someone she's never met can be inside her head like this...

Cuz I agree with Pogue 100%. I don't have much to add because he's covered it quite well.

The thing I love about Lex's place the most is - even those of us who don't agree - we are always respectful to each other (with some gentle "Snake" rubbing here and there...). You know you've arrived when you are on the receiving end of Snake-Snark.

If you rub people the wrong way, perhaps it's because you are holding up a mirror to them - and they don't like it. Don't let that scare you off.

It's good for the "group" to hear different opinions. But I do agree that you best bring a gun to a knife fight. Or at the very least have a thick cyber-skin.

And Pogue - agree 100% about not wanting to get on Lex's bad side. The man's wit and intellect would be frightening in that scenario.