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30 July 2003 @ 12:08 am
variation on a theme  
Last gasp wasn't a last gasp. I need to go to bed.

As a preface, I know I've said stuff like this before, but sometimes I just want to muse more or less to myself. In public, apparently. Not sure what that's about.

The current tiffles--I think I stole someone's word--about RPF and now porn have made me realize again that sometimes my problem isn't with what someone thinks, but with how they think it and talk about it. Like, I have friends who aren't really comfortable with RPF, and it's no big. I have some ambivalencies myself. It's a grey scale, a spectrum of comfort, not black and white. And I had some moments of resonance and recognition in Culloden's essay about porn--like, the idea of some frat boy wanking to silicone-titted, pussy-shaved bimbos really does freak me out on some level still, the way it did when I was 18 or 20, and way more than it does for me to think about, say, a lesbian couple watching women-made, women-friendly films. I do make some hierarchies in my mind that may be stereotypical and not entirely fair. But people and porn types differ, and it's human nature to make value judgments once in a while. I have this sense of lingering ick from a time when I worked as a cashier and sold Hustler, etc, to assholes. It colors my feelings.

But anyway. My boring point is that a lot of times I am more put off by how someone thinks, and how they put forth their opinions, than the actual content. I've said before that I don't like strong opinions, but articulate passion can be wonderful. So maybe what I really mean is that I don't like black-and-white, overly simplified opinions, which usually go in hand with sweeping condemnations, condescension, hot aggressive rants, soapboxing for its own sake, a readiness to engage in personal warfare, all that jazz. Angry voguing. As if there's a virtue in offending people and pissing them off. I get why people do that. But I don't get it on a gut level. It weirds me out. I don't feel safe around people like that.

And if you get caught up in that attitudinizing, it usually makes for hot, dumb arguments that are easily rebutted by smart, cool people.

But sometimes cool people annoy me too. I'm hard to please.

It was probably too late at night to try and cohere these thoughts. In the morning I will read this and do a little face-palm move, with a sigh.
 
 
 
rubywisprubywisp on July 30th, 2003 12:23 am (UTC)
Angry voguing. As if there's a virtue in offending people and pissing them off. I get why people do that. But I don't get it on a gut level. It weirds me out. [...] But sometimes cool people annoy me too. I'm hard to please.

Oh, very much *yes*. Right there with you on this.

*hugs*, just because.
daddy's not done talking: connorros_fod on July 30th, 2003 12:30 am (UTC)
As if there's a virtue in offending people and pissing them off. I get why people do that. But I don't get it on a gut level.

There's also a sense of "you think about me with contempt, but you're stupid and so that means your contempt is somehow a reflection that I'm cool"...I'm unable to express it in actually coherent words because it's so confusing to me.

I'm more uncomfortable about the how in which some of these opinons are being expressed than the opinions themselves.
Angela: sweetx fathom5angeyja on July 30th, 2003 05:20 am (UTC)
But anyway. My boring point is that a lot of times I am more put off by how someone thinks, and how they put forth their opinions, than the actual content.

I agree. It's not the concept but the execution, because on a certain level, and sometimes it's not subtle, the execution subverts the concepts... So much of how we feel about writing can be altered by our perceptions of the speaker. If I know someone really well, that knowing frames their work and changes the way I view what they are saying.

I think the reverse can also be true though. I know people who can write about paint peeling and it's gripping. People whose writing style is so seemingly balanced and persuasive, that I have to remind myself about looking at the ideas. This idea isn't unique to me or based in some of the recent discussions, but came from a book review I was reading on a book about the internet and reading.

I dunno if this really relates to your post. Where you posted late at night? I'm posting maybe a little too early in the morning. Thanks for the thoughts though; be interested to see where thye end up after the face palm.
Melycoffeeandink on July 30th, 2003 07:41 am (UTC)
What book? It sounds interesting.

I just want to know why everyone whose opinions I share can't be calm, sensible, and articulate, instead of sometimes being absolute fucking loons. Really, it would save me a world of pain.
lovessong: made of claylovessong on July 30th, 2003 07:00 am (UTC)
No, that was totally coherent. You've beautifully articulated the problem I have with all of these "debates." Even people espousing views I agree with have kind of gotten me on edge. In fact, I think they bother me the most.

Sure, if someone has said something that you disagree with, that you think is offensive or wrong or lacking adequate analysis, say so. But the harshness, the meanness, the arguing for the sake of argument rather than in an attempt to figure out where the other person is actually coming from? It strikes me as pointless.
nestra on July 30th, 2003 07:52 am (UTC)
So maybe what I really mean is that I don't like black-and-white, overly simplified opinions, which usually go in hand with sweeping condemnations, condescension, hot aggressive rants, soapboxing for its own sake, a readiness to engage in personal warfare, all that jazz.

Oh, thank you thank you. It's so nice when someone articulates my thoughts for me, so I don't have to bother.
thermidorthermidor on July 30th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC)
That was articulate and thoughtful and wise. Thanks for posting it.
Anna S.eliade on August 3rd, 2003 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) This made me feel better.
(Anonymous) on July 30th, 2003 10:58 am (UTC)
Loosing your cool
I read both essays and while I admit portions of the first were amusing,I came away thinking there must be *some* reason why some people rant about any given subject and that reason could be ignorance yet sometimes it can be out of pain as well.
My marriage nearly collapsed thanks to porn (addicted husband masturbating in front of the computer while the kids were in another portion of the room kind of thing) and while I was never really into it in the first place,I came to hate all porn because of that series of incidents for a long period of time-even talking about it caused me pain. That was a while ago and we've worked things out but porn can still raise my hackles sometimes,even though I've since then began enjoying reading x-rated fan-fic online. You might call it a toe in the water so to speak.... ;-).

So I'm wondering if the writer of the first essay is coming off some kind of hurt that inspired her rant-six years ago that could have very well been me. Sometimes we do say the stupidest things when we are hurting inside.

AurraSing
Anna S.eliade on July 30th, 2003 11:46 am (UTC)
Re: Loosing your cool
Good point. Very cool thoughts. :)
Tuesday Has No Phones: queer eyethebratqueen on July 30th, 2003 01:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Loosing your cool
Yeah, I wondered about that too while I was reading it. I thought about mentioning it in the essay but that struck me as armchair psychoanalyzing which was off the point of the author's own request for (hopefully) intelligent debate on the topic. But some of the comments, esp about how someone who watches porn treats their partner, made me wonder if this wasn't more of a personal issue than a political one.
sparkledark: hairgrabsparkledark on July 30th, 2003 11:39 am (UTC)
But anyway. My boring point is that a lot of times I am more put off by how someone thinks, and how they put forth their opinions, than the actual content

Oh, yes. I've got a very slippery, fickle mind, and I can be brought around to most sides of most issues by reading or listening to well reasoned arguments. I veer wildly on the RPF issue, for instance, depending on whose ideas I'm reading and what my mood is at the time. So, nothing gets my back up more than people who seem to think that their point of view on any particular thing is the *only* logical, intelligent way of looking at something.

I don't have a problem with people having strong opinions and stating those opinions frankly, but there's a difference between saying "This is how I feel, and I make no apologies for it, and you won't change my mind" and saying "This is how it IS, and if you don't think so, you're WRONG." That latter attitude is, it seems to me, at the root of most fandom poo-fights.