In Defense of Talking Out of Your Butt
|I found this online. It has nothing to do with anything.|
This is not a post urging you to be an annoying know-it-all. You should know when to shut up. But if you are the kind of person described below, you will not be a fool; you will become a little wiser every day. You will know when to close your mouth and change your mind.
One of the sadder side-effects of the tolerance revolution is the equation of opinions to assholes. The polite thing to do today is to keep your opinions to yourself, unless you have achieved in the field being opined on a generally recognized expertise.
We should reject that thinking as being craven and unmanly.
I think you should have an opinion about everything, and I think you should be willing to share that opinion with all and sundry. You could even toss out an unsolicited opinion occasionally.
For one, discussion and disagreement is an excellent way of refining and correcting one's thinking. Are you going to sit back and wait for the experts you know to hold forth, or will you provoke them to debate by stating your half-assed thoughts? I say, provoke away. The so-called experts might find that you sharpen them, and you'll certainly stay dull if you allow your wit to go unwhetted. If it is your opinion that assassinations are a valid part of politics and just war, say so in front of the doctorate in geopolitics, or when chatting with the ethicist.
For another, you are doing mankind a service. Social momentum means that when only experts opine, a great stupid sameness descends on us all. Say something potentially stupid to help keep us all from falling in that dark pit. Fight the same-itude.
For yet another thing, proffering half-formed ideas builds character. It makes you a better man. The current paradigm is to view the man with opinions as arrogant, but putting yourself out there actually makes for an adaptable, humble, and charitable man. Nothing like being shown to have been wrong to grind down your pride and raise your spirit.
The key to not being obnoxious when you have an opinion about everything is to not be obnoxious. See that? The problem isn't opinions. It's being a know-it-all. It's being a giant ass.
And sometimes it's okay to be seen as an ass. Because the current rules for conversation are dumb. Let disagreements be fleshed out, so that harmony may reign. But above all, charity.
Not only will you be more humble and charitable, your will be a fuller man. Know a little about a lot of things. Be an expert in few things. Then live that out to the fullest. Explore the nooks and crannies of knowledge and discourse. Sometimes you'll sound like you're talking out of your ass. Sometimes you'll bring a knife to a gunfight. Whatever.
Men, hold each other accountable. Correct each other's ignorances and follies. If iron is to sharpen iron, then swords must be drawn. If you say something uninformed or stupid, let the wiser heads prevail. Learn something you wouldn't have learned if you'd kept your mouth shut.
Finally, know thy place. Not only in relation to all the other humans around you, but locally, institutionally, and rhetorically. It should go without saying that the things you can say around the fire with the boys are not the same things you should say when disciplining your kids, teaching Bible study, chatting with a friend's wife, or engaged in small talk with the grocery clerk.
But certainly when it's just us boys, fire away. I can't wait to make fun of you and your half-cocked ideas.