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What's Your Opinion??

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I enjoy Lit Net. I don't post much because I don't consider myself that smart, but I sure do enjoy reading the opinions of others.


In my youth, there was a group of us that would get together to drink beer and play Risk. We'd listen to rock music on the radio. We'd cut up. It was fun. I recall one instance where a song came on the radio and I stated that I really enjoyed that band. This fellow across the table says to me, "Opinions are like *holes, everyone has one" which I had heard before, but he added, "and yours stinks." I got really mad and my buddies had to break up a fight before it started because not only had this offended one of my favorite bands, he had upset a pretty important part of my anatomy. Most of all I couldn't fathom what qualified this guy to pass judgement on my opinion.

When I was in college, I had to read The Odyssey and The Grapes of Wrath in freshman English. Other classes were reading stuff like Cat's Cradle, Huckleberry Finn, and Lord of the Flies. We had this ancient professor and she loved these two books. We had to write an essay on what we thought Homer was trying to say, blah, blah, blah. I had been taught that you can have whatever opinion you want, but back it up with facts. I wrote and essay that was nearly flawless grammatically and spelling wise, but I got a B- because my opinion was wrong. I disagreed with the teacher's view. Huh? My opinion, substantiated as it was, was wrong? My next paper (mostly because the class was boring) I agreed with her opinion thoughout, but I massacred the language, misspellings, bad syntax, you name it. Yep, B-.

Now the lesson there was to write an immaculate paper and agree with teacher, but these two works (to me at that time) were absolutely loathsome. So being immature, I took the disagreement B minus.

Some of my favorite threads are these solicitations of a the "overrated" work or author. They really entertain me because some knuckle head will bring up someone like this Shakespeare fellow and declare him over-rated. Or Mark Twain. What? Some opinions expressed in these threads are just silly and I assume these might be younger members who don't really know what they're saying. There are some lively discussions regarding some of the polarizing writers whose works people generally either like or dislike. James Joyce is a great example. I've personally never read Joyce, but it seems to boil down to folks who get it and those who don't.

Inevitably, someone adds the "and yours stinks". I don't know why it's necessary, but it always happens. Feathers get ruffled. But it's an opinion. I loved Moby Dick. I loved the Old Man and the Sea. Some folks didn't enjoy them. I get that, but there's a difference between "I read Moby Dick and just found it boring and monotonous" and "Melville is a hack." Give me a break...

Oh, the point? Well, as we draw nearer and nearer to the American election, I am barraged by ads and commentaries that consistently tell me that my opinion "stinks". To this day, I still get my hackles up over that. It's an attack on personal hygiene.

Updated 10-02-2008 at 06:24 PM by PabloQ



  1. motherhubbard's Avatar
    This really cracked me up!
  2. Virgil's Avatar
    Oh Pablo, you're smart. Anyone that's read as much of American literature as you knows a lot. I expect your opinions on these works on the forums sooner or later. Oh and forget politics. Ignore the ads, develop a personal philosophy, and vote for a direction. No one politician in America can really change much. That's just hype. But decide which direction we should lean and then vote for that person that leans that way.
  3. kiz_paws's Avatar
    Hi PabloQ -- I loved this blog entry. You are a very wise person and I love the way you tell it like it is. Thanks for this refreshing read.
  4. andave_ya's Avatar
    Yep yep yep, I know what you mean. Thanks for posting this entry; I really enjoyed it. The whole opinion thing riles me up too--who died and made you king! makes me think . Will look forward to reading more of your entries.