“Don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.” Disbelievers versus true believers talking on their specialist subject can very quickly flare up into world war three. No calmness, reason or sense needs to be deployed when passion, wild claims and crazy conspiracy theories will suffice. Logic, rationality and open mindedness are the domain of the dispassionate and apathetic.
There are some people (very few thankfully) I know with whom I can barely have a civil conversation on anything meaningful. They are hard to pick out in a line up – we can’t just do a simple cv search to see if our acquaintances are glued to unbending viewpoints we cannot fathom. There just seems to be an implacable belief in some quarters that anything vaguely liberal or right-wing is anathema and should be blasted down with ridicule and scorn. I stick to the weather and holiday plans if I speak to them at all. In the end I usually walk away as I can’t be bothered arguing. Am I polite or just lazy?
Of course there is a difference between a sensible, passionate debate and a full on blazing row. There are some trigger topics that are best avoided if you want to escape the latter. What is it that makes you see red?
10. Climate change
Climate change deniers think they have science on their side, but they don’t. Nor do they have first hand accounts or common sense. Is it clear where I stand on this issue? It’s a thorny problem and the heading encompasses a broad range of issues. It won’t be solved overnight and will keep people arguing til the sun explodes (if we live that long).
Ever since [insert your selected creation myth here] and mankind sorted out fire, shelter and food, we have been pondering the meaning of life and whether there is a higher being somewhere out there. We have killed to oppress it and killed to express it.
My mother loves a good verbal stoush and a political barney is right on top of her list. There are some extremes here, but it is one topic where sitting on the fence and the ‘middle ground’ can be just as offensive as the outrageous outer limits.
Don’t get me started.
6. NHS and free universal healthcare
A bit like the climate change debate, I don’t get why this one inflames such ire. In the US, the land who welcomes the tired, poor and huddled masses, many see universal health care as socialism gone mad. They’re the ones gone mad. Oh no they aren’t.
5. Paedophilia – name and shame databases
Do people deserve a chance to rehabilitation and start again with a clean slate? Only asking.
4. Censorship – in particular bad guys
Infringing civil rights and free speech for evil people is justified. Discuss. But not in public.
3. Gay rights
You would have thought in the 21st century we shouldn’t have to discuss this at all, but the least we can do is discuss this sensibly. Again I say, what is the problem?
Everybody has an opinion on this topic and yet how many of us stop to think that lots of us come from ancestors that have emigrated at some time or another from somewhere or other?
1 Top ten lists
Any sort of list really. They are always going to be subjective and will always omit some vital unmissable example that will leave readers fuming. Am I right? Am I right? What have I missed?
Blogger Midge is easy going, calm and rational until someone mentions any of the above. Then usually she walks away.