My problems are much bigger than yours. Oh yes they are! For a start they are mine and I am me so that makes it a verifiable fact and if you don’t agree with me you are infringing on my rights.
This month I have had insomnia, two cold sores that made my face look like a petri dish and I made a twat of myself by drunkenly ranting at a friend until 6am. The first one only proves how troubled I am, the second is clearly another example of the Gods mocking me as they are jealous of my beauty but the last one is your fault, all seven billion of you.
It’s certainly the fault of Chileans for manufacturing the wine or “Opinion juice”. Don’t they know how thirsty I get? It’s plain irresponsible. The rest is the fault of the people who do not agree with me entirely on everything all of the time.
For the past forty years nearly all music, TV, film and comedy has left me either unmoved or irritated and to my exasperation, some of the mediocrity has been held up as genius. Kurt Cobain, Jerry Seinfeld, The Mighty Boosh, Jim Morrison, Van Morrison, Morrison’s the supermarket … why can’t people see how shit these things are?
This is the curse of human interaction, what is so obviously wrong to some is so patently right to others. Unless you have no opinion at all, it is unavoidable that these things will not impinge on you in some way.
Take music, it may seem to be an insignificant subject in this regard, it’s only a matter of taste after all, but musical allegiances have a vague political flavour and specific, not always insignificant outcomes. Kurt Cobain, for example. To me he is whiney, self important, monotoned and marketed to within an inch of his death, the musical equivalent of an oil company presenting itself as a friend of the environment. An unwitting figure head for a generation of middle classed navel gazers with an over inflated sense of their importance, indicative of and a catalyst to so much that is wrong with art, culture and the media in the 21st century. To others he is a hero and a tragic genius. Who is right? Both and neither. Musically it is only a matter of taste and flavours are things that happen inside their owner’s heads and are none of anyone else’s business. Taste forms opinions, however, and opinions have a habit of escaping from various human orifices.
Religion is the most obvious example of this. A person’s opinion of what happens to them after death is none of my business and interests me about as much as their sense of humour or, more likely, lack of. Unlike The Mighty Boosh, however, religion overtly affects all and is genuinely funny.
From your shopping habits to your energy use, from your political to your parental philosophies, all beliefs have direct consequences on your actions and those actions in turn have direct effects on the rest of the world.
Each freedom is restricted by another freedom and no rule of law can cover all. Somehow we must tolerate each other’s beliefs and tastes while finding a way to control each other’s intolerances and I have no idea how we even sustain the uneasy equilibrium we have so far managed.
One thing for sure is we won’t do it by drinking two bottles of wine before hand. For this reason we must destroy Chile’s vineyards before I obtain a nuclear weapon, they are my enriched uranium and I cannot be trusted with that kind of power.
© Copyright Dean Stephenson 2014