Posts Tagged ‘argument’

Everyone has their stock of favourite phrases; like Pavlov’s canines, all it takes is the right circumstances, in most cases an appropriate feed line, and you’ll once again trot out the expected response.

I once worked with a man who, whenever he heard the word ‘assumption’, would respond with “assumption is the mother of all fuckups.” It might be true, but the 874th repetition tended to take the gloss off its importance.

I’m as guilty as anyone, and I know I’m guilty of it, which reduces my culpability not one iota.

All anyone has to say about comics is that a company doesn’t care about the quality of their comics, or that they’ve treated a creator badly, and I’ll respond once again with the reminder that comic book companies aren’t in business to make comic books, they’re in business to make money.

Yes, I know – trite. But true.

Anyone who’s worked for me over the years will have heard the following often enough:

The one thing I hate above all other things is people thinking we’re stupid. Either as a company, a department, or as individuals. The only thing worse than that… is us justifying that belief.

That one applies in life as well.

Doesn’t matter whether it’s what i call a stupid comic or stupid movie (one where the makers of either have assumed the reader/watcher is stupid) or a stupid argument, comprised of lazy thinking.

I was once called a “corporate whore”.


I was at a party, and someone was banging on about how any executive of a company was, by virtue of helping to run the company, inevitably selling themselves purely for the rewards offered, and was prepared to do anything to retain those rewards, inevitably unfairly exploiting those who worked (the implication being the staff were the only people who did honest work) for the company along the way.

And, driving over to friends last night, I found myself getting angry at this kind of lazy thinking again while listening to a talk radio station.

Now I know that there are numbered rules of the Internet, but I’ve come to think there are only two that really matter: (1) Wil Wheaton’s “Don’t be a dick.” and (2) “Never read the comments.”

I should apply the same to talk radio, but I find it fascinating and when it comes to serious issues, as a general rule LBC is better than most radio stations for screening out the idiots and letting intelligent debate occur.

Last night, the presenter was discussing the Occupy movement. I’m genuinely unsure where I stand on the issue. Many of the central arguments I sympathise with, but some of the solutions proposed are irritating, non-practical and, frankly, ignorant. On both sides, I hasten to add.

It’s as ignorant, in my opinion, to suggest that everyone attending and camping out at the various Occupy protests worldwide is a professional protester (thank you, Alan Sugar) or just there because it’s fun as it is to suggest that everyone working for a bank or financial institution is equally (or at all) responsible for the financial crisis.

However, what really upset me was the statement made by two callers, suggesting that if you didn’t agree with their viewpoint, it was because you’d been “brainwashed”.

To think this, or even worse, actually believe it, is lazy thinking at its worst.

It’s insulting to others and to yourself, as the inevitable consequence is that you can cheerfully abdicate the responsibility for arguing your case, and while it may – you think – provide a conclusive point, all their correspondent ends up believing is that you’ve run out of arguments.

Patriotism may be the last refuge of the scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson is reputed to have said. But an accusation of “you don’t agree with me because you’ve been brainwashed” isn’t the last resort of the brainless, just the lazy.

And it assumes that I’m too stupid to argue against it.

As I said earlier, I hate it when people believe I’m stupid.

I just hope I don’t justify the belief too often.