Post your unpopular opinions

I see what you did there.

Here’s mine: I never found Robin Williams in the least bit funny. Not even one tiny bit. Loud does not equal funny to me.

You’re so thoughtful.

I believe abortion should remain safe and legal.

But unless it’s medically necessary, it’s still wrong.

Prince was way overrated.

I believe that telling children that Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Jesus etc. are real is stupid, in the least.

So you’re saying that you’re posting inflammatory things that you don’t really believe?

Big splashy tattoos never look good on anybody.

Me too.

General Reminder

It’s inevitable in an unpopular opinions thread that feelings of ire will be aroused. Let us concentrate those feelings of ire in the Pit and keep things civil here. Also, let’s keep in mind that accusations of trolling are against the rules of this forum.

-Spice, who still thinks Catcher in the Rye is a great work of literary fiction.

As I understand it, the Paralympic Games exist for folks who — due to shortness of stature, or impaired muscle power, or whatever — can’t realistically be expected to compete for a medal at the Olympic Games.

Now, if you’re eligible for the Paralympics but want to enter the Olympics anyway, then I’d of course cheer you on and be awed if you won; but if you feel you should pass up a shot at Olympic gold, and instead enter a separate competition with other people who’d have the same valid reason for not being able to equal a fit guy who eats right and gets plenty of exercise, then I’d say “well yeah; that makes sense.”

I also figure every female athlete should be given that same choice.

I have similar mixed feelings about it. There are certainly some events where the Paralympians are the best in the world - for example the wheelchair racing is superb (obviously having heavy musclebound legs is a disadvantage). But setting arbitrary categories of people whose performance is inferior, then claiming that you’re the “best in the world” in that category? I don’t know, why not basketball for short people, or chess for stupid people? And I’d like to be a gold medal Olympian in cycling, how about cycling for people with inferior cardiovascular systems?

For me the bothersome part is when people act like you are a failure if you aren’t chronically in love with life. The reality is life is traumatic and lots of people have bad luck (poor genetics, trauma in early childhood, low IQ, mental illness, bad luck in general) that increases the quality and quantity of negative experiences while reducing the quality and quantity of positive experiences. For people with good childhoods, excellent physical and mental health, lives largely free of trauma, tons of positive feedback and healthy relationships, I’m glad.

For a lot of other people life is a painful struggle and I don’t like how people aren’t allowed to talk about that without being labeled a loser or failure. Even the super happy people can be brought down pretty fast. Just give them a car wreck that causes chronic nerve pain, then give them drugs to treat the pain that cause severe depression and anxiety. Life is fragile.

I don’t know the legal definition of terrorism, but to me terrorism is the intentional targeting of non-combatants. There is a difference between flying a missile into a military installation vs flying a plane full of hostages into a building full of non-combatants.

Here’s my unpopular opinion: it’s good to tell children that nobody cares about their opinions. I do just that.

See, I teach my third graders a unit on persuasive writing, and I start off by having them share different opinions about all sorts of things. Then I drop that bomb on them: nobody cares about your opinion.

I walk it back a little: of course people who love you care, and of course other people will try to humor your opinions if it’s no work or if you’re paying them to do so. But if you’re trying to persuade someone of something–which is, after all, the general point of sharing opinions–the opinion itself is only the start to the process. What you gotta do is construct an argument, built from facts and logic (and rhetoric and aesthetics), to buttress your opinion and to demonstrate to your audience why the opinion is at the very least interesting, and ideally why it’s worth adopting.

When you say, “I don’t have a good argument because it’s just an opinion,” you make me wish you were in my class :).

I remember every iteration of this type of thread closing because people are, very deep down, trash And that ain’t even my unpopular opinion

Part of my core opinion that people should be left to do whatever the fuck they want or need to do as long as it doesn’t hurt other people, is that prostitution should be legal. In fact, it should be part of your basic right to do what the hell you see fit with your own body. Because if there is one thing we own and have dominion over is our own damn bodies.

Pimping, however, should be super, duper illegal.

“Of growing prevalence in recent years are the white and pastel coatings, made either with hard butters or with cocoa butter. It is this latter type that some people erroneously (and illegally) call ‘white chocolate.’ There is no such thing as white chocolate, as can readily be seen by reviewing the federal standards of identity… Even aside from the law there is no moral justification for employing such a deceitful name. The only product used that even comes from the cocoa bean is the cocoa butter, and the faint reminiscence of chocolate flavor left in cocoa butter is so slight as to be negligible.” (italics in original)

–L. Russell Cook, Chocolate Production and Use, 1963.

So-called “white chocolate” is illegal and immoral. And it tastes like shit.
On an unrelated note, I see no reason why professional or Olympic athletes should be denied using whatever performance-enhancing substances they choose. It’s not like using such substances makes them non-human or otherwise removes every limitation they face as a human. Along with extending the human potential, it would provide dramatic contrast with those athletes (and members of the audience rooting for them) who compete “clean,” making for “enhanced” viewing spectacle.

Some will no doubt argue that using such drugs poses grave risks for the athletes.(1) This can hardly be disputed. I would argue that as long as the risks are clearly articulated, it’s athletes’ choice to use or not use (and probably lose). No doubt, some athletes would choose very unwisely, blighting their careers and lives for the short-term “glory” of setting sports records. I think if someone is that stupid, they deserve what they get and the world is better off with fewer stupid people. In premature death, they would also serve as warnings to young, would-be record setters. And if the end result was that fewer people wished to devote themselves to a sports career, and sports itself ultimately received less money, resources and attention from media and society alike, I would view that as a positive development of civilization.

  1. There is similarly no doubt that some governments and/or trainers would exert undue pressure on athletes to take such drugs. Such unconscionable behavior is a sign the athlete is probably screwed no matter what. Over time, and with less social prominence given to sports, such abuses would see a likely reduction.

I don’t believe that life is not worth it for most people, but I do believe psychological suffering can be great and so chronic as to be essentially permanent and depending on the nature of the suffering, I think it can be an understandable choice to commit suicide. I’ve lived with severely mentally ill people in my family as well as severe depression in my own life, and I don’t think most people can fathom that existence is an ongoing torture for some people, and it doesn’t go away. But it’s hard to know exactly where that line is. I’ve had times I wanted to take my own life, and I will probably have such times again at some point, but usually, if you ask me, I’ll say I’m glad to be alive, or at least generally okay with it. Most problematically, people in a suicidal state do not have an accurate view of reality, so they can’t make an informed decision. They can’t accurately predict how they will feel in the future, or what their friends really think of them, or how much power they have to change a given situation, so it’s a good rule of thumb to discourage people from committing suicide.

As for being ‘‘chronically in love with life,’’ we have a real problem in this culture with forcefeeding people positive ideology, even if it seems benign it can have real, damaging effects on people. I’ve read a couple excellent books on this subject. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided. The gist is that people are happier when they aren’t pursuing happiness.

Supposedly that is one reason why facebook is bad for your mental health, everyone is presenting a highly polished social self, which just makes everyone else feel alienated, defective and inadequate because they know their own real life doesn’t compare to the idealized life others are presenting for a social audience.

I do think that life is constantly improving on virtually every front. I’m sure in 50 years that social justice, medicine, technology, etc. will be vastly better. But I don’t know if we will be happier. There will be less pain, trauma and suffering, but I don’t think that translates into more positive affect. I don’t think people are happier now than they were 60 years ago despite modern society being wealthier, safer, healthier and more just.

I’d like to cut back on politics too because virtually all the interactions are negative and I know constantly being in a state of disgust and anger isn’t good for me, but am looking for other ways to occupy my mental energy to fill the gap. Realizing that politics depends on creating a negative feedback loop of rage/fear/contempt/disgust to keep you following helps, just knowing it is meant to be negative and meant to be addictive makes it easier to pull back.

Not on my FB, Wesley. My “friends” (mostly aka family) just bitch about how shitty everything is.

I can only speak to my own hangups, but leaving Facebook was an excellent decision for me. Now that I’m on the outside looking in, it looks absolutely nuts to me. And all these people I know are talking about how miserable they are on Facebook, but they have to keep in touch with so-and-so… It’s not generally a happy place. The echo chamber makes it even worse. I actively tried several times to create an open forum for civil discussion on my own page and it was a fool’s errand. Facebook is a machine designed to confirm your existing biases in the most emotionally salient way possible. It is a nightmare for people like me, who hate conflict, are emotionally sensitive and value critical thinking. This board, for all its flaws, is an intellectual mecca by comparison to Facebook (and most of the internet.)

I still have political conversations sometimes on this board, but I try to limit my exposure both in time and intensity. There are some subjects I just can’t deal with in certain states of mind. Just being more aware of my emotional state in any given moment has helped me withdraw when necessary. It’s definitely a trial and error sort of thing.

I’ve never been impressed by Bob Dylan. I think his lyrics are shallow and people just ascribe meaning to them because we’ve been told that Dylan is deep.

I cannot stand his voice.