Are We Friends…?

The title of the piece is the eternal question for someone who spends all of their time online. I am constantly fighting with myself, trying to decide whether or not someone is a friend or just an entity online. It raises the question: can someone who you never meet or talk to on a regular basis be a friend? I would argue yes.

Most likely the person is in your feed because you appreciate their input or you enjoy what they produce. Where it gets dicey is having too many people in your feeds that just agree with everything you post, causing your opinion to never be pushed or strained. This causes an almost utopian existence.

Tell me my opinion is shit. Well, only if you can back up why with evidence or statistics. I will always hear out alternate opinions that are not just trolling for trolling sake. The idea of never having my opinion tested is actually a fear of mine. I make sure to read something that goes in the face of what I believe pretty close to daily. Worst case: I learn how right I am to have that view.

Do I always do this? Is my mind truly open and accepting of every view, even if it contradicts my own views?
Hell no. I do try incredibly hard to keep my mind open, but some topics I have a very hard time challenging my opinion. That only doubles if I think an alternate way of thinking is detrimental to the human race.

Religion is one place that I am steadfast even if it is easy to disprove my opinion on a matter. I believe that the end is the end, and there is no further existence outside of what we have right now. I will fully admit, a big part of that is a fear that my actions will have further repercussions down the line that I never intended. I need to think that when I die, I no longer have any attachment to this mortal coil because I cannot fathom hurting those in my life. Even if I die a natural death and there is no immediacy in my passing, I do not want to dwell on the people who might be negatively affected by my passing. Not that I put much emphasis on my importance in others lives, but I worry about how my parents would deal if I went before them. I worry how my wife will cope, if anyone will help her out, and what happens to my dogs.

Thankfully, in my mind, we die and nothing that happens after matters. The book I have been writing for months? Lost in the files of this computer I am currently sitting at. If I worried about every facet of my life, I would be a wreck. I actually take comfort the most of my friends live far away from me: if I die, they might never know.

I digress.

What is a friend? Someone who you are happy to know that they are still alive. Someone who’s words matter in your day to day. Someone who you can honestly say you love.

Politics and Why I am So Sorry

I recently posted the most egregious thing on FaceBook with no explanation. I simply set my status to “I give up” and turned off notifications from my phone.

I am sorry. That statement was less of a depressed admittance, and more of an angry and exhaustive representation of me throwing my keyboard to the ground in a moment of grief.

I know that I have kept my blog out of politics pretty well, with a couple of notable exceptions. This is because I know my own ineptitude, and I try not to share around opinions for fear of corrupting possible movements (as if I have enough clout to wield any power great enough to hamper a movement). I will, however, use this platform to point out my least favourite “argument” that seems to plague the current world of discourse.

A “Whataboutism” is more of a derailment method as opposed to an argument. It is used in place of a proper rebuttal to distract from the point being made in favour of outrage at an opposing (yet, strangely similar) point. The example that I was faced with was when I posted THIS article with little context, and the only reply I received in response was “Yeah, but Trudeau supported the Chinese regime.”. I was completely floored. Their comment had no additional context or room for debate, they completely undermined my attempt to raise a point in the overarching debate that is my feed currently, and now anyone who has anything to say on what I posted is divided between talking about the first article or the second point.

Let me be clear: I was not supporting what Trudeau said about China. It was not even really on the table. My point, and ONLY point, was the article discussing T*mp in North Korea a year ago. My reason for highlighting it was to illustrate some comparison between his tactics and his public statements. I was not saying that it was fair, I was just looking for some opinion. That is when someone derailed everything I was trying to set up and pushed my argument down to the bowels of argument Hell where it was to be ignored for fear of stirring up clearly unimportant points.

My official response to what Trudeau said in regards to China: that is definitely something we should keep in memory IF it ever comes into question. How that relates to what my point was? It doesn’t. T*mp is treating his presidency in one of the most questionable ways in recent decades, and the purpose of me sharing that article was to raise questions if he might be using tactics to gain an upper hand.

Yes. I am Canadian. No. American politics should not cause me to rubberneck like someone passing a horrible car accident. I would argue, however, that this is not only Canada’s neighbour, but also one of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world. So, yes, any argument from a Canadian is valid. In this case, any argument is valid regardless of what country you are from.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of improper arguments, I recommend this old video from Idea Channel on YouTube. I use that video to discuss improper arguments in general, but “Whataboutisnm” was defined beautifully by a video from Last Week Tonight.

Oh: you may have noticed me using an asterisk whenever I spell the standing President’s name. That is so, when you do a search on a search engine, this article doesn’t come up. This is so less hits can be made when searching his name.

ONTO WHY I AM SORRY.

My statement was not well divulged as to what I was giving up on. I was disheartened by the constant barrage of political statements (from all sides) not being well thought out then fought over with assumed authority. I cannot promise that this will be my last wade into the waters of political discourse, but I do promise to consider every side with equal weight, even if I vehemently disagree with you. We are all capable of respect.