What is wrong with people? Quite a lot, it turns out, especially once you really get to know them. I am laden like a scapegoat with sins, deficiencies and character flaws. Some of them I’m fairly comfortable with, and some I prefer to whittle away at in privacy, but I’m aware of almost all of them.I got this lovely e-mail from Samantha today, after I made fun of a really fat, really ugly girl who did a really awful cover version of Adele on YouTube.Here’s Samantha’s e-mail:There you go again!! Being derogatory about people’s appearances.
People differ on what’s attractive and what’s not but reasonable
people keep their opinions to themselves. Just because you have a
public platform, it doesn’t give you the right to promote your hatred
of other people who don’t fit your mould of the “perfect human form”.
In my opinion, you look like the Pilsbury Dough Boy!!
Demeaning others isn’t an attractive quality, especially when you
aren’t the perfect human specimen either. Keep your opinions on
people appearances to yourself!
Now Samantha may find herself blissfully unaware of the hypocrisy of her admonishing me for criticising someone’s appearance and then going on to do that very thing in respect of me. But her argument is invalid in a number of other respects too. (It is no mistake that I used the word respect twice in that sentence – being judgmental or critical does not always mean you’re being disrespectful and vice-versa).Samantha says we should keep our opinions to ourselves. If that were the rule, why bother to have opinions? Must we cogitate on our own opinions in private and never venture them just because they’re unpleasant? Were that the way to go, should Sam not have kept her opinions, and this e-mail, to herself also? Is her criticism of my criticism any better than my criticism in the first place? You see this line of argument will get us nowhere. On the hypocrisy count, Samantha is now two down.What point is there to appraising or estimating any value at all, unless we have the courage to stand by our assessment of that thing? Without being critical of an article, a person, an action or a performance, how are we to know it’s worth? Being judgmental, even cynical, is what kept early hominids alive on the savannah and allowed us to get to the point where Jesus could tell us not to judge ‘… lest we be judged ourselves’. And there’s the rub. It all comes from the same religion that gave us the near impossible task of loving our neighbours as we love ourselves, thereby condemning it’s followers to gnawing, constant disappointment and failure on that score. If your motivation for not judging is the fear of being judged yourself, it is unethical: If your own insecurities about being measured up and being found wanting are what keep you from saying what you think, you’re probably admitting in any case that your opinion comes from a weak or shallow vessel. At very least you’re showing anything but magnanimity. Your ‘not being judgmental’ comes from a negative unease about your own strength of argument, rather than from honourable intention. So be judgmental – it’s in your genes. Samantha also seems to require from the critic a level of perfection that would make it impossible for anyone to venture any thought about anything unless they knew that among 7-billion or more people, they were the very best. I don’t have to be perfect or breathtakingly beautiful in order to 0compliment or criticise someone else’s appearance; or possess the voice of Whitney Houston in order to appraise a great singing talent. Simon Cowell can’t sing, and heThanks. The boys did great on Friday. Speak in the week. have to.