My Opinion Policy
This post will be a catch-all for pieces relating to my opinion on things; I'll point to it whenever I say something that I feel might be treading into iffy territory in some way.
The long and the short of it is: I am tremendously aware that I do not have the proper insight to comment on a whole slew of subjects that are outside my lived experiences. As a straight white cis male now 2/3 into my life, I can't comment on matters of race, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia and all kinds of other issues — except as an outsider, which rarely benefits anyone.
In situations where I find think pieces written by someone who does know about the subject first-hand, I will link to them in lieu of rambling on my own. In other cases, I just won't comment on the subject — not because it's not important, but because I don't see the value in adding noise to an already noisy conversation.
Buuuuut in some situations, I will actually have something to say, and I will do my best to be coherent and constructive while doing so. When reading these posts, please keep the following in mind:
- As a general rule, I treat everyone with kindness, respect and empathy. I do my best to not only not "punch down", but to not punch at all. I know from experience that life can damage you in very particular ways, and that damage can exhibit as a kind of fiendish PTSD out of context, which can rub some people the wrong way. I try to assume that everyone has good intentions, even if they're not expressing them clearly;
- That said, I have no patience for cruel people. If you kick a sack and it yelps, you might not have known there was a puppy inside, so you get the benefit of the doubt. If you kick it again, you're a monster and you deserve all the terrible things coming to you. Intentionally ignoring the yelp does not absolve you of your sins.
- I tend to see things in a "big picture" sorta way — unintended consequences and all that. It's my writer's brain at work, probably. So in a lot of situations, I wind up worrying about a subject that seems tangential to the issue at hand. It's not meant to — and should not — distract from the core problem. It's just a question of "the more data points, the better prepared you can be".
- At the same time, it's very possible my data points are completely irrelevant and/or wrong. Again, I am coming at most things as an outsider, so I could be missing something vital, or assuming something wildly incorrect.
- If you see something that is wildly incorrect, feel free to tell me so — or not. You are under no obligation to educate me about my wrongness and I won't ask you to add more stress to your life by doing so. I have pretty smart and articulate kids, so I generally end up on the right side of things eventually.
- Conversely, if you are going to throw nastiness at me for no discernible reason — no matter which side of the argument you're on — I can say with some confidence that I really don't care. Your opinion may be right, but I tune out vitriol aimed in my direction, so you're just wasting your time.
- I reserve the right to change my opinion about just about everything as time goes on. In cases where I discover I've been on the wrong side of something, I won't self-censor my earlier work, but add a note linking to a clarification. People change, see, and trying to hide that fact doesn't do anyone any good.
And so with all that in mind, go back and read whatever it was you were reading before you followed this link. If you want to further the conversation, I'm always available at [email protected] or sometimes on Twitter or elsewhere.
Stay safe, be happy, and be kind, please.