Oponions – Opinions that make you cry

Someone (presumably a great person) once said, “Opinions are like wrist watches. Each shows a different time; and everyone believes that their time is accurate.” Having an opinion isn’t really a bad thing. A good conversationalist always has an opinion about everything.

Opinions are an individual’s perception of a fact or an event, while Oponions are opinions that stink, and make you cry!

The reaction to the recent decision to star Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming movie has stirred quite an upheaval with die-hard fans opposing the move calling it bad for the movie franchise. One comment on this Forbes article read –

“… The truth is Affleck is a smug looking Boston frat boy, totally antithetical to the dark, tortured ‘Gotham’ nature of the character….Besides that, he’s one of the worst actors I (and a lot of other people, apparently) have ever seen in film

IMO the only role that suited Affleck was the self satisfied jerk-boy stockbroker in ‘Boiler Room’…Because that’s the kind of character his persona exudes …”

While another said

“… I don’t care about how much money this movie makes or how much success the actor playing Batman has had. All I care about is that the part is done right and I just don’t feel Affleck is the right person for it. Could I be wrong? Yes, but my opinion will be good enough for me until Ben proves me wrong …”

No points for guessing the oponion among the above comments. The internet is full of such oponions. It has in fact, become very frustrating to read comments on popular websites – especially Youtube. There is also a twitter account (@AvoidComments) dedicated to discourage people from reading comments online.

It is easy to be misinformed now more than ever because of how information and access to it has grown in multitude over the last few decades. In my opinion, opinions are good to have. As long as you re-visit them often, put them to test with intellectual discussions, wring them off of falsity and you are willing to change them when the truth-brick is hurled at you! One quote by James Lowell springs to mind –

The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.

P.S.: Here’s an article that rightly sums up how silly the whole reaction to the “Ben Affleck as Batman” scenario is.

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Hungry Scruples

One of the most discussed (or should I say – disagreed upon) topic is that of vegetarianism. This has always been, and I’m afraid, will be a green discussion topic. Anways, this post comes as a reply to Pavan‘s post – A what-tarian?, which happens to be a reply to another post by Vimal. (I kinda like these linked posts! 🙂 )

Pavan mentions two sides to the argument, one the vegetarians’ where he mentions Sentience Quotient and the fact that many vegetarians literally hate non-vegetarians. And the non-vegetarian’s argument that man was originally a non-vegetarian. I’ll address both these issues below.

Firstly, I’m a vegetarian too; but I wish to elaborate. I’m a vegetarian not by force, not by the bounds of my religion nor by any fear. I’m vegetarian simply by choice. A choice that I’m happy about. And also, I’m not a person to judge people based on their food habits and start hating them instantly, which sounds n00bish anyway!

I totally agree with the Sentience Quotient, and second the idea that no animal should be killed for food! Also, if you did that, what difference would there be between a man and a wild animal? Especially when the man is gifted with the power of reasoning and he refuses to use it! However, I condemn the act of vegetarians hating the non-vegetarians; I wouldn’t hate them. I’d be sorry for the animal which sacrificed itself to satifsy someone’s pleasure of taste. Secondly, I know people who are very uncomfortable with eating with non-vegetarians – which is completely understandable and I find nothing wrong in they expressing their uneasiness. Though the way they do it matters: they could try and ask the non-vegetarian to move elsewhere (which can be pretty offensive to the latter), instead they themselves could stay away from the non-vegetarian until his meal is complete. Also, if its a friend, they can try and make him understand that he is killing an animal when there are better ways to satisfy his hunger; I doubt if that will work anyways. At the most, it may result in another argument and finally as a post in another blog elsewhere. 😛

Coming to the point that man was a non-vegetarian from the beginning: Man was a nudist, hairy, and a smelly barbarian too. Why change everything else and retain the eating habits? Only because of the momentary pleasure that the taste brings? It is also accepted that any nutrient that is obtained from animals can be obtained ‘vegetatively’; one exception being animal fat – which man doesn’t need by the way. Also, man then was scientifically illiterate and ignorant. How can such a comparison be even speculated? With all due respect to whoever supports this theory: Does it mean that they are still so?

Its sad though, when non-vegetarians use milk and silk (LOL! They rhyme as well! 😛 ) as points against vegetarians. Firstly, there is no killing for milk. Secondly, I’ve heard people say using milk is stealing a calf’s food. To this, I can give you an image of what really happens since I’ve lived close to a cow-shelter for almost all my life. When the cow gives birth to the calf, for the first 30-45 days, it secretes very thick milk much higher in nutrition. This milk is not used by people. The calf is fed only this apart from a few supplements, until a stipulated period of time, probably until the calf can walk on its own. After this thick milk, the cow gradually starts producing normal milk. This is when the milk is used by people. And by which time, the calf is ready to eat the same food as the cow. (This information is not a citing – its from what I have seen to be in practice)

Then, the silk which is obtained from an insect – silkworm. I have to say that all people share the same mindset towards insects (apart from a few queer ones who eat them!). I may sound a little blunt but, don’t you kill a mosquito or a swat a cockroach when you find one lurking in your house? If I found a way to make money from them and bought it from you and if I killed it, would it make any difference – at least, to the dead insect? And silkworm rearing has been in practice for over 3500 years now and there have been no great impact on the bio-diversity of nature because of it.

On a concluding note, just like Pavan said, I only hope that someday people would understand and change. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be disagreed on a lot of points. I welcome all your opinions – just keep them vegetarian! 😀

P.S:
Scruples (n) : An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action.

How much of ‘bad’ is ‘good’?

I was contemplating upon how we tend to rate things (or even people for that matter) as good or bad. And a realistic fact hit me: Good and bad are relative and opinionated. Meaning, something good for me needn’t be so for you. Just like: ‘One man’s music is another man’s noise‘ or ‘One man’s treasure is another’s garbage‘.

This tends to happen a lot when it comes to believing and trusting people. Some people whom we think are good might just be on the top of some one else’s bad books. Such situations are pretty hard to handle, especially if you are (some one like me and) a friend of both. I’ve had a lot of such situations in life. I sometimes try to change the opinion about that person; but I have come to realize that most of the times it is of no use. Either people refuse to change themselves or even their opinions.

I believe in having an open mind when dealing with people. Accept their opinions but never let them change your beliefs (until you are sure about it).

Coming back to the discussion of good and bad, their relativity is established, like I mentioned above. But I sometimes ask myself: Do we recognize and respect the good only because there is something bad in this world? Is the bad really necessary to emphasize the existence of the good in this world? If so, how much of bad is good?

For example, will the position of the police be recognized as good, if there weren’t a thief?

And sometimes, actions are also deemed good when performed by some people and bad when done so by others. A soldier killing to safe guard his country is good while an extremist doing it is bad.

I think good and bad are contents of a wobbly balance. The world lives in harmony as long as their weights cancel each other out.