S’funny, I was put in mind of the debate between opinion and belief recently, and the heavy-handed opinion of some that the difference was their beliefs were right and others’ opinions were wrong. In my opinion opinions are normally wrong as well, but as such, my opinion of this means opinions are by this accounting actually right. Unlike beliefs, which are normally stupid.
Opinions are, as the saying goes, like arseholes – everyone has one and most people don’t want to hear them. There is also the Fat Bastard comment that “everyone likes their own brand” which does neatly explain why people who talk out their arses never put a cork in it no matter how green the audience gets around the gills. From the baked-bean-powered waft on the capital punishment debate to the Rotorua-rectum rotten-egg horror of what to do with that pesky Treaty of Waitangi, people gasbag on for hours bringing lunches to the forefront of throats around them oblivious or uncaring of the sulphur-scented suffering around them.
Where am I going with this? Nowhere in particular. Opinions and beliefs are all very well and good, like sexual fetishes best kept in black sacks under the bed in the hope the unguents and blood won’t stain the carpet. This is of course, my opinion, or possibly my belief. The reason I’m thinking about both these terms is I recently started considering beliefs on opinions (i.e. all opinions are WRONG and should be SPANKED) and opinions on beliefs (i.e. them thar Catholics are cornhole-explorin’ nutfucks) and wondered if one applied an opinion to a belief, does one bolster the other, or cancel it out, or what? Does having an opinion in concordance with a belief weaken the initial subject? Do negative opinions bolster them? People like positive reinforcement of their beliefs, but also like the tinge of martyrdom that being oppressed brings. For every person humping a tree and using the term “skyclad” to pretty up streaking and/or public indecency, praying to their horny god and Diana the Queen of Hearts, full of love and wishing more people understood the wonders of apartheid magic, there’s a dirty hermit in a polar-fleece cloak desperately trying to link their neopagan hobby to the “Burning Times” of yore, standing side-by-side with the centuries-dead midwives to deride society for being closed-minded. For every paint-spattered ponytail on Queen Street trying to sell books for love, there is one getting his jollies at seeing the sinners dooming themselves to eternal worm-feeding while he plays his tambourine for god in a sea of nectar and Ambrose Bierce. I for one often get grumpy at those who share my opinion – I liked ol’ Angelina Jellylips back in the Hackers days (remember that film which claimed geeks were teh kool back in the day but all the geeks howled about technical inaccuracies proving the film was wrong in two ways?) but when she got voted hot totty of the year a while back I realised a few million mouth-breathing guys in caps advertising Mack trucks had dropped their dungarees to worship this woman the only way they knew how – by fucking a stuffed raccoon called Bowzer they got in trade for their wife’s anal virginity. And I did not want to be associated with such vermin, for unlike them my raccoon loves me. LOVES ME GOOD. Or take the “Paedophiles against G.E.” in the anti future-crop march some years back – so many right-on hemp-eaters got offended at those who supported their cause, as if only clean-living people whose cocks have never been wiped clean on a pair of Huggies get to be shrill and reactionary about science they only heard about from a guy named Stu who peddles GM super-sticky Pepe le Peu-strength skunk from a tinnie house in Grey Lynn. Summed up nicely in the Abyss when a chap turns to Hippy who was agreeing with him about hot rods of the gods and says “Stay off my side”.
Which is a long-winded way of me saying I’m not sure if people prefer me to be supportive of their dabbling in the scribbling of a Crowley cohort who decided to strike off on his own in the 50s and come up with a cult that involved a lot of nudity and heterosexual indoctrination, or resoundingly mocking of their broomsticks and soft-toy familiars. In fact, I personally believe (based on my reactions to people’s attitudes/opinions/beliefs/thoughts/flatulence) that we’re contrary fuckers and whatever someone’s opinion is, unless we happen to be having sex with that person right at that moment (and doing well, I might add) we’ll want to disagree. So a positive opinion might be seen as obsequious while a negative one could be oppressive. Perhaps the reason people forever think opinions are wrong is we like to respond negatively to another’s input? Are we that self-destructive?
Having consulted my Magic 8-ball, signs point to “yes”.