I guess that I’m wrong more often than I’m right about things.
Now there’s a strange start to an opinion piece!
But stick with me. I’ve just read “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams and I’ve decided that – apparently – bullshit is good way to win bigly. As he explained, using bad grammar in his title was a great selling point… Although I suspect, “Fuck Democracy Because Hitler Was A Master Persuader” would have also enabled him to sell copies of his book. He spent the whole book telling us that he didn’t agree with Trump’s policies but, hey, wasn’t it good that he was right when he predicted that Trump would win because the only thing that matters is your ability to convince people…
Anyway, I find myself in unchartered waters after reading it, because – as a white, middle-aged male – I’m not used to considering the possibility that I may be wrong because I thought that actually having an idea of what would make a better world was the way to go. And, of course, once I consider the possibilty that I’m ever wrong, I have to ask myself how often it occurs. And, after considering everything from the fact that I’m on my second marriage to how often I’ve tipped the Melbourne Cup winner, I have to conclude that I’ve been wrong a lot. Probably most of the time, if you ignore the things that we all agree on like the sky being blue, etc.
(Ok, before anybody starts a totally irrelevant argument: I know that the sky is not actually blue; it just appears blue. If that happens, then we’ll have a lot of comments that aren’t actually an argument. Some people will be accurately describing science; others will be revisiting Philosophy 101 and talking about the nature of blue and reality. Pauline Hanson supporters will attempt to join the discussion by telling us that the sky is any colour that she says it is and our flag is blue and if you don’t like blue then you probably hate Christmas …)
So when it was suggested that Gary Oldman shouldn’t be getting the best acting award because he’s been accused of abuse by his ex-wife, I have to admit, I may have reacted with a lack of political correctness. See, I believe that the best acting award should go to the best actor.
Of course, I also believe that abusers should be punished and feel the full force of the law. However, if they happen to have got away with it, then we make the decision about whether they deserve praise for that particular endeavour. We don’t, for example, wait at the end of the Olympic marathon to see if the winner has anything immoral in their past…
Oh wait, we do test them for drugs. Mm, I’m wrong again. Bugger.
Anyway, I’m trying to suggest that when someone is good at something they should be acknowledged as good at that. It’s not an endorsement of their whole life.
Otherwise it just gets a little silly:
“Saintly Goodperson shouldn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize!”
“Why not? She’s just use her credibility from her success in curing cancer to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together…”
“Yes, but she’s not a vegan. I don’t think anyone who uses animal products deserves any awards.”
All right, I suspect that some of you are already hostile because of my reference to tipping Melbourne Cup winners, but the point remains: I’m often wrong, so before I get hate mail from animal activists, I’d like to point out that I have nothing against either animals or vegans. Although, as I keep pointing out, I’m often wrong.
I had to consider that I might be wrong earlier today, when Tony Abbott suggested that the landing of a whole heap of illegal immigrants on January 26th, 1788 was good for all Australians – even those who only became Australians in 1967 when they were granted a promotion from part of the flora and fauna to actual people.
You see, Tony suggested that the indigenous population was lucky to have been colonised by the British because, after all, he’s British and it was better for them to have been killed by good British germs and raped by good British people and bayonetted by good British steel. And I had to admit, I thought to myself, imagine if the French had got here first and forced them to eat croissants.
As for the whole invasion nonsense, as someone pointed out, there was no war so there was no invasion. Although that does make all this talk of “home invasions” a bit of an over-reaction.
Whatever, I did have pause to think and just wonder. Could Tony be right about this? Were the massacres somehow more humane because they were carried out by sensitive soldiers and ex-convicts?
So come January 26th, I’m going to be wearing a pair of thongs with the Australian flag on them because what says I love my country more than standing on its flag? That’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on…