December 3, 2008

"10 things you're not supposed to point out."

Am I not supposed to point out this list?

68 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

Patriotism is dumb?

Sports are homerotic?

Sounds more like someone's list of personal hangups than things not supposed to be pointed out.

Henry said...

Here's my addition:

11. Assertions are not arguments

Verso said...

Hey, that blog you linked to is great. The series on grunge was fantastic.
_____________________________

ROFL. I was just going to say that the "sports are homoerotic" line was going to enrage the far right.

traditionalguy said...

Only #9 and #10 ring true, and I am an expert in pointing out those truths best left unsaid.

john said...

Number 8 rings true.

Wrestling is homoerotic. Swimming is not, it's more like a freakshow.

And finally you are not supposed to point out the family tie.

Host with the Most said...

I agree that #'s 9 and 10 are true.

The others, debatable.

Actually, Verso, this conservative sees the point of #6. It certainly sometimes applies.

Not always - certainly not even most of the time. But sometimes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I disagree with #3. Nature is NOT evil. Nature just is.

#10 is spot on and explains the Obama phenomenon. Few people who voted for that puff of smoke really listened to what he was actually saying. They just went all "vagal" over how he said the nothing that he was saying.

Simon said...

Is this an unused "pot roundtable" script from "That 70s Show"? It has about the same level of depth and wit. Sorry, John.

Hoosier Daddy said...

ROFL. I was just going to say that the "sports are homoerotic" line was going to enrage the far right.

Why? Don't lefties like sports? Or do you guys think a couple of 300 pound offensive and defensive linemen crashing into each other is a sublimnal message for a little man on man action?

TosaGuy said...

Why?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh and I like #1 The will of the people is wrong.

Hear that Obama?

Salamandyr said...

I think you're not supposed to point those things out because they are not true.

Joan said...

1. The will of the people is wrong.
Sometimes. Sometimes it isn't.


2. Everything isn't "for the best"; we only look for the best and ignore the rest.
Who is this "we"? You got a mouse in your pocket?

3. Nature is evil.
Nature is neither good nor evil; nature has no volition. As DBQ said, it just is.

4. Patriotism is dumb.
Sometimes. Sometimes it isn't.

5. Christianity is polytheism.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one, Jac!

6. Sports are homoerotic.
Women's basketball is homoerotic? Didn't think so.

7. Traditional gender roles are prostitution.
Show me a prostitute whose pimp is pleased when she only services one john, and I'll cede your point.

8. Parents teach their children to lie, and are then infuriated when their children lie.
Two questions: a) which parents? b) lie about what? I'm not seeing it. I suggest you spend more time with more families. (Children don't need to be taught to lie.)

9. Most knowledge is restricted to elite experts, and even they don't know very much.
Certainly true of arcane knowledge like rocket science and brain surgery, which are used in those expressions for a reason. But general knowledge is more widely available now than it has ever been in the past, and more people know more about the world now than ever before -- even as a percent of the population.

10. People are convinced more by how confident someone sounds when making a point than by how correct it is.
Yes!

This list reflects the inexperience and shallow world view of its writer. Yawn.

Will said...

In the tradition of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," I'll just point out that that's a fantastic picture next to the list.

Verso said...

DQB is right: #10 is a profound observation -- in general, not only as it applies to the last election.

Still, while I love Obama and expect great things in the next 8 years, I cannot dispute that his presentation helped him win the election. One of McCain's big liabilities was his annoying voice. He was just hard to listen to. That stump speech, where he started screaming at the end, was unbearable.

Palin, too: While I was awed by her initial public appearances, I think her voice eventually started to grate on people. Tina Fey may have had something to do with that. Post-Fey, it's hard to listen to Palin without thinking she sounds stupid.

mcg said...

I'm thinking Jac is going for his own vortex.

kynefski said...

People are convinced more by how confident someone sounds when making a point than by how correct it is.

The impact of that simple fact on scientific literacy is profound.

EnigmatiCore said...

Seeing as one should only 'point out' things that are true, and a number of things on this list are anything but true, I agree that this list is correctly identified as things that one is not supposed to point out.

Eric said...

As Salamandyr noted, most of this list is just wrong. That would be a good reason to keep these observations to yourself. But when has that stopped anyone?

Things That Come Between Us said...

Althouse,

You really ought to consider a "nepotism" tag.

Krylobite said...

Yep. There's a reason you're not supposed to point this stuff out.

With the exception of numbers 1 & 10, it's, like, wrong.

20% is an F.

Better luck on the next exam.

chickenlittle said...

RLC's first comment in JAC's comment section is a gentle version of point 8.

Lem said...

If you want to plug your son's blog plug it.

IF you dont, dont ;)

TerriW said...

#8 would make a nice addition to a "Top Ten Funny Pronouncements about Parenting by Non-Parents."

(I am, admittedly, assuming non-parentness here, but it sure feels like a right assumption.)

Lem said...

Patriotism is dumb. and Liberalism is dumber.

Pogo said...

More like 10 things that are partly true, at times.

I offer in contrast here are 11 other things you're not supposed to point out

1. 10,000 Elvis fans can be wrong, especially if they are fans of Britney Spears, Bill Maher, Rosie, Whoopie, or Tony Robbins.

2. Life is very hard for many people. And it isn't anyone's fault.

3. Nature can be very beautiful and very awful. And it isn't anyone's fault.

4. Most people don't understand a single thing about economics; apparently not even some Nobel laureates. Grasping that 'there is no free lunch' and 'no one can make a pencil' would be sufficient, but most people don't even know that.

5. Capitalism has been the only method by which man has moved out of his long history of grinding poverty and recurrent starvations.

6. Raising children can be very hard; they are born liars and barbarians and must be tamed anew with each birth. You will rarely be thanked for the effort.

7. Work is hard, but running a business is usually harder, especially when the government despises what you do.

8. Most people will live and die anonymously, and be forgotten in a single generation; why you are here is your singlemost important task, yet the precise purpose will remain forever a mystery.

9. Man is an intelligent being who rejects intellect as a way of knowing, preferring instinct, emotion, and ideology, because they are easier than study, which was difficult in school and remains so.

10. Except for a few easily identifiable habits, people do not all want the same things and are not the same wherever you go.

11. Civilization is fragile, requires constant maintenance, and is not free. It is easily and frequently lost.

Things That Come Between Us said...

Bravo, Pogo.

Henry Buck said...

Very nice Pogo.

Here's another one:

1. The Government does not--and cannot--love you.

(For a boy with thoughtful parents, JAC demonstrates remarkably shallow thinking; the list sounds like it was pulled from the diary of a 14-year-old.)

DBrooks17 said...

All Hail Pogo! I see book potential.

rsb said...

Why not point them out? They are all true to some extent. May I point out what a horrible President we just had? He was awful.

El Presidente said...

Oh, fun. Can I add a few:

#11 People who think they are smarter than everyone, aren't.

#12 Parents should never take parenting advice from non-parents.

#13 Spoiled kids have little faith in Capitalism.

#14 Gay people often see homoeroticism in the ordinary.

#15 Parents are much to impressed with their children's intelligence.

#16 Children do grow up, eventually.

LarsPorsena said...

Apropos Pogo #11
Waugh on Kipling "...“believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defenses fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.”

So it was, so it remains.

Joe said...

Huh? Carter wasn't just president.

peter hoh said...

One should not point out that he or she is the first person to comment on a blog post.

Posting "First!!" is more lame than having an AOL account.

SteveR said...

11. People who think Christianity is polytheistic should go to Sunday School.

Chip Ahoy said...

^^^
Yeah, go to Sunday School and learn about all the saints!

laura said...

3. Agreed - everything is neutral, it's only 'not for the best' when it doesn't fit with our plans.

6. So true.

10. You gotta be able to sell it, baby. If you don't believe in yourself or what you're selling, you're not gonna last long. And anyway, yeah, the message of transcendence won over the message of disgust.

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo Rocks!

Jac will read his blog in 5-10 years and say to himself "Yikes I can't believe I was such an introspective dumbell."

AJ Lynch said...

Someone should take Pogo's words of advice and use them to create one of those emails that goes around and around the internet world.

Woorrrrrrrrdd Pogo Woorrrrd!

Ron said...

Are we not supposed to point out that this list would not have made this post if the poster of the list had not been, you know,...mom?

Hazy Dave said...

0. Posting Lists of Ten Things is the number one way to stimulate Comments.

Not everybody can earn a Momalanche like this one, but so what, and jealousy is unbecoming anyway. ;->

Synova said...

1. The will of the people is wrong.

True enough, but usually not the *most* wrong of possibilities. And I think this is a point that generally must not be expressed to random people. (Unless one wants to start a fight or invite people to call you a fascist or racist.)

2. Everything isn't "for the best"; we only look for the best and ignore the rest.

True. And when you're trying to encourage someone it is extremely unhelpful to subvert the "look for the best" part. So no, don't point this out either.

3. Nature is evil.

What nature isn't at all, is kind or nurturing or pure or nice. In situations where this would be a statement to avoid, it should probably be said twice for good measure. Evolution relies on extinction. Mother Nature hates you. Gaia is trying to kill you and eventually she will.

4. Patriotism is dumb.

And yet, the cosmopolitan is dumber.

I do disagree with this in general because I feel patriotism is an expression of human attachment and it's right and good for people to hold those attachments in order of importance starting with self (and god concepts) then immediate family and working outward through circles of friendships, "tribal" attachments, industry, community, country and then to more esoteric concerns such as humanity as a whole, or to the world as a concept.

The cosmopolitan thinks we ought to give our first and best loyalty to the abstract of humanity. This is absurd.

Should you point out that patriotism is dumb? I suppose avoiding a lecture on cosmopolitan silliness might be worth skipping it.

5. Christianity is polytheism.

Only by making the word include concepts very different from other sorts of polytheism. Again, unless you're looking for a theological discussion or argument, it's probably better to skip it.

6. Sports are homoerotic.

Only in the sense that physically fit people are erotic. Arguing it is pointless, of course, but when we get to define everything as erotic, does it matter anymore?

7. Traditional gender roles are prostitution.

Prostitution for the woman? And slavery for the man. (Not agreeing... just saying.)

As for not sharing this point with people... I think that a "marriage is prostitution for women" statement is something everyone has heard... so next time try the "marriage is slavery for men" part of it and see what responses you get.

8. Parents teach their children to lie, and are then infuriated when their children lie.

Well, children don't have to be taught to lie, but they do need to be taught to fail to share information indiscriminately.

9. Most knowledge is restricted to elite experts, and even they don't know very much.

Oh! Try "the experts really don't know much" and people *will* get all upset about it, I know. But we ought to talk about this because, at least as far as education is concerned, there are a lot of people who want to make sure everyone knows the same stuff and act like they can't function properly if they don't know the *correct* same stuff. Our aggregate knowledge and aggregate wisdom is increased by people knowing different things, even with very little overlap. It's the only way we can know *more*.

10. People are convinced more by how confident someone sounds when making a point than by how correct it is.

Probably not a problem to point this out unless you're pointing it out to someone who gets very uptight about being correct when they aren't. ;-)

Krylobite said...

Pogo gets the 'A.'

AJ Lynch said...

"Momalanche" catchy term I like it.

Simon said...

Synova said...
"the cosmopolitan is dumber."

One might say that one way to tell if you're in what Sarah Palin might call real America if "cosmopolitan" and "sophisticated" are not meant as compliments.

"Christianity is polytheism[?] ¶ Only by making the word include concepts very different from other sorts of polytheism."

One is left to assume he's making the we've-all-heard-it sophomoric argument about the Trinity, in which case John presumably thinks that there are at least four Empire State Buildings (one for each side).

chickenlittle said...

Change the "o" to an "a" and the expression is perfect: Mamalaunche

Jim Howard said...

#4 is incomplete, it should read:

"Democrats think that Patriotism is dumb."

Synova said...

I should have been more careful of how I worded #7.

The sort of marriage with a traditional gender role of a woman exchanging sex for food and a roof over her head, which clever sorts equate to prostitution, is also the traditional gender role where a man is compelled to labor for the upkeep of others, thus, slavery.

Generally, it seems to me, that in situations where women do not have other acceptable options to support themselves than marriage to a man, men are under severe social pressure to hold up their end of the bargain and marry as soon as they are financially able. And since they can usually get sex without marriage (the "traditional" double-standard) they aren't actually *gaining* sex... only the obligation for upkeep.

We talk a lot about how unfair such situations are to women while imagining that men are favored, somehow.

ricpic said...

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

You can point that out all day long to no avail.

Neither moochers nor enablers will hear you.

ron st.amant said...

Patriotism isn't dumb, though it often is exploited and "dumbed down". It is, like spirituality, at its purest when not an outer exhibition, but an inner expression.

Ken Stalter said...

My addition:

Change can be for the better or for the worse.

TerriW said...

Change can be for the better or for the worse.

Ah! A variation on one of my father's favorites:

"Change is not necessarily progress."

SteveR said...

Simon: yes that was my point about Christianity as well. Chip makes a reference to saints, which I guess is a Catholic angle perhaps, but the Trinity was a well worked out theology from the early church and casual observers should be very careful with it. Even well studied Christians for that matter.

Freeman Hunt said...

Simon: Is this an unused "pot roundtable" script from "That 70s Show"? It has about the same level of depth and wit. Sorry, John.

Seconded. It reads exactly like something I would have written in tenth grade.

Is it weird in here? Is it just me or is there an awkwardness to commenting in the normal, straightforward way on a post written by the host's own son?

That said, I would like the see a Bloggingheads with JAC and CAC. They are so different in manner, and both are very opinionated. I think it would be great.

John Stodder said...

Just read the list.

Two words: Ah, youth.

Freeman Hunt said...

OT: So then I hit up RLC's profile to see if he started back blogging again, and wow! Excellent taste in movies. I must have read his movie list long ago and forgotten about it since. Therefore, I am re-impressed.

Simon said...

Freeman Hunt said...
"Is it weird in here? Is it just me or is there an awkwardness to commenting in the normal, straightforward way on a post written by the host's own son?"

I know what you mean, but I tend to think that what Althouse links, Althouse declares fair game.

peter hoh said...

Here's one version of the pencil story.

max's skunk works said...

JAC seems like a bright young man but he's glib and argues poorly. Frankly it's off-putting to read his responses to commenters on his blog because he employs a tone of authority that isn't supported by his argumentation.

So my #11 would be..

11. People who lack wisdom and experience are often far too confident that their opinions are truths.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder how many regular commenters here are in their late twenties.

Simon said...

Freeman Hunt said...
"I wonder how many regular commenters here are in their late twenties."

Me, for one.

peter hoh said...

Freeman, aren't you in your late twenties?

Things That Come Between Us said...

Glib.

That's the word. Better, as we've lost some of the more interesting connotations of "clever."

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, aren't you in your late twenties?

Yes. So is JAC. That's what made me wonder.

peter hoh said...

I thought so. And I knew Simon was in that age group, too.

Mid forties here.

SteveR said...

Very very late twenties. Very

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha. And I wonder how many regular commenters have been here long enough to go from mid to late twenties (or thirties, or forties, or fifties, etc.) while being Althouse readers...

Shanna said...

#11 People who think they are smarter than everyone, aren't.

Addition: People who think they are smarter than everyone and proceed to TELL people this, are very, very dumb.