Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 211 - "What's my view? Well how am I supposed to know?"

I recently realized that although I'm a fairly confrontational person when it comes to expressing my views and pressing the views of others, I'm also very quick to back down in the face of any evidence (hard, or even say, anecdotal) that doesn't support my theory or point of view. This also leads to my being swayed by "popular opinion" in a lot of cases.

Now, don't get me wrong - there are certain things that I'd like to think I'm "un-swayable" on - I pretty much lean left on all political issues, I have yet to hear a compelling reason to abandon my long-held lack of faith in a God or any form or organized religion, and to this day I stand firm that the Super Nintendo was a better system than the Genesis, catchy marketing slogan or no.

But there are definitely times where I go into a conversation being fairly certain I know how I feel about an issue - and I quickly find myself back-peddling or I hear myself saying: "well, that's a good point," or "oh, I never thought about it that way." While it doesn't bode well for my debating skills I am actually am not unhappy at the realization that I do this. In fact, the reason I think I behave this way is because there's nothing I hate more than someone who engages in an argument and is completely unwilling to see an issue on any side besides his own. While I can safely say I would certainly never make it in the world of politics, I think there's something to be said for concessions in heated dinner table debates.

The funny thing is sometimes I surprise myself on issues I didn't know I cared much about. The other day a friend mentioned that she had never dated a black man before, and how she didn't think she ever could because she "doesn't know that they can be monogamous, given their culture." That statement took me by surprise, because it was a stereotype of black men I hadn't even thought much about before. I'm also not exactly perfect when it comes to avoiding stereotypes - to this day I assume that all lawyers, investment bankers, and generally successful career-types are all secretly miserable, with their 'all-work-and-no play' existence slowly draining their souls of all that is truly meaningful until all there is left in their lives is a six figure income and a gorgeous apartment near Central Park. This is perhaps due to my insecurities at not being part of that stupid worky worky club, but at the same time it also makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Anyways, so rather than nodding my head and choosing to just move on to the next, hopefully more comfortable topic or saying something along the lines of "yeah, I guess you do hear a lot about black women being left by black men..." I said something I rarely find myself saying:

"I disagree with you on that."

I went on to say that, even if there is something to be said for infidelity for minorities versus whites, or even within certain societal circles (lower, middle, upper class), odds are that any person she would consider dating would probably fall into a certain category of men that were probably A) in a certain age range and of a certain level of maturity, and B) living stable lives, with jobs and their own apartments or homes, and are all therefore equally likely to cheat on her and break her heart. To this point, she fully conceded. To which I responded with a nice little victory dance.



I think as a video game loving, cat owning, bald-headed (and proud!), atheist 5'4" 29 year-old hispanic male living in Bed-Stuy (do or die!) who prefers Red Mango and an episode of Veronica Mars over beer and the Yankees game, I'm naturally going to come to the defense of most male stereotypes since, well, I pretty much put all of them to rest. Or at least, jumble them enough so no one all-encompassing theory holds true.

-Matt!

Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: Played some pool this weekend, something I did almost every weekend back in high school. I forgot how much I loved it. I even have my own cue. Probably the only sport* I ever competed and competed well* in. So yeah, I'd love to be playing more of this:



*hey - more so than Poker, right?
*Williams College Doubles Pool Champion '98 and '00!

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