Friday, December 9, 2011

"That's just your opinion"

No, it's not. The great crime of post-modernism, as i'm sure many have remarked, is giving every idiot free license to deny the existence of truth and quality. When i give what many call my 'opinion' on a matter, it represents the truth as best i can discern it, based on the objective qualities i see in whatever i'm judging. Though my interpretation may be tainted by instinct, emotion and social pressure, there is still an objective truth which i'm attempting to reach.
To be sure, there is such a thing as subjectivity. De gustibus non est disputandum still holds true in some cases. We don't all have the same taste buds and eardrums, and i myself happen to be color deficient. I may not be able to tell azure from teal half the time, but this is hardly all that's involved in complex matters of value or validity.

I prefer Beethoven to Mozart because i find the first more involved, more passionate than the second. That may be just my opinion. I certainly cannot deny the complexity and harmony, the quality of Mozart's work. However, when i say that Justin Bieber is a worthless, vapid, no-talent piss-ant manufactured and packaged by the recording industry with no thought to quality, it's not a matter of taste. It's observation. There is an apparent lack of creativity, complexity and meaning to the good meistersinger Bieber's repertoire the discernment of which is not contingent on my physical ability to tell b-flat from b-(un-flat?)

Yes, yes, it is all too convenient to take potshots at the latest pop idol, but it does illustrate the point. Ayn Rand may have been full of it (most of the time) but the basic moral imperative to know the reasons behind one's views and actions still stands. Don't ever tell me that you 'just like' something. Why do you like it? Was movie A better written, directed or acted than movie B? Does song A have better instrumentation or lyrics than song B?

Worse than basic human thoughtlessness is the modern social pressure to acknowledge the validity of another's views. You're wrong. I'm right. I know i'm right because i can construct a logical chain of thought leading to my conclusions. If you think i'm wrong, tell me why. Do not tolerate stupidity and thoughtlessness on equal footing with reason. We do not live our lives by holding all options equal. We do not treat the simple act of walking as equally likely to spontaneously floating into space. Saying that you'd like to float away is a taste, a preference. Saying that it's likely is stupidity. This is not only true for basic physical laws, but for ideas and objects as well. Thought does not advance by random chance. Some options are better than others. A more complex work of art is better than a simplistic one because it expresses more ideas or one idea more fully. Creativity is better than repetition, truth is better than falsehood and my intelligence, the ability to discern these qualities, is better than stupidity.

Quality is advancement. Tolerance, as a societal absolute, is stagnation, waste and decomposition. The rallying cry of the mindless masses, of the thoughtless, of the animalistic filth that's choking the life out of the world is 'don't judge me'. The progressive alternative is the realization that judgment is intrinsic to awareness. Its denial is death.

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