There are some musings on cultural norms and their “evolution” at the hands of new media that will be posted soon (thanks to reader Damon for the idea), but I had this one on deck and wanted to clear it before I got there.
Recently, I wrote my honest reviews of the Star Wars films. They were unfiltered, and since I didn’t have the time or the inclination to make them 2000 page articles, I hit the major points and gave an unvarnished opinion of what worked, what didn’t and what I thought overall.
Naturally it elicited some reaction. Some response was snarky. Some response was positive. None of it, honestly, was surprising. People have opinions, and I take pride in the fact that my friends not only have world views and experiences different from mine – sometimes substantially depending on the topic – but the fact that we’re all comfortable enough to discuss them with some degree of rationality.
And Then There’s Tony (And We All Love Tony!)
These are not objective, not by a long shot, but that’s okay.
I addressed him in the comments thus:
Think of it this way: I’m not giving it a positive review because I’m a fan, I’m a fan because I can honestly give it a positive review.
However, it did spur the thought, is it possible to be completely objective with anything?
Honesty is Such a Lonely Word
I’ve gotten into arguments with dear friends before about the fact that I choose not to lie.
I used to justify little white lies, to cover my ass at work. Tiny fibs to dodge a screw up. Giant whoppers to get away with methodically going through my older brother’s comic book collection, record albums and wallet (I stopped the wallet stuff).
Well, let’s just say I’ve had an epiphany where I just realized how far away even a little white lie put me from the person I want to be. I talked it over with God and realized that a dishonest man is not just the man I want to be for myself, but my children. The example I lay out for them is the example from which they’ll learn.
So, like a Vulcan, I choose not to lie. It’s a choice, and it’s a hard one. I’m not perfect, of course. When I was looking for a new job, I suspiciously had more frequent…doctor’s visits…and issues with my car. But I’ve handled all that, and while I can’t promise I won’t fail or equivocate again, I can promise that I’m always doing my best not to tell a fib. My honesty has even cost me relationships along the way, with people that I wish on an emotional level could have stayed a part of my life.
What’s the point of saying all that? That I’m honest, buddy. To the extreme. I’ve got some people that happily will testify that I’m one of the most honest people they know; of course, you’d have to take them at their word.
And that’s my seal of authenticity when I say I dig Jar Jar Binks but the editing on Episode I was out of hand. It’s how you know I’m speaking from the heart when I say that I don’t trust a straight-up popular vote for President and frankly, think it’s what’s ruined the efficacy of the U.S. Senate.
It’s how you know I’m not kidding when I say that I could listen to the song Jive Talkin’ every day for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.
I bring up honesty because objectivity folds into it.
Was I completely objective in the reviews of the films? Yes, as objective as anyone can be. Just because I’m more reserved in the way I deliver my criticisms doesn’t mean they aren’t criticisms. I just don’t see any point in getting worked up, unless it’s for comic effect. I’ve been known to go into the ‘Denis Leary’-esque rant from time to time just because I like to make people chuckle and because I’m an attention whore.
If anything, I think that I was fair and pointed out everything that irritated me about all six.
Of course, there may be the typical accusation in the comments section that I’m just somehow unaware of my inability to be objective. All I can say is, I don’t hold any opinion unless it’s an honest one.
If you’re going to go so far as to insinuate that I’m being disingenuous somehow, simply because my opinion doesn’t agree with yours, well then good day to you. You’re arguing at an authentic Keith Olbermann level and at that point are no longer trying to debate but pick a fight, and what’s the use in that?
If we disagree, we disagree. It does not mean that I’m lying to you, nor to myself. As a wise character once said, “My hypocrisy goes only so far.”