Thursday, 23 February 2012

Dumping opinions

No – not opinions about dumping. We all have opinions – at least in my opinion – but how useful are they?

I’ve just been trawling through some comments on an Independent piece about Jeremy Clarkson. Apparently he made some comment comparing the size of a new Japanese car with people who have growths on their face.

Something like that anyway. The comments were more interesting than the original article, which in my limited experience of the Independent is no surprise at all. Most seemed to hate Clarkson for some reason. Presumably they watch his shows for long enough to find that out, so one could ask why they even bother, but maybe they need to be offended.

My interest was centred on opinions, because most comments expressed what we usually call opinions and the holders of said opinions were sufficiently outraged to type them into the comments box. Normally I'd treat this to a mental shrug and move on, but one of my recurring opinions is that in the end, opinions do us no good.

My ideal would be to have no opinions at all – apart from that one of course. It avoids being wrong and in my opinion (oops that’s another) being wrong is to be avoided, even at the expense of withholding judgement, so missing out on the chance of being right.

Clarkson does what he does and his BBC show is pretty infantile - but so what? He didn't go to war, lose billions or chuck away a democracy.


Sam Vega said...

What's so wrong with being wrong? It is a rich and enduring source of humour; the occasion for conformists to feel smug; and the means of educating ourselves and others.

I'm sure I'm right on this one...

A K Haart said...

SV - in my opinion you are certainly right about being wrong. As you say, it's a source of much rich comedy.

Anonymous said...

I find J Clarkson quite amusing, a buffoon yes but sometimes says what others think but dare not say. Which brings me to opinions - useful things. If I ask someone's opinion I get two things - their view and some idea whether they are dim or bright. Then there is the opinion 'as publicly stated' and the real opinion - harder but not impossible to determine. Opinons make for balance - if you listen to them. As they say, opinions are like ar*eholes - almost everybody has one.

A K Haart said...

Roger - yes, there's a lot of subtext when opinions are expressed face to face.

You don't get so much of that in blogging, partly I suppose because they are more considered and partly because there is no body language and you usually don't actually know the person.