- Tuesday 2nd January 2018, 11:03am
- United States
- 136 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ 2nd January 2018, 9:25 AM
This may be slightly off-topic but it's something I find very interesting.
Some years ago I attended a great improv course and the coach said the secret is to listen - AND be prepared to change on the basis of what you listen to. It sounds easy but it takes time to get used to, cos the human tendency is to take over. Like you go on stage and have this great idea about how the fellow performer is your long-lost sister etc, but the first thing she says is, 'Hi, Dad.' You have to drop your ego, listen and adjust to her idea.
I don't want to sound like a pretentious knob, but this is a fascinatìng parallel with life. We all have opinions and we all like to consider ourselves open-minded, but are we really? When someone presents a contrary opinion, do we even listen? And if we do, are we prepared to let it impinge on our own world view? You see it every day on FB, where 'like' just means 'I agree'. My personal favourite is 'Well said' when it isn't said well at all: it's just what you'd've said. I genuinely laughed when people on FB wrote, 'If you support Trump, I'm unfriending you' - and even asked other people to do the same. It's a tad childish, isn't it? 'I think you're WRONG, so I'm not talking to you again... And I'm gonna make sure me mates don't talk to you, either! You SMELL.' It's particularly true of comedy, where 'Trump's a cock' will get a round of applause; start a witty, informed analysis of his policies and you'll be booed off stage. Well said, indeed.
I remember Ben Elton being massacred for collaborating with Lloyd Webber. He said, 'Imagine a guy who only wanted to work with someone sharing his own views. How narrow-minded and blinkered that'd be.' I know Ben was justifying himself, but it's a fair point... When I was a teenager my thinking was extremely rigid, but I thought it was cool cos my ideas were fashionably right-on.
More recently I was struck off the performers' list for an open mic show. They finally admitted the reason was: 'Sorry but this is a feelgood crowd. They're out for a laugh. They don't want to think about hot topics and they don't like your language either.' Open-minded, eh? Still, could've been worse. 'It's cos you're shit.'
Good analysis. However, these days opinions are never discussed outright for interpretation and evaluation but rather taken as cardinal sins based on people's religious and/or political leanings, eradicating that tolerance and understanding thing the world was on back in the 1970s. I love discussions and debates, but as the educational system has significantly deteriorated I've noticed people are more inclined to hold on to their ignorance as a badge of honor versus something to open the door for research and analysis to discuss more. These come across now as populism, nationalism, patriotism - pick your ism. College was really an eye opener for discussion views from all walks of life back in my time, but now that is not even encouraged. Singular thinking and lack of critical thinking being taught is to blame, creating idiots that have the gall to tell you "they don't want to think about hot topics". Comedy is the last bastion of freedom of speech but everybody wants to duck and hide and not "offend" on the hard issues that have yet to be worked out or are currently going on. It's like the Trumpistas ignoring their Fuhrer has nuclear codes and will impetuously press the button and then say "it slipped", but they defend his stupidity. I say the minute you let the "moral majority" go unchecked and hide behind their compass is the day fascism wins.