Hiding my Tastes and Aversions

Ausschnitt_Babel - Jens K. MullerAusschnitt Babel by Jens K Müller

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“I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I can’t recall how long it took me to learn that sharing my views, my tastes and aversions, was an unpopular course of action.

It was a painful process which started when I was a child.

Which caused much confusion in my developing mind.

Which may have even influenced the wiring in my brain to get scrambled,

and resulted in dyslexia.

Sometimes when reading my eyes see the opposite of what is written.

Sometimes when listening my ears hear things which have not been said.

I often curse my stupid brain and the errors of its ways.

However…

There are times when people express the opposite of what they think,

when what they say hides what they truly want to say.

Because I am not the only person who has learned in a long and painful way that sharing my views, my tastes and aversions, is an unpopular course of action.

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“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion.” – Noam Chomsky

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When we agree with others, others reward us with acceptance.

We make them feel good about themselves, and they in turn allow us to feel good about ourselves.

When we disagree with others, they reject us.

We make them feel bad about themselves, and they return the favour.

Of course, it’s more complicated than that,

everything is, everyone is.

Yet…

We strive to simplify the complexity of being, of life.

We create formulas to sum things up,

pop it in a box and tie a bow around it,

adding a label which says – this is this and that is that!

And so say all of us,

don’t you agree,

with the popular opinion.

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“Everything popular is wrong.”  – Oscar Wilde

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There are those who think that agreeing with the popular opinion is an unpopular opinion.

For each popular opinion there is an equal and opposite unpopular opinion,

and each side of the seesaw is popular

with its respective tribe,

its social group,

its people.

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“…it wasn’t that I was anti-popular culture or anything and I had no ambition to stir things up. I just thought of mainstream culture as lame as hell and a big trick. It was like the unbroken sea of frost that lay outside the window and you had to have awkward footgear to walk with.” – Bob Dylan

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Sometimes this hokey pokey song and dance is all about,

what is in,

and sometimes it also about what is out,

as a contrast,

a movement needed to balance the body,

lest it fall over,

from leaning too far,

one way or the other.

Sometimes what is in,

becomes what is out,

and the rules of popular are shaken all about.

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“Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.”

– William James

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At some point after I learned that sharing my views, my tastes and aversions, was an unpopular course of action, I retreated into silence.

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But silence was unpopular too.

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“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” ― Elbert Hubbard

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And so I devised a new course of action,

a blending of the old and the new,

of lessons learned,

of lessons to be unlearned,

of lessons yet to be learned.

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It’s a work in progress…

or at least that is what I call it,

others may call it something else entirely.

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Anti-social

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This ramble through my thoughts was inspired by – The Daily Prompt: Matters of Taste

When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?
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Hidden within my post is my answer.

A clue – It’s in plain view.

A clue too – 143 minutes minutes of my life which I wish I could get back to waste on something else. Usually when I watch a film which leaves me cold, I stop watching, but for some reason I stuck it out, perhaps because I hoped to see why it was popular. Sometimes hope is just a coping mechanism for pain which is being ignored (this is a hint).

My dyslexia has fun altering the title to reflect my opinion of it. I rarely share those permutations. Not every opinion needs to be shared… or maybe it does. I haven’t figured that out yet.

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