Today, upon scanning newspapers, I thought about differences of opinion. There sure is a whole bunch of this. Every day. Everywhere. Never ending. Wondering why, my mind recalled the one bit of philosophy that sticks in my mind: there is no right or wrong.
Because there are so many possible opinions about any one subject, people like to hang onto what they believe. From many, that’s easier than thinking and discovering. For them, this is “right”, because few have learned any philosophy.
Political leaders are able to exploit stupidity and varying opinions. They know that people will cling to beliefs, even in the face of facts. Belief is easier to harness than reality. This explains the lack of interest in climate change, no prosecution in war crimes, Fox News viewership, etc.
I know that there’s no right or wrong, but I still know what I want to believe...
A slew of articles about some judging the “best” restaurants in the world and naming a “winner”.
Of course, this is absurd. There is no such thing as “best”. Why should anyone believe the opinion of people with opinions, especially people who make their living catering (no pun intended) to this industry. Food writers will write glowing reviews of expensive top-rated restaurants, because the want to show their appreciation for the free meal they received and/or expect to receive. Food magazines thrive of glossy pieces about fancy troughs and newspaper insist on having a “food editor”.
I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world, enjoyed street food in many countries, and satiated my hunger at most US chains. My “favorite” sandwich was bought at a rest stop outside Genoa, Italy, on the highway between Nice and Milan. I have had too many hamburgers and too many steaks to pick a favorite. Best is not something one can easily apply to something so varied, which often is affected by mood, company, and...hunger.
The worst thing I have eaten is sea anemone at a fine restaurant (except for this dish) in Spain. I noted that this is served that the restaurant the won “best”. It seems that offering weird stuff helps to win prizes, but I prefer normal food. I appreciate creativity and enjoy the meals I have had at one of France’s best, the Auberge de l’Ill, where every meal over the decades has been memorable.
The most memorable meal, although not the “best” was at a restaurant that is not even a restaurant. This was outside Kyoto, Japan. The place takes one small party a night. You sit on the floor and the waitress serves you on her knees. I do not recall what I ate, but each course was special. Mostly, I recall the setting. In a country known for being crowded, this small building was located in a huge wooded estate and offered pure tranquility. The ambience made the meal special, because I did not particularly enjoy the company.
I have enjoyed to many “bests” to pick one. Anyone that does is being disingenuous. Anyone that believes the selection is a fool.
_ Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I simply do not want to hear or read about it. Why should I care what others think about some irrelevant subject?
Case in point: dresses worn to entertainment award ceremonies. I like the fact that women dress up, especially in a town where a track suit has become the favored uniform.
In scanning headlines, I noticed a piece in Time about Golden Globe Red Carpet fashion. On a whim, I clicked on the photos to see a selection and noticed how some idiot had selected the “best” and “worst”. Then, because my wife likes such programs and I wanted to keep her company (I can be nice like that!), I watched the E! repeat broadcast of arrivals to the ceremony. I enjoyed seeing the fashion, however hated the inane banter and foolish questions.
Not surprisingly, I did not agree with Time’s “expert” judgment on “worst”. I liked a few, although a few were dodgy. And, anyone can wear whatever they wish, as long as they feel comfortable physically or emotionally. Of course, many wear only what they are told to wear, but I won’t get into that subject. There is no reason for anyone else to have an opinion (beyond human nature). So, shut up...
Your word today is Meinung, which means “opinion”.
Those that follow my daily garbage might have noticed that I have a few. Which leads me to my rant for the day: I rarely care about other people’s opinions. Unfortunately, news organizations have come to believe that they will not survive unless they fill their ration of my time with miscellaneous opinions of people, which they collect via email, Twitter, Facebook, or any other of these new “social” media menaces. I want news (which is already biased), not a fatuous statement from some insignificant idiot (no matter how pleasant and well-meaning). I do not want others to tell news organization what stories interest them; I expect highly paid editors to do that. After all, we are still submitted to bad advertising to pay that salary.
I tend to agree with the words of Maggie Smith’s character in Downton Abbey, when taking about girls having opinions: “When she marries, her husband will tell her what opinions she is allowed to have.” What would characters like that have to say about Twitter? Probably the same things I say...
Back to the word of the day: If you tear the word Meinung apart, the first part is mein or “mine”. Some might be familiar with the word from such classics as Mein Kampf, by everyone’s (all Republicans and talk show blabberers, I mean) favorite, our buddy Adolph, or the song in Cabaret, where Liza/Sally entices some guy called Mein Herr. Regardless of German or English, everyone is entitled to his or hers: just don’t try to make it mine.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.