My New Home

Friday, December 14, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4

1. This song is awesome.

2. Feist is awesome.

3. This video is especially awesome. It's one continuous, unbroken shot with enough choreography to give Debbie Allen an aneurysm. There's no editing. No CGI. And apparently no limit to the twists, turns, and loop-the-loops the camera can perform. Watch carefully and be amazed that they could pull this off in one take.

4. I've come to a discouraging realization about why people argue. I'm talking about all arguments from personal bickering and lively discussions to online debates or legal proceedings. We (and by we I mean society) don't argue to defend the things we believe in. We're not upholding the ideals on which our lives are founded. We aren't being loyal to our besmirched friends. We aren't nudging our verbal combatants toward some altruistic point of development. When a statement or idea offends us or just strikes us as untrue, what compels us to rebut? We're defending ourselves and attacking others.

I'll leave the collective we for now. I like being right. I hate being wrong. I really don't think I'm alone in this. I admit, I like proving other people wrong. It is one of life's great guilty pleasures to show that the Wrong people are, in fact, wrong. I really don't care about the topic. Sure, there are topics I care about more than others, but if I'm honest with myself, the thing that's most important to me about the topics I hold dear is the simple fact that I care. If the voice of God were to call down from Heaven and say, "The Democrats have it right," or "The designated hitter really was a good idea," to me the great personal tragedy would not be the years of unwise policy and unnecessary pitcher at bats. No, no, the horror of it all would be recognizing that all these years I had been wrong.

Being wrong feels bad. Being right feels okay. Proving other people wrong feels the best of all. That's what every argument boils down to. I'm convinced. And it's so easy, because being wrong is what we do best! There will never be any shortage of wrongness in this world. That's the reason there are so many books. Every self-help book ever written can be summed up in four words: "You're wrong. Ha ha."

Here's where it gets real good. You have a limited array of options. You could disagree with me and tell me how I'm wrong. You could tell me that arguments are great opportunities for drawing people together in a common quest for truth, a journey toward righteousness along the path of enlightenment. You could shoot down any number of my observations and conclusions. You could prove me wrong. (Feels good, doesn't it?)

Or you could disagree with me and internalize it. You won't fall for my little trap. Maybe you've already stopped reading, I don't know. But deep inside you know that this argument is so ridiculous, I'm such a blathering idiot, that continuing the discussion is in and of itself an insipid exercise in futility. By not commenting, you're doing the right thing. And I'm sooo wrong. (Mmmmm.)

I guess another option would be that you see my point, but you see it from a far less cynical point of view. The opportunity is there to argue with good intentions and avoid the pitfalls of self-serving egotistical rhetoric. If we can all humbly, honestly discuss matters (including this very topic) we can arrive at a higher plane of understanding. Oh, wouldn't that just feel good for all of us? (Especially the delightful admission of Adam's wrongness. Tricky, huh?)

Your only other option, as I see it (maybe I'm wrong, and wouldn't that just tickle you) is to agree with me. Grab a firm hold of the concept of total human depravity. Realize that everybody is utterly, completely, thoroughly wrong. About everything. The good feeling of that one might subside when you realize that you're included in that group; that the only person who was ever really right died for our wrongness; that the Word of God is not a reminder of how right we are but of how wrong; that even our understanding of the Bible is tempered by habitual wrongness; that the illumination of the Holy Spirit seems to be in constant struggle against our willful love for personally generated rightness that is the most wrong thing about us; that being right is never of ourselves.

Never mind. I'll just sit over here being wrong and enjoy the video.


  1. Feist IS awesome. There is nothing to argue there. And I just saw all this info on VHI today as I was sitting comatose, detoxing from a final exam I took this morning, on the "Best of 2007 Videos" show. Her voice is, like, smoooooooooth.

    As for arguing, I tend to agree with you. And I don't think it's b/c you (or I for that matter) are cynical. The only reason we need to argue is because we get things wrong, and live in a world that is so intricately "wronged". We're all damaged, and prideful, and self-absorbed. Otherwise, even someone trying to prove us wrong would be argument-less, because we wouldn't argue the point. We'd all see the truth and embrace it. Only in heaven...won't that be nice...

    This is the heart of what I'll be doing someday. I will be defending the rights of abused children, cheated-on wives, old people who no one cares about, and hopefully some Chinese kids whose parents don't want them and are willing to send them overseas to loving parents. And there will be very few times where, even in the most BLATANT of cases, I will skate through a proceeding unscathed. Someone will almost always claim I'm wrong, no matter how obvious it is to the contrary. The fact that our legal system necessitates that people engage in these proceedings with attorneys who are looking after their interests may have some transcendental value (depending on the case) from the point of a disinterested attorney, but at the very heart, each party is only arguing to prove they are right and the other is wrong.

    So you are right. Which camp does my answer put me in, again? Hopefully the good one...

  2. I think legal arguing is my favorite for that very reason. It's the one arena where bias is mandatory. Being able to say, "It's not my job to be open minded; it's my job to prove you wrong" sounds like a lot of fun. Not worth going to law school, but I can live vicariously through Boston Legal. :)

  3. I love that video, too. Surprisingly Feist is one of Jeff's favorites (thanks to my suggestion of course.) I'd like to have her over for dinner sometime and maybe we could make up our own dance.



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