Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Escaping conventional wisdom

You know those opinions you hold but no one else shares? The ones at which people gasp and say, ‘You can’t possibly believe that!’ Well it is - precisely those - opinions that help define you. Covet them, for they are you.
            Herewith a dozen of my opinions with which most people disagree:

            • The best-ever host of The Tonight Show was Jack Paar. Carson had longevity but Paar was electric.

            • Today’s America is as polarized as it’s been at any time since the Civil War.

            • We should still have tented circuses. The indoor kind just aren’t the same.

            • In baseball, 3 balls should be a walk. Watching pitcher and catcher toss the ball back and forth is tedious.

            • Two gentlemen who would man well the office of U.S. President: Jeb Bush, Evan Bayh.

            • Jonathan Winters was the funniest man ever.

            • Want to rebel against something? How about the necktie. What earthly good do they do? They’re not even decorative since most are absurdly mismatched.

            • People should have more arguments. Used as a cordial learning tool, arguing is how ideas get examined. Granted arguments can turn toxic, but they needn’t, given civilized ground rules.

            • The best American movie ever was 1953s From Here to Eternity based on James Jones’ novel. Ironically, it was made by a minor league studio – Columbia – but rarely does a picture so honestly capture a story’s ethos.

            • The all-time silliest American fad was the Twist. It was grotesquely awkward and unappealing to watch or perform.

            • Whatever happened to music? You know – pleasant songs with lyrics like I’m in the Mood for Love.’

            Sean Connery is the definitive James Bond. Connery’s secret: Have fun with the character who is, at essence, comedic.

            So, when that moment comes in which you deliver a thoughtful opinion that’s greeted with derision, you may be taken as a naysayer or an eccentric. Maybe so. But you also have intellectual courage.

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