Monday, September 21, 2009

Kind of - Sort of

How does one describe themselves or another person in a one sentence summary? The wife and I have always described out youngest son as “not suffering fools gladly” which describes and fits him to a tee. I am a little bit more forgiving of stupidity in action and thoughts then he is. The writer John Elson was described in Time as:
He had eclectic interests and a skepticism that had no patience for cant or showboating.
OK, that kind of – sort of – fits me, only a little more gruff then how I think of myself, plus I don’t know what the word “cant” means so that leaves me a bit unsure.

Now my wife, who knows (and reminds me) how poor my early education was, probably can give me the definition plus its proper use as well as its antonym (yea I know what that means – just did not know how to spell it). But for me, I had to look it up only to find there are a number of possibilities that could describe the behavior in question. So I settled on four:
  1. An affected, singsong mode of speaking.
  2. The idioms and peculiarities of speech in any sect, class, or occupation.
  3. The use of religious phraseology without understanding or sincerity; empty, solemn speech, implying what is not felt; hypocrisy.
  4. Vulgar jargon; slang; the secret language spoken by gypsies, thieves, tramps, or beggars.
Well because he wrote the Time article “Is God Dead” I am going to settle on the third one, since I seriously doubt he had much encounters with gypsies, tramps and thieves other than from Cher. So now that I know what “cant” means, I can really see if that fits me as well, and my answer is yes, yes it does, kind of - sort of.

I had a turn-around in my thinking not so long ago when I started asking myself the “why” behind the speech or action encountered. There is always a “why”, and if it what is being said is not done out of purity of thought, nobility, pursuit of a higher understanding, caring, or is not factual, then I have little patience for it.

I do not believe, as does Bill Maher, that people are stupid. I believe that they are manipulated into believing certain things as fact because they do not ask the “why” behind it. Stupid people, therefore, are those that have been shown the why or given credible information and still adhere to their old beliefs. Creationists can fall into this category, not because they believe God created life but because they refuse to accept how it came about.

I don’t know how I will have my persona summed up one day. Stupid people will call me a liberal socialist bleeding heart religion hater simply because I do not espouse their simpleminded take on what is good and virtuous and I blog about it. Am I any of those things? Well kind of –sort of – but not really. I am really just a person trying to understand my world and the other people who live in it with me. For me, at this point 50 years into the game, all I can say about myself is that I can’t accept things without knowledge of the “why.”

So why spend time writing this silly blog that no one reads? Well, why not!


Shelley said...

"Poor" early education, not "poorly" ;)

And I didn't know what "cant" meant, so there!

Jeff said...

See! I rest my case! Corrected.