(contents may offend - well the odd word here and there...)
It's been a pet hate of mine for years, the way that [many] people feel the need to think less of someone for what they believe over and above that someones actions.
If I'm a demonstrably decent person, what difference does it make whether I think that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything or not? If I think we should reincarnate Atilla the Hun and let him rule the known universe, who cares as long as I don't actually make it happen? I like blue and would probably vote labour if there was ANY candidate worth having. Does that have any bearing at all on my ability to create beautiful things?
I have some slightly odd beliefs. Not to mention a slightly skewed moral set. I'm also nice to animals and volunteer at the local Primary School. Which has more value when you judge me? I could say why are you judging me, but face it we all do it. I'd just rather people were a bit less dissmissive of 'good' and a bit more tolerant of 'bad' (I don't mean good or bad of course I mean agrees/disagrees with me or, I can/can't relate to).
But this is not about me - in fact most people I know DO take me at face value despite the constantly changing hair colour and obsession with World of Warcraft. But I watch people blow stuff out of all proportion every day. And god (don't ask WHICH god) knows I've started any number of bitchslapfights with my strange need to discuss ideas. The exchange of ideas should be a beautiful thing. But humanities greed and insecurity conspire to make the free exchange of ideas a timebomb, at zero someone decides that you've said something personally offensive about their beliefs and BOOM. It's a very special kind of time bomb too because it can go off multiple times, and can lie in wait for long periods before randomly going off again.
There's a scale to these things of course. There's worlds of difference between ("I think everyone should wear a purple ribbon tomorrow to express their sympathy at my suffering Fibromyalgia" - "I totally can't wear purple you tool, it clashes with my hair") and say ("I'm thinking of voting RIGHT at the next election" - "OMG all right-side voters are baby eaters, I can't believe you advocate eating babies!") Oddly I can live with the first, but get this tingly thing going on in my (fingertips, lips, whichever bit is most appropriate) at the second... It actually matters not a single bit to me whose side I might have more sympathies with I'll always defend the non douchebag. The more the assailant thrashes about, the more I feel the need to reach for a stone and sharpen my wit. I won't go as far as AGREEING with someone just because they have a douchebag in their face (now THERE'S an image) of course. Tell the dickhead FUUSE4aPWN* though, that I'll do. Or just saying hey I think that guys an AFC*, sorry you had to put up with that - that I'll do.
It's the differences in life that make it interesting. If you have too much in common with someone your relationship with them is almost bound to become stale very quickly. (Did I just hear the sound of divorce lawyers salivating? - forget it I'm not a fucking clairvoyant, and my opinion is unlikely to affect the numbers.) Celebrate the differences of opinion. Enjoy them. Don't sweat them.
*Acronyms courtesy of Rtmiss' dictionary of abuse (translations available on request) I have a million more. Well I will when I've made them up.
-contrary to limited opinion this has not been written in response to one incident, but many.
-Yes Charlotte the baby eaters bit was especially for you. Thought it was only fair the 'darkside' wore that one this time.
-All opinions expressed here are mine. Don't like'em? Fuck you. Nah really, feel free to disagree your brains out, just don't expect to change my mind.
-Almost all examples in this were MADE UP so don't feel the need to be a douchebag OK?
-I really do have Fibromyalgia, among other things, but I don't need you to wear a purple ribbon. Please don't, it'll make you look stupid.