Is that your final answer?

Am I going to have to simply start announcing to people “That’s two really shitty arguments now. Do you REALLY want to risk a third? I want you to THINK about what you’re bringing as an argument. Seriously? Think it through, around, and,over. Try to GROK what you’re talking about before you offer it up. Seriously stop and consider what the other person has said.

I realized today how may people don’t bother to respond to questions because they’re so busy thinking of the next thing to say. I don’t let ’em get away with it. If I ask a question, it’s generally not rhetorical. This is where you explain your reasoning. If I consider it good reasoning, even if I didn’t initially agree with the end result, I credit it. And I will consider it. My wife does it all the time. You make me see something I didn’t think of, and something thousands of people haven’t tried to throw into the argument in the past,and you get credit for it.

I don’t generally judge people for anything that doesn’t affect the health and wellbeing of other people or the rest of the world upon which we live. In fact, I give a lot of leeway for things like cultural conditioning and, frankly, the elements still remaining from our troubled evolution.

But the one thing I find it almost impossible to tolerate is lazy thinking and the subsequent lazy arguments it tends to produce. It is that, rather than the disagreement, that gets people blocked.

I’m a very reasonable person. I just hold the bar higher than a lot of people. I tend to think everyone’s capable of higher reason. We all have some conceptual intelligence. Even people with mental disabilities are capable of deep insights if they spend enough time considering a subject. And we’ve all seen enough to show how many Down’s Syndrome citizens are truly gifted with great emotional intelligence.

There are many kinds of intelligence. But if you’re going to be out here on the web arguing your point of view, if you don’t bother to really consider your arguments you’re wasting everyone’s time. And I have the eerie feeling I don’t have the time to waste.

Advertisements

Oh, Orkan, my Orkan.

I was 12 when Mork from Ork premiered. It was the last year of my official “childhood” and provided a bright light in a dark time. Mork was the ultimate outsider, a weird alien who didn’t see things the same way as everyone around him.

I can’t begin to describe how well I related to this funny little man. It gave me a sort of strength I didn’t have before. Yeah, I might be weird, but weird isn’t necessarily bad. Weird can be an advantage.

I’d already learned things from my books. Things like “leave others their otherness.” But to see someone on television play such an outsider, someone as baffled by human behavior as I was, gave me something I hadn’t really had. A message that maybe it’s okay to be the outsider. Maybe there’s something to find out there that isn’t available to everyone.

So that’s the first thing I thought of when I heard of Robin Williams’s death. Mork from Ork. The little alien who landed on Earth and infiltrated our hearts. The alien that dared to question war, racism, sexism, and just man’s weirdest traits in general. I know he’s gone and done so many other things for which he’s known, but I remember, first and foremost, the comedian who guest-starred on Happy Days a couple of times before appearing on Laverne and Shirley and getting his own show not long afterward.

Goodbye, Sir. May whatever lay behind the veil give you more peace than you had in life. We will sorely miss your energy and humor.