So, the Daniel Tosh thing.
I don't want to talk about that. (Take a deep breath...and go back to the actual thread on that topic if that's what you want to talk about--this isn't that.)
Simply put, I know what I think about the topic. On Twitter, in responses on a couple of Facebook posts and in small ways here on AST, I've expressed my feelings on the topic--and I have strong NUANCED opinions on the topic...based on everything I could learn on the incident married with my own knowledge, experience and sensitivity.
And I'm getting unreasonably angry with close friends of mine, friends who I know are intelligent, experienced and sensitive people, who have very strong and, evidently, not nearly as nuanced opinions on the topic that don't agree with mine (most on one side of the argument--though there are a few that are taking things far too far in the other direction...bleaaaahhh.)
Now, normally...when my smart friends disagree with me, I find that's a good reason for me to re-examine my own thoughts. If people that I know and respect have a very different opinion than mine...I will often take another look at the topic, add their perspective to my own...and perhaps find a different color or shade of the argument that builds a more perfect model of the argument that feels right in my head and my heart.
...but that's not happening in this case.
In fact, I'm questioning my continued friendship with certain people.
No--that's not it.
I'm questioning my direct linkage through certain social networking sites to some people...because I don't want to be angry with them because I strongly disagree with how they're reacting to something.
And that bothers me.
I'm one of those people who does not want to merely surround myself with people who agree with me. I don't want to tune in only to the news that mirrors my worldview. At the same time, I'm not interested in the endless debate...where the only goal is to win. I don't want a pointless argument made just to score points.
No, I'm much more interested in the discussion that leads to a better understanding...and I had one of those, in the middle of all of this stuff.
A friend of mine, a young, female hope-one-day-to-be-a-comedian posted a link to one of the "Daniel Tosh is a rape-enabling asshole" posts and stated her strong agreement with that take on the situation. Now, this is someone who started her comedy career by taking a class that I teach...so, perhaps I felt that role allowed me to make a "devil's advocate" post as a reply to her Facebook wall post. And it lead to a dialogue on the topic between us. A friendly "I know where you're coming from, but don't you think this?" kind of dialogue.
And I think that both of our opinions changed colors, if perhaps only by a few shades...but we ended our discussion very certain that we're still good friends.
...but I can't do that with everyone.
And then I recognized that if I really believed what I think I believe, I shouldn't have to.
I mean, I don't need to agree with everyone about everything...and it's not up to me to make other people agree with me, or even that people should stop saying things that people disagree with.
And that's actually a major part of my take on the whole Tosh situation...
So...it comes to this. I've read what you've had to say. Your perspective has informed my own--even if I continue to strongly disagree with your reading of what happened. I'd rather not continue to have the evidence of your disagreement filling my Facebook news feed...and I'd rather not be painted, somehow, as "pro-rape" for disagreeing with you...but I also recognize the tragic irony of feeling uncontrollable emotional reactions to you expressing your opinions.
I'm going to try really hard not to block some of my friends--especially those whose jobs depend on their getting people to react strongly to what they write. I'm going to try not to merely reflexively launch into ranty responses that they won't care to reasonably consider...why waste people's time...as it doesn't matter enough to me that they know that I feel differently than they do. I'm going to try to keep my mind open, to review the full spectrum of information and continue to make my own decisions...and try not to care so much if others don't come to the same conclusions that I do.
And that's going to be hard. Because this is the internet. And maybe sometimes we shouldn't know everyone's opinion on everything.
(And yes, I fully recognize the tragic irony of having just said that as well.)
PS--In starting this thread, I'm not looking for people to continue the Tosh argument here. I think there's value in talking about how we talk about things...and why we do. If there's anything to say about that, then this is a good place to say them. If not...then this thread dies after this one post and fades into AST oblivion.
I just thought...if there was ever a place for a meta discussion on process, it'd be on AST. I'm more than willing to submit that I could easily be wrong about that.