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Insight by Night - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
June 2nd, 2003
02:12 am


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Insight by Night
I've just returned from a delightful evening full of superb poetry shared with a friend. Perhaps poetry engenders mental acuity, perhaps I've just finally ruminated enough and it was ready, but here's tonight's insight:

I seem to have somehow turned people's discourse (style of discourse, if you don't wish to objectify 'discourse') into a moral issue, or at least to have promoted it to similar status. As most of you know, I am rather serious about morals, and it is easy to lose my respect through what I perceive to be moral faults. But somehow, I just now realize, there are people, friends and acquaintances, whose discourse I disapprove of to some extent, and who consequently pay a price in "my book" in terms of respect.

That's a terrible thing, I think. I'm not sure it's terrible to disrespect certain kinds of discourse -- until now I've been fairly confident that it isn't terrible -- but given that I do respect these people, based on many qualities I find in them, it seems wrong to transmute disrespect for their discourse into disrespect for their persons. I know people who, for instance, regularly pirate music -- an act I vehemently disapprove of -- and while I think this act of theirs is despicable, and occasionally strike up an argument about it, I do manage to keep it from staining their other qualities in my mind. But discourse, self-expression, both written and spoken, that I happen to disagree with or object to, somehow, sometimes (too often!), manages to seriously lower people's stock with me.

I don't think it's right. I shall strive to mend. In the meantime, and for injustice past, I sincerely apologize.

Current Mood: guilty

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2003 07:43 pm (UTC)
Second paragraph: Are you me? No, really. That's eerie. (I even use "disapprove" in the same way, though seldom in public, because I don't want to have to explain myself.)

[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2003 11:52 pm (UTC)

Down the drain with the "Current mood"

I think that being able to pinpoint such qualities in yourself is admirable. Better late than never, and better self-noticed than pointed to you by a hurt individual from the outside.

Also, if I may humbly remark, most people don't even notice that lack-of-respect-due-to-style-of-discourse of yours; And knowing how seriously you take these self-judging notions, this will get dramatically better from now on, so let go of the guilt. I think you should be truly proud of yourself for having noticed it and chosen to do something about it. I sure am.

[User Picture]
Date:June 3rd, 2003 02:54 am (UTC)


I also have a problem with other people's mispronunciations, spelling, grammatical misbehavior, etc. However - for better and for worse - I'm far more light headed than you when it comes to moral issues.
I play Backgammon on the web. It is possible to discontinue the game without any warning and leave your opponent high and dry, just when he is finally winning. This is infuriating. Most people do that, yours truly as well. I wonder if it is possible for you to play Backgammon on the web. You should try.
[User Picture]
Date:June 3rd, 2003 03:24 am (UTC)

Re: Gravitas

By 'discourse' I did not mean spelling or grammar mistakes necessarily; certainly not exclusively those. I am quite tolerant of the mistakes themselves. It's the attitude that I sometimes have issue with. People who can spell but just don't give a damn about making their texts more readable. People who don't bother with the Shift key. These attitudes get to me.

But by discourse I do not exclusively mean the formal aspects of language, but very much the content as well: rhetoric, style, reasoning.

I don't like the Backgammon phenomenon you describe. It seems to me a matter of common courtesy to respect the tacit agreement with a fellow human being, be they anonymous or not, and to finish a game you both chose to share. I wouldn't like to play in such an environment if that behavior's common there, even if I were partial to Backgammon and had the time.
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