Nobody cares what you think
In this week’s column, MILO EDWARDS doesn’t care what you think
Opinions are like arseholes: they’re usually full of shit and I don’t want to hear about yours, especially not on Facebook.
You’re still entitled to your opinions; feel free to love The X-Factor, hate religion and find Angela Merkel curiously arousing all you want, just bear in mind that nobody needs to hear about it.
I also don’t mean that you can’t share views with a close friend or family member, those people have already made their peace with your short-comings. I mean, let’s face it: those drawings you did as a kid were shit, but your mum let that slide because life was hard enough and she was still eight hours away from her first glass of chablis.
There may even be times when you’ve got something insightful or interesting to share, like a cool article or an amusing observation or a well-researched, nuanced and substantiated point about current affairs. People are happy to hear things that are informative, relevant or interesting to them in some way, but those things are typically not going to be your opinions.
The only people who want to hear your pure opinions are people who already agree with you, and there’s no point in engaging with that sort of pseudo-intellectual circle-jerk which is clogging up my news feed and preventing me getting down to important goat videos.
“But – I’m at Cambridge! People have to listen to my poorly thought out ideas!”
Yep, they’re called supervisors. Save it for the essay mate.
I could not be more bored with people I haven’t asked telling me about their political views, and/or plastering them all over facebook. Whilst I’m sure the UN are searching tirelessly for solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, I somehow doubt that extends to trawling the facebook profile of some jumped-up nineteen-year-old from Surrey, with New Balance trainers and an unread copy of Das Kapital. But then again, it’s only one of the most complex, divisive and long-running conflicts in history, how hard can it be?
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you don’t know more about it than your peers, you don’t need to tell them about it; and even if you do, you still usually look like a cock. A way to tell if you don’t know more than your peers is examining whether your ‘insight’could be worked out by an averagely intelligent person with a quick google; if it could, then what you’ve got there isn’t an ‘insight’, it’s basic reading comprehension skills. We did that at Key Stage Three. Do you see anyone asking year nines about international politics? Do you fuck.
If you’re going to offer a political opinion, do some actual research: read a book or a party manifesto or something other than a Buzzfeed article entitled ’18 Unsubstantiated Political Opinions Every Undergraduate Should Have’.
By far the worst thing, though, is repetitiously attaching political dogma to things that anyone who already understands the basic tenets of your view will have worked out for themselves. Someone recently asked me what I thought of The Big Bang Theory (limp US comedy, not astrophysical conjecture), and I said I thought it was shit. I felt like that conversation could have ended there, but instead she said:
“Yeah, but I think it’s really problematic.”
“In the sense that it’s shit?”
“No, problematic for feminism.”
“Well the female characters are really shit.”
“ALL the characters are shit. It’s shit. We established this six sentences ago.”
My point here isn’t that she shouldn’t point out misogynistic overtones in American TV, but I think there were much bigger and more important incidences she could have cited, like that time CNN covered the Steubenville rape case, rather than a sitcom with lame female stereotypes, when the whole show is constructed from lame stereotypes. Watch it for five minutes. I dare you. Are you back? Cool.
So I’m not saying don’t have an opinion, I’m just saying if you express one publicly try to make sure it’s interesting or at least well researched so that people can engage with it constructively.
And no, I don’t want to see a picture of your cat.