Introducing Bee Semaan: An Opinion Piece on Opinion Pieces

Season of the Bliss welcomes contributor Bee Semaan, who’ll give this blog some much needed insanity and random musings. Here’s her first article, which is entitled:

An Opinion Piece on Opinion Pieces

(Way to acknowledge and debunk the irony in 6 words – woohoo!)

funny-festival-sign

Anybody who speaks to me for two minutes quickly learns that I have an opinion. 30 seconds after that, they accurately deduce that I have an opinion about everything. And it’s true, I like to share – some will even accuse me of shoving my opinions down their throat (they are SO wrong).

What’s interesting is that this very subject is insidiously changing the social conversation. Allow me to explain.

We all know the saying, ‘everybody is entitled to their opinion’. What a tiresome comment. That’s someone pretty much saying, “I have no idea why I think what I do, but I do – so piss right off.”

That’s the failure of opinions. Everyone can have them and they can make no sense whatsoever. Or be dead wrong. Or be highly offensive, dangerous, idiotic, brilliant, misconstrued, misunderstood, emphatic, lazy – whatever. Yes, opinions can be whatever but above all they can be UNEDUCATED.

Aha! And therein lies the problem: the proliferation of ill-informed opinions polluting the social stratosphere. Before it was simply an endless and frustrating conversation with someone of differing or uneducated opinion. I could move on (albeit begrudgingly) after one such conversation was had. It was done and dusted, no consequence other than a lot of hot air and perhaps a few ruffled feathers.

But now it is public and is masquerading as information.

With the advent of social media and cheapskate channel owners (who can no longer be bothered paying actual writers to create stories for real actors to play out), we’re bombarded with ‘reality’ (*shudder*). And many of these reality TV shows are of a table-and-chairs variety where people do nothing but share their opinions.

Of course there’s the radio too – where loud-mouthed ‘shock jockeys’ are given airs (pun unintended). Or the hundreds of comments on any single online article, post, blog, video, advertisements, call to arms etc.

No longer is this conversation required to be researched, quantified, well thought out or even correct. Because they are entitled to their opinion, which is worrying given the media and the written word have traditionally been our main sources of information.

Yet, the lines continue to be blurred further. A lot more misinformation is making it to the limelight. The ill-informed are now DOMINATING the conversation.

Our culture worships idiots – I need not list any names (you’ve thought of five already) – who are dangerously hijacking the public sphere, or changing it to focus on inane things. And they’re adored because it reinforces people’s own ignorance – and justifies it… glorifies it… Hallelujah!

You can see how this dangerous game will create a slippery slope, a cycle that will one day spiral out of control.

We have to remember to call people out on their opinions when their opinion is full of shit. Or we really have to start drowning them out.

But we are all entitled to an opinion, I can hear my detractors chant. We are all entitled to an opinion!

To which I respond: Well yes, technically we are. But just be aware of what you’re saying about the world and about you.

But we are all entitled to an opinion!

Well yes, but stating it in a place where people cannot respond with their own makes it an argument.

We are all entitled to…

Well yes, but wisest is she who knows she knows nothing.

We are all…

Well yes, but have you thought about this at all?!

We…

Well yes, but as my sister likes to say: ‘Hitler had a f#%king opinion!’

Yep. Thought so.

~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed my introduction. You can expect plenty more rants from me, which I’ll use to sound off about current events of all shapes and sizes, especially Feminism, Arabism, Australianism and Dubaism (this would all make sense if you knew me – get involved!).

Of course I won’t just rant away. I’m capable of toning it down long enough to write a movie review or reminisce in more melancholic prose too.

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