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When you disagree with your 'group'...

Rick Fielding 25 Mar 01 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 25 Mar 01 - 11:34 PM
paddymac 25 Mar 01 - 11:34 PM
Amos 26 Mar 01 - 12:38 AM
Big Mick 26 Mar 01 - 12:38 AM
Sorcha 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 AM
Callie at work 26 Mar 01 - 02:49 AM
BEK 26 Mar 01 - 02:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 01 - 03:01 AM
bbc 26 Mar 01 - 05:40 AM
gnu 26 Mar 01 - 06:03 AM
mkebenn 26 Mar 01 - 06:48 AM
Midchuck 26 Mar 01 - 07:37 AM
hesperis 26 Mar 01 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,kendall 26 Mar 01 - 08:30 AM
catspaw49 26 Mar 01 - 08:32 AM
MichaelM 26 Mar 01 - 08:35 AM
Midchuck 26 Mar 01 - 09:02 AM
MichaelM 26 Mar 01 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Paul Miller 26 Mar 01 - 09:25 AM
Dahlin 26 Mar 01 - 09:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 26 Mar 01 - 11:21 AM
Rick Fielding 26 Mar 01 - 11:29 AM
DougR 26 Mar 01 - 11:33 AM
catspaw49 26 Mar 01 - 11:39 AM
Art Thieme 26 Mar 01 - 12:04 PM
katlaughing 26 Mar 01 - 12:21 PM
Mrrzy 26 Mar 01 - 12:25 PM
Grab 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,kendall 26 Mar 01 - 01:46 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM
Mrrzy 26 Mar 01 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 26 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 01 - 02:15 PM
DougR 26 Mar 01 - 04:51 PM
Amos 26 Mar 01 - 05:27 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Mar 01 - 05:53 PM
John Hardly 26 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM
Amos 26 Mar 01 - 06:00 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 06:04 PM
DougR 26 Mar 01 - 06:09 PM
Amergin 26 Mar 01 - 06:12 PM
John Hardly 26 Mar 01 - 06:17 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,kendall 26 Mar 01 - 06:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 01 - 07:19 PM
katlaughing 26 Mar 01 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 11:00 PM

Two out of the last three threads I've started have been "non-music" ones. Forgive me, but I just read something in another thread that really intrigued me. It's a sensitive issue so I won't elaborate, but it's closely connected to something that I experience occasionally.

Most (certainly not all) of my friends and acquaintances are of very liberal nature (no surprise there) and often (to me) seem to "think as a block" when it comes to social and political issues. I LIKE their company, I WANT their friendship, and I want them to feel the same about me.

Sometimes it's a bit of a strain on some of them that I smoke, eat meat, and can be a bit too "quick with a quip". No real problem, 'cause they know my heart's in the right place, but when I read that a prostitute with AIDS is free to continue spreading the disease, "because she has rights", I'm apalled at how "my side" defend these "rights".

When a Toronto female serial torturer and killer (she even participated in the filming and murder of her younger sister) is widely defended as "an abused spouse" by Women's groups, I'm ready to be sick....No I'm not. I simply lose all respect for those groups...As I did when their American equivalents refused to even criticize the President for his abominable behaviour.....simply because "he was better for women than the alternative".

There is no way I could ever support a conservative agenda, for dozens of reasons, but on these two issues my position is clearly on that "side". I simply cannot believe that thinking people with any degree of objectivity left would support someone's "rights" when that person has abused them so callously. But many do. If they didn't, they'd be in trouble with their "group"...and I truly believe we NEED our "group".

I don't have a solution, or even a suggestion. For my part, I keep my mouth shut around the folks I care about, when it's plain we disagree strongly, but it's not a comfortable fit sometimes.

Rick


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 11:34 PM

Rick, you make some excellent points. It reminds me of a saying my mother once said, "your rights stop at the end of my nose." Ethical behavior should cut both ways, regardless of political leaning. Some folks reason themselves into a box and refuse to see that.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: paddymac
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 11:34 PM

I appreciate you dilemna, Rick, as I experience the same thing from time to time. Sometimes, the herd instinct works to stiffle objective discussion of sensitive topics, which benefits no one. It's a variant on the "PC" theme. Some folks just don't want, or are incapable of rational discussion where their core beliefs are concerned. In my view, the habits of not talking and not thinking go hand in hand, in the same way as talking and thinking. I note, too, the vast difference between "talking", as in a considered (and considerate) discussion of a topic, and "talking", as in a shouting match where the group berates and belittles the nofconformist, not so much for the question raised as for the mere fact that he or she has disturbed the comfortable equilibrium be daring to not blindly conform.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Amos
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:38 AM

There's always a fine balance between communicating effectively (meaning to start with in a way that others will be able to experience!) and biting your tongue. Sometimes silence is a temptation, but sometimes being silent in the face of insanity is corrosive. Trick is to find a way to say what needs to get said without starting a ruction. I've found it is usually worth the effort. I think choosing to communicate is generally the right path. Agreement is well and good; but communication is more important. Bottling it up isn't the best answer, at least not at all times. Sometimes asking the right question is the perfect answer. If you can think of it!

A


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:38 AM

I understand this one completely. My opinion is that a real liberal always questions. Status Quo is never what a real liberal is about. I find myself in the same position as my buddy Rick often. My liberal friends, and they are my friends, find my questioning nature to be a good thing..............as long as I am not questioning their sacred cows. As many of you know, I am somewhat well connected in Democratic circles. But I did, and will continue to question former President Clinton's judgement in certain areas. That is not to say that I don't reject completely the hippocrates like Dan Burton and company. I just find it very hard to rationalize his behaviour.

Another area that I find myself in conflict is gun control. Abortion is another. While my views on these wouldn't be considered right wing, they are still not lockstep with my brothers and sisters on the left wing bandwagon either. In fact, it is often more difficult to discuss this with my "allies" than with my adversaries. I guess my place in it all is to continue to challenge the premises that we build our day to day life and actions on. It seems to me that when the dreamers cease to question, they become trapped in the old "purity of thought" snare. But if there are people out there willing to keep the questioning going, then we have a chance to make a difference. What a friggin' ramble this was, eh Rick?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 AM

"Lines" are getting more and more blurred, aren't they? I don't think any of us can honestly say "I am Liberal" or "I am Conservative" anymore.......with some things, I am very Liberal; others, the older I get the more conservative I am...........How about, "I am a Liberal Conservative"???


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Callie at work
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:49 AM

I think that if people have certain political leanings and CONSEQUNETLY keep in line with 'status-quo' opinions regarding a SPECIFIC issue, then it's just as fatal as being a narrow-minded religious zealot.

An interesting case (which mixes metaphors a wee bit) is when one hears progressive thinkers openly damning organised religion in the presence of Christians who are also comrades. What does this say about the condemner?

I agree that it can be easier to agree with your allies than your political/philosophical opponents. When you believe someone to be like-minded and then there is a point of contention, it's trickier to argue.

Keeping speaking up Rick! If your friends love you, they'll know you're just contributing to a discussion and that it's not a personal attack.

Callie


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: BEK
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:52 AM

How about I'm a battlescarred INDIVIDUALIST. I choose what's right for me from BOTH sides of the menu? I like people of different value systems, faiths, races, because they add spice to my life.

Aside from 'he/she makes me laugh,' one of the best things I can say about a person is that 'he/she makes me THINK.'

We all have that duty to our friends and loved ones. Whether they respect us for it in the morning is their choice.

Speak up, Rick, as kindly as you can, acknowledging that others have different opinions and do have rights to them.

Who knows? There may be other people in your 'group' who agree with you and are afraid to speak out. You might not be quite as 'homogenized' as you think!


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:01 AM

That's one of the benefits of friendship - the abilty to hold different views without 'falling out'. I have very close friends who hold views similar to mine on many things, but are compltely opposite on others. We have many an happy hour discussing the differences and we would be very bored (and boring) if we agreed on everything.

Don't hold back, Rick. If they are real friends you will be able to discuss these things without damaging your relationship. You may well find some of them hold the same views but were frightened of not seeing the Emperors now clothes... And if any of them do take offense they were not worth having as friends anyway!

It's all part of this huge role play we call life...;-)

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: bbc
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:40 AM

Thanks for this one, Rick. I think the main "problem" is that we are each individuals, coming at things from our own personalities & experiences. These color how we see issues, making it very hard to pigeonhole us in one political box. As you know, Rick, I am coming from the largely conservative side, but I love & admire you just the same. I have some very liberal friends & sometimes we need to agree to disagree (Sometimes, we even need to agree to not discuss certain issues!), but we have enough sense to value the friendship of good folks.

Awake in NY & wondering if we really *will* get 2-4 inches of snow today,

bbc


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: gnu
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:03 AM

Sorcha.... I'd say your a Conservative Liberal, but that's just my opinion.

Good thread, Rick. Thought provoking, indeed. Going to put on another pot of tea and ponder.

gnu


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: mkebenn
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:48 AM

Rick, I think the operative phrase is "thinking in a block", or bloc, really. When you start taking issues in sets rather than as individual questions you have to make compromises to make them all fit together. Needed for a legislator, death for a free thinker. Never wore tags well myself. Mike


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Midchuck
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 07:37 AM

Give it up, Rick. It's no good. I've been trying for years. The herd instinct, and the mental impairment in most people that prevents them thinking in a one-dimensional spectrum, are just too strong.

Example: I go with the conservative position on gun control and the liberal position on abortion rights (both with some reservations), because I believe in maintaining individual liberty and individual responsibility, wherever possible. I get accused of contradicting myself, or of being a turncoat, by both sides. If you don't decide, first, whether you want to be a liberal or a conservative, and then determine your position on every issue by the party line, you'll never be trusted by 95% of the people. And the 5% that do trust you are the trouble makers.

Remember what old Willy had old Julie say? "He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous." We live in a culture that buys into that completely.

B***er the lot, says I.

Oh, and, by the way, you're a folk musician, so you're supposed to be a liberal. That saves you having to make that decision.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: hesperis
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 08:02 AM

It's hard on everyone, emotionally, but you have to be true to what you believe, no matter what your friends think you should believe. By all means, speak out!

Anytime I have remained silent in the face of other's opinions I have regretted it...


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 08:30 AM

After many a knock down, drag out discussion with people who build a belief, then defend it even when they know it is wrong, I came to the conclusion that it is less stressful and more productive to simply ask questions. Yesterday, a pair of Mormons came to my door peddling their book. After listening to part of their speech, one of them asked if I had any questions about the Mormon religeon. I said "Yes, why did Brigham Young order the massacre of 120 innocent pilgrims at Mountain Meadow back in 18something. They looked at each other and automatically denied it, even though neither had ever heard of it. Now, I dont have any problem with their religeous belief, but, I do have a problem with anyone who refuses to face facts just because it may weaken their belief. They vowed to check it out and get back to me. Well, look for "Blue boy" I'll be holding my breath. Old Maine proverb.."No amount of belief can create a fact." Rick, stick to your guns (no pun intended). Most of my good friends are "Liberals" but I disagree with them on a few things. That does not make us enemies. Love me, love my dog, I say.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 08:32 AM

On the other hand, I don't want to belong to any group that would have Kendall as a member..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: MichaelM
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 08:35 AM

In my twenties I left the Roman Catholic church. There were just too many things (papal infallibility, birth control, women priests and the whole "do what you're told" mentality) that I was unable to sign my name to. My parents and friends argued for a pragmatic approach (citing the obvious use of birth control in Catholic families) but I felt that the church demanded that a list of things be accepted without question. I felt that if you didn't believe in certain things you couldn't consider yourself Catholic.

The current P.C. agenda (not hidden, not secret, not threatening) has a parallel in church doctrine. It is difficult to pick and choose what you will and will not believe in. It is easy to simply accept the package. But sometimes the easy way is not the right way.

Parenthetically I find myself in an odd situation regarding the right-left labels. I am an amateur musician running a small corporation tha services the financial sector. My folkie friends think I'm the reincarnation of Genghis Khan while my business friends think I must be a communist. Isn't it interesting how much more comfortable both sides are if they can stuff me and my beliefs in to tight little box labelled "other"?


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Midchuck
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 09:02 AM

I am an amateur musician running a small corporation tha services the financial sector. My folkie friends think I'm the reincarnation of Genghis Khan while my business friends think I must be a communist. Isn't it interesting how much more comfortable both sides are if they can stuff me and my beliefs in to tight little box labelled "other"?

You been readin' my Goddam mail! Small-town real estate lawyer, town meeting Moderator, ex-president of the County Bar Association and the local Rotary Club...and semi-professional (stress on the "semi") folk music performer. Everyone (including me, some days) assumes I'm some kind of schizo.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: MichaelM
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 09:14 AM

Is there a group for people who don't want to belong to a group? Maybe the Mudcat is it.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,Paul Miller
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 09:25 AM

Dear Rick Fielding,

We've never really met in person, so I can't say that I'm in your group. I am a big fan of your music, I have both of your CD's, I've seen you perform several times and I listen to you on CIUT almost every week. I started coming to the Mudcat because I heard you talk about it.

Rick, don't you know what harm you are doing to yourself and to the people around you by smoking? PLEASE do whatever you can to stop. I want you to live and make music for many years to come. If you keep smoking, you'll probably die many years before your time.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to quit. I smoked from the age of 14 to the age of 43, almost thirty years. Once you get past the first week, you'll feel so much better. Your food will taste better. You won't stink like an ashtray.

Please Rick, please stop smoking. I know that I'm not the only one who does not want you to die before your time on earth is really done.

Sincerely,

Paul Miller


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Dahlin
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 09:30 AM

Rick

Good thought provoking thread. Two thoughts. A zealot is a zealot no matter the orientation. Civilized society survives only when people speak freely and openly about their beliefs. As others have already noted, I have lived my life trying not to be put in any "group". If all of my friends and family ever get together it would be a diverse group indeed.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM

Willy had old Julie say? "He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous

Well he was right in the case of Cassius actually, wasn't he? dead right with a dagger in his back?.. (That's just me being pedantic.)

When I opened this thread I assumed that it was going to be about disagreements with the people you play music with - how fast to play something, when to sing a particular song. The crucial thing there is whether the disagreements are really about the music, in which case working them out is just another aspect of playing really, pleasurable but at times stressful - or whether it's people playing power games, and genuine conflict.

The other thing I thought it might be about is maybe playing with people with whom you are likely to get into a disagreement any time you talk about anything other than music. And there the issue is whether the disagreement is painful and destructive, or abrasive but stimulating. And the crucial factor is whether there is mutual respect, both as regards the music and the opinions.

Well the thread's not exactly about either of those - but I think that thinking along those lines helps make it clearer for me. The key thing is, why am I part of this group? Does the disagreement get in the way of that?

I found years ago that there are very few people with whom I tend to agree across the board. And there's noone I seem to agree with all the way or all the time. Or damn few, and maybe that's only where we haven't yet identified where we differ.

I hate it to be assumed that just because I hold one view I also hold a set of others - as Vin Garbutt puts it ,

"Let's scrutinise the package deals we're offered,
Like anti-nuclear, save the whale, abortion on demand"

One reason I hate that is because that forces me to put the record straight at a stage when this will seem confrontational, rather than as an exchange of views and building of bridges.

The other side of that is, I always try to avoid doing that to other people (either assuming that they are going to agree with me, or assuming they are not going to). But it is so easy to fall into the way of it. If I've ever done that to people here, I apologise.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:21 AM

Yeah, I disagree with THIS group all the time! LOL!


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:29 AM

Wow! Thank YOU all for actually DISCUSSING this. Thought I'd get at least a few nasty flames (the day is young, but I live in hope..ha, ha!)

Some of the key points for me are that I DO need "that circle of friends". There are many aspects of my life that ARE lived 'separately', simply because of things like: no kids, weird hours, odd job/hobby/passion, lack of formal education, the aforementioned smoking (I hear you Paul, thanks for the concern), a really off-the-wall sense of what's funny, and an obsession for investigating both/all sides of an issue, before making up my mind.

I can relate somewhat to Kendall's asking pointed questions to folks who may not know their OWN history terribly well. But for me....I simply wouldn't be able to do that with friends. It would simply add a dynamic to our relationship that's probably not neccessary to MAINTAIN that relationship.

As usual, listening and talking to Mudcatters helps one sort things out (and NOT at 100 bucks an hour!!) and I'm beginning to think that "group", "circle", and "friends" are altogether different. Perhaps I (and some of us) tend to lump them all together. The folks I'm truly closest to, do indeed know pretty much how I think about everything. (how could they not? When I'm not being the distant introvert, I'm the Motor-mouth extrovert!) Gotta do some more thinking on this.....thanks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: DougR
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:33 AM

Good thread, Rick. I guess the question that has puzzeled me, particularly since I became a member of Mudcat, is why two people (or two groups of people) cannot have divergent opinions on ANY subject, and still remain friends.

DougR


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:39 AM

To be uncharacteristically serious, there are only personal answers to the question and I can't conceive of any standard answer to fit the situation. Though I believe we tend toward elements of "sameness" such as herd instincts, the 2% that makes us each individuals is critical to determine how we approach the question.

Like it or not, value judgements enter in to this, both of others and ourselves. Then we evaluate the relationship between the two. Although we may have had similar experiences, we are nonetheless different and each situation we encounter is different..........sometimes even with the same person. It isn't always a case of simply speaking up or remaining silent because in almost every case it isn't black or white, but instead some shade of gray.

I see no answer here. For me, everything is a judgement call at that moment and sometimes I make the "right" decision........other times not. I can only do my best to take the "evidence" into account and make the decision as to what to do accordingly.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:04 PM

So very many good folks seemingly cannot hear me when my life is lived and I say things all the time differently from their own strongly held beliefs and utterances. Why is this ? Possibly they just make room for me and our long-term friendship in their lives-----just like I make room for them because I love them all.

That is called maturity I think. Quite often I find myself wishing my own family had lived long enough for us all to put our anger and our differeences way back on a rear burner so we could just sit down and have a beer together. None of them did live that long. But my wife's family has survived---and we are now much more accepting and civil than we were when it felt so damn good to come down on them because we were right and they were wrong. I still feel I was (AM) right----but I know, now, that it just does not matter.

For the longest time I was member of Amnesty International and also, in favor of the death penalty. Now, I'm against the death penalty------but I'd be willing to pull the lever on John Wayne Gacey (the serial killer) or on Timothy McVeyh (spelling) any day of the week.

Economically and socially and politically, I'm a Socialist but vote Democrat so I don't throw away my vote on a no-win candidate.

Art Thieme

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:21 PM

Well it is no secret that I am pretty liberal and vocal about it, but I think I've learned a lot, since coming to the Mudcat, about the gray areas Spaw mentions and I agree with him. I don't always wear my heart on my sleeve, anymore, and I try to be careful what I say around certain folks in the 3D world. I choose my *battles* more carefully as it just doesn't seem worth expending a lot of energy unless there is hope of meeting halfway on divisive issues.

One thing I've always believed in and strive to do is work within groups to further those things I do believe in, such as woman's right to choose, human rights, animal rights, etc.

Great thread, Rick!

kat


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:25 PM

Rick, very good thread. I also don't fit into any neat box, although I'm more liberal than conservative, and more conservative than I used to be. I do occasionally get into real, sometimes heated discussions with my group members along the lines of Well, if you believe this, how can you also believe THAT? usually said to me by somebody who agrees with This but not That. I do always argue my point. If voices start getting raised, I back off with the oh-so-obnoxious Let's agree to disagree. (I've tried to find a way to phrase that without making people barf, and have been enjoying some success with Look, it's obvious I'm never going to change your mind, so can we change the subject? I find that works a lot better, go figure, than Look, it's obvious you're never going to change your mind, so can we change the subject?)

But I don't keep my opinion to myself just to maintain group harmony. Doing that is allowing nay, encouraging, the group to become a mob. People do need to be in groups, but the groups need dissenters to stay healthy. (Anyone remember Groupthink?) Keep at it, and don't shut up so much, is my advice.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Grab
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM

Rick, as far as the rights go, the best quote I heard is "The Constitution is not a mutual suicide pact", or words along those lines. Which is a more formal way of Phil's saying "Your rights to wave your fists around stops at my nose". Or in other words, do what you want so long as it doesn't hurt other ppl.

The thing is, none of us really mind ppl with different opinions to ourselves, not if we're reasonably intelligent and broadminded (OK, I score on the second one anyway ;-) But what we do mind is dishonesty and hypocrisy. If you wish to preserve the rights of ppl not to be raped, for instance, then you _must_ support action against rapists. Whether you believe they must be locked up, rehabilitated, given counselling, whatever - but you CANNOT condone it. It's also possible (as in the case of many victims of domestic abuse) for the abused person to be abusive themselves when they grow up. In this case, by all means provide support for the person to sort this out - maybe that'll stop them reoffending - but this isn't an excuse to let them continue abusing ppl.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM

Dammit Art, what I wouldn't give to have my parents alive for ONE MINUTE! Just to let them see that:

A. I'm not in jail.

B. You CAN (sort of) earn a living in folk music.

C. Even though it appeared to them that I NEVER listened to a word they said....I actually listened to EVERYTHING, and am so much the better for it!

Spaw, (and everyone else...'cause I really think highly of all of you right now) that's the key. "Judgement calls". I wish more folks would make individual Judgement calls, on individual issues.

If I can use one more example (based on friend Mick's post)

For thirty plus years I've sung for left/labour get-togethers. Almost always ended with "Solidarity Forever"......but I DON'T believe in "solidarity without accountability" (oh well, there go THOSE gigs if the wrong person sees this!) The lefty rallies and get-togethers are markedly different from the "Labour" ones. At lefty ones, the folks are often Professional, University educated, and literate to a fault. Nobody would think of making any statement that could be seen as a value judgement. There certainly is no (overt) smoking or joke-telling, or even swearing. Playing for a meeting of the Steel Workers Union is entirely different. Lots of drinking, rough (and to some) offensive humour (believe me) and in general a real mis-trust of the "egg-head left". And yet...the MUSICAL MATERIAL is the same, and both groups are supposed to be on the same page. Believe me, when someone from the "political left" speaks, they don't bring up "gay issues" or similar causes (that we're ALL supposed to care about)...so I guess I'm not the only one with this dillema.

Rick


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:21 PM

When I moved to Chicago, I was beflummoxed when I met a far-left liberal on social issues that wasn't a vegetarian. Groups do tend to cluster around sets of beliefs, and it takes real guts to stand up for what you really believe if you disagree wtih the group at some points.

When I was in High School, one of my teachers had a book left over from the Flower Power days called "How to be a non-conformist."

It told you to grow your hair just-so, to wear this kind of clothes and shoes, to like this kind of music, to go to these kinds of events, and to believe exactly these things.

"There!" it exults on the last page, "Now you're a nonconformist too!"

One last thought,

If two people agree on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking.

(shades of Justice Clarence Thomas?)

Alex


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:46 PM

sorry spaw, we are both members of the human race. I was forced to join that, and, I resent it too!


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM

You could always quit the group, I suppose, Kendall.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:04 PM

I would extend the "If two people agree on everything, then one of them is doing all the thinking" to "if members of a group of three or more all agree on everything, then none of them are thinking" - but then again I am about to give my Intro to Psych class a test on group dymanics and motivations... so perhaps I'm sensitized. But I do believe (dare I say - know?) that dissenters keep a group healthier than when the dissenters shut up and merely conform/comply/obey.

Next year I think I'll title this segment People Are Sheep and dare the class to come up with a valid and reliable counter-example! (Maybe send them here for research - who knows?)


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM

And sometimes we may even have to test our beliefs with action, or maybe that's just something we did in the early 1970's...My father at the age of 96 has earned the right to be cynical but he still cares enough to complain.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:15 PM

"At lefty ones, the folks are often Professional, University educated, and literate to a fault. Nobody would think of making any statement that could be seen as a value judgement. There certainly is no (overt) smoking or joke-telling, or even swearing."

One of the things I like best about the Mudcat is how it throws up revelations that things with the same labels stuck on them can be very different. I'm sure there are lefty efforts like that over here too, but they aren't what you get as a rule.

Doug R mused; I guess the question that has puzzled me, particularly since I became a member of Mudcat, is why two people (or two groups of people) cannot have divergent opinions on ANY subject, and still remain friends.

As I see it is in fact quite possible to have extraordinarily divergent opinions, and still stay friends, and I think that's what he means, because it can happen here.

Three things get in the way - one is that there are some issues and some attitudes which break friendship, one they are identified they set up a barrier that can't be crossed. But not many, and the most peculiar bridges can be made between people who you'd think would be separated by an impassable gulf.

And sometimes you come across people you can't stand - and you hope that they are never going to end up on the same side of a quarrel as you, or you'll have to move over to the opposition.

And the third thing is that in a dispute we sometimes say more than we really mean, and it turns into a quarrel. And quarrels have a whole dynamic of their own. I think that the structure we have with the threads helps here, because it gives a chance to read over what the other person said, and what we have said. I've often found myself flaring off about something that on a second reading turns out to be a misunderstanding on my part of what the other person was saying, or that they have misunderstood what I'd said before. Most times before posting the re0ply.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: DougR
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:51 PM

Several of you who identify yourselves as liberal, mentioned that as you aged, you became more conservative. I wonder how age enters into it?

I also believe that many of us here lean both ways (depending on the issue)more than we care to admit. On some issues, I am liberal (abortion for one), and on others conservative, but I lean more toward conservative on most issues than liberal.

On the question of friendship. Although I have never met Rick, or Kendall, Spaw, kat, and several others of the liberal persuasion here on the Mudcat, were I describing them to someone, I would identify them as friends. Even though we may be poles apart philosophically, on some issues.

DougR

DougR


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Amos
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:27 PM

One of my qualifications for friendship, of the lasting variety, is a committment to ongoing communication as being the senior consideration, over mere agreements about things. I enjoy people who enjoy me, like anyone, but it is my nature to occasionally test that very thing, usually inadvertantly, and the friends who have survived are obviously those who pass the test of that commitment to the exchange of viewpoints. Wanting only the same viewpoint from others is a reall addiction to tedium.

A


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:53 PM

Or even "Hungarians" apart, Doug. Gotta get to the radio station!

Rick


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM

The "group" has an interesting weakness..

Any individual in a group doesn't believe what he believes as strongly when separated from the group.

As wise as we may think ourselves, and as well thought out the ideals to which we adhere, the greatest strength of, and reason for what we believe is often nothing more than "because others do".

This is why seldom does a "group" let a former member go in peace. It forces them to band tighter together to protect their belief structure.

.



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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Amos
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:00 PM

That was terrible, Rick. I suppose if we started talking about people who were yanks apart, we'd be censured for talking dirty!

A


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:04 PM

Interesting points, John Hardly, and hard to argue with! Groupthink is very seductive, but its hold on the mind seems to be directly proportional to the amount of time, recently, one has spent with the group. The longer away from the group, the more able one is to view the group's beliefs with a little "distance".

Is this the psychology behind the Wednesday-night church service?

(Can of worms, I know. Can't stop myself!)

Alex


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: DougR
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:09 PM

Rick: The PC police are gonna get'cha!

DougR


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: Amergin
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:12 PM

Rick, forgive me if I am reading into this what is not there....but could your hesitation to speak out derive from your inherent shyness and insecurity? Alot of times I find myself doing the same thing....


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:17 PM

Devious thought Alex...


...and probably dead on.

If our political beliefs hang by a thread, our religious ones probably hang by a hair.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM

And I'm a regular churchgoer, too. :o) Not on Wednesdays, though.

Alex


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:46 PM

Doug, all I can offer is an opinion. Seems to me that many of us are unable to separate our beliefs from our egos. Being a republican does not make you a bad person!

Former president Truman hit it right. When he met with General McArthur, the general was late. It was reported that Truman said to him "You may keep Harry Truman waiting as long as you like..BUT you dont keep the president of the USA waiting Mister" Big difference.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 07:19 PM

"Any individual in a group doesn't believe what he believes as strongly when separated from the group."(John Hardly) "The longer away from the group, the more able one is to view the group's beliefs with a little "distance"."(mousethief)

Can work the other way though, the way you get exiles holding even more firmly to ways that may have become outmoded back home. And you can get that in other contexts, like politics. You can have isolated people who hold on to amd preserve ideas and ideals as part of their whole personality, out in a hostile environment, disregarding changes in political fashion. And that can be one of the places where a whole new cycle of politics can take off, in time.

It's all very like folk songs really. Folk politics.

As for terms like conservative and liberal, as we've found exploring them on other threads, they are a lot more complicated than is often recognised, and in some senses they are in no ways opposites or incompatible.

One of the meanings of conservative is being distrustful of change - and I think anyone who isn't distrustful of change isn't in touch with reality, and in that sense growing older and growing more conservative are to be expected to come together. It doesn't means there aren't changes you want to see, but you want to look at them carefully.

The other meaning of conservative of course is to do with wanting to bring in various kinds of detestable changes, and opposing various kinds of changes that might make things a lot better. And I don't think people need fear that growing older is inevitably going to mean they can look forward to slipping into that way of thinking. Pete Seeger's not the only octogenarian who can see through that.


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Subject: RE: When you disagree with your 'group'...
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 08:04 PM

Ah....DougeR...glad to see that, 'cause despite all the haranguing in the political threads, I would most certainly describe you as a friend, and a good one at that!

It all comes down to labels, doesn't it? We humans want to know about everything and put it in context in our lives, so we label everything: liberal, conservative, a mother's love, a father's love, progressive, out to lunch, in lala land. There is comfort in thinking that we know what or who someone is because of the labels we can apply.

In the human rights org. I work with, it is always our goal to reach out to those of different mind-set/lifestyle/beliefs, to get to know them and vice versa so that we may look beyond the stereotypes of the labels. Sometimes it works well, sometimes not.

I disagree about getting away from orgs. or maybe my own experience is different because I've always tried to stay outside some of the boxes or at least be open to newer ways and ideas. I've moved on fairly comfortably, progressing, I hope and never felt a terrible tug or guilt or pulling from the old. Not saying this very clearly, I know. Sorry.

katafriendofDougeR's!


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