Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Things That Annoy Me #3: Topic Derailers

Surely you've experienced this: You're discussing something of importance to you and someone in the group, at the table, whatever, jumps in with a stream-of-consciousness contribution designed to derail and redirect the conversation. Example:

Me: It's time for liberals and conservatives to get back to a spiritual understanding of the First Amendment.

Jaggoff: You know what I'd like a spiritual understanding of? Beer. It's time we got back to a spiritual understanding of beer!

Conversation suddenly becomes about beer...

Okay, so maybe my example exposes my bias against booze. Hopefully, you get the point, regardless. It is NOT cool to change the subject of a conversation before the conversation has properly played itself out (I believe George Costanza had a similar complaint on Seinfeld; and if you haven't figured out George Costanza is ALL of our "ids" properly expressed, you haven't been paying attention). But why do people derail the conversation in the first place? I have a few theories:

1. They're dumb. Dumb people cannot stand a conversation that wades into water higher than an inch. The moment they sense a conversation is going somewhere they can't handle, they derail it. Observe, if you will, a dolt like Jimmy Kimmel the moment someone brings up something as challenging as, say, reading. He'll make a joke about his own illiteracy and change the topic. He's not the first TV moron to do that. Jay Leno, who's actually an intelligent person when he's not in front of a camera, used to do the same thing. Notice, if you will, how few authors actually appear on Kimmel's show (compared to, say, David Letterman, who had both a Hoosier intellect and sense of humor and therefore was not threatened by the likes of Hunter Thompson or even Stephen King).

2. They disagree with what's being said and, rather than argue the point from their perspectives, find it's safer to simply change the subject. These people are fucking cowards and should have been drown at birth. There's nothing wrong with disagreement. Disagreement should be talked out. Even the goofy dumbasses who still spew murderous Marxist Theory agree there should be thesis and antithesis in any dialogue.

3. They disagree with the topic and they're too dumb to explain why. This, of course, combines the first two topic derailers and, in actuality, probably explains ninety percent of the topic derailment that occurs in conversation.

We need to get back to conversations that have a purpose. Constantly changing the subject when the subject is an uncomfortable one will leave us in an intellectual tar pit and, like the dinosaurs, we will eventually die out because of it.

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