The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Is Anybody Listening? (#BOTB Results)

We often want to talk, but have a tougher time with listening. 


Debate Square, site of second debate between A...
Debate Square, site of second debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. Freeport, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
     Congratulations and thank you for maintaining a sensibly civil discussion in your comments for my previous few posts.  Hopefully this will continue as I progress in my series.  Name-calling as well as persistently repetitious derogatories are not very productive when trying to bring opposing minds together in some degree of agreement.  I do plan to address all the negatives about Donald Trump and his supporters over a span of several posts.

         As a blogger I am in dangerous territory in certain respects.  So far I have lost about fourteen followers which is sad, but that's up to those who "unfollow" to do this and I'm sorry to see them make that decision.  On the other hand, I've been experiencing a lot of blogger ennui over the past many months and have felt that I was heading to some kind of change in what I've been doing.   Right now I'm in wait-and-see land.

         The other day I picked up my phone to listen to a gentleman with an intelligent, considerate, and pleasant voice explain who he was and why he was calling.  He asked me some simple yes or no questions and I responded.  I listened until I had a question about what he was saying and tried to break in on his spiel.  He just kept talking.  It dawned on me that the voice was just a recording.  I began saying random things while the voice continued talking.  Suddenly the voice stopped and the line disconnected.   I guess I must have spoken some kind of trigger word that caused the caller program to shut down.

         In relation to talking about important topics that are causing division, I often get the sense that plenty of people want to talk until it's time to listen to the other side.  Then when the counter-argument is being presented, the opposing side of the argument digs in as they think about what they going to say next.   Coming to agreement is not easy when each side is so firmly rooted.

          As we listen to one another when we are in a state of debate, we come to our conclusions on not so much what is said as what is heard and the way this hearing processes that information.  What one hears becomes filtered through one's own perception.

        In any serious discussion each side wants to sway the other side.  Predatory listeners are ready to pounce on what people they don't agree with say without considering exactly what they mean or what their point of view actually is.  When both sides take on a debate in this matter then a discussion can easily escalate into a shouting match with accusations superseding any rational understanding of the issues on either side.  I think that's a lot of what is going on now on line as well as in the media.  Thankfully I haven't engaged in any face-to-face confrontations about the election, but I'm sure at least a few of you have.

          I'd just like for people to watch what they say and how they say it.  Everyday I'm still hearing the tired recitation of the litany of Hillary's  'basket of deplorables.'  Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. 

          Please, already--can we stop labeling with words ending in  -ist or     -phobic.  It's a weary old ruse--calling someone with what sounds like a clinical or scientific term in order to derogatorily insinuate that the disagreeing side is like a mad dog foaming at the mouth or some member of a loony cult or something.  Maybe that's actually what's in your mind when you are thinking of someone in those terms, but maybe it would be better to understand that you are often referring to someone who might merely disagree with you.   We may be on different sides of opinion, but we are also sharing the same world and would be far better off getting along and working together.

           I'll be breaking this all down in the next few posts.  On Friday I'll start with the term "racist."  But let's have a happy Thanksgiving first. Maybe the healing can begin this week.

Battle of the Bands Results 



        
       When I first set out with this Battle I had planned on pairing my other favorite version of "I Don't Want to Talk About It"--the version by Rita Coolidge--with the original by Crazy Horse.  Then I found the magnificent version by the Indigo Girls and was so caught up by it that I just had to use it and was totally prepared to give my vote for that one.   But after listening throughout the week I went back to my old favorite, Crazy Horse.  I still don't think any artist captures the feeling of the song like Danny Whitten's sad vocals.    My vote on this pairing goes to Crazy Horse.  In the end I had a fairly even Battle...
Final Vote Tally

Crazy Horse          13

Indigo Girls           15

Next Battle Thursday December 1st!

        Since I plan to continue with my President Trump Acclimation Series, an elucidation of the election results from my perspective, my song pick for my next Battle will be on the lighter side.  With Christmas coming I want to keep a happy balance to my posts so my next two Battles won't necessarily be Christmas songs, but they will be in keeping with the spirit of the season.   I hope you'll stay with me for my series and most importantly come back to vote on the upcoming Battles.

        Have a great Thanksgiving and then be here on Friday when we figure out why Donald Trump and his supporters are racists and what this really means. 

        Do you believe that many of our disagreement problems come about from filtering what we hear and not seeing things from the other side of the argument?    Do you think there is too much labeling going on?    Of all pejorative labels that might be used to describe a person, which one would you like least to be called?



35 comments:

  1. I picked the loser but it was a close song to vote on. Wonderful interesting post to read Lee.
    Have a good week.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, we voted the same on this Battle and I stand by that choice.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I will still follow you, but most likely not the Trump series. I am seeing so much stuff on social media attacking both sides and it is making me a little nuts. I do respect that you voted for who you thought was the best choice. My choice was not in the top two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth, the Trump series is somewhat cathartic for me, but I'm hoping it dispels some of the false reporting that is out there. I doubt whether I'll change many minds, but who knows what my efforts will bring.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. I do understand it is cathartic. That is what blogging means~ to me anyway. I do agree with his stance on the TPP. People should look at everything about a candidate and maybe you can help people do that.

      Delete
  3. Crazy Horse was my choice as well. Nice to see that they came close, at least. As for the political discussions, frankly, I've grown weary of them and am just as glad to think about more pleasant things. You're absolutely right that people should be able to hold a civil discourse, but that takes maturity, which has been sorely lacking of late. Looking forward to your next BOTB, regardless. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, I was happy either way as I thought both versions were excellent though to me the Crazy Horse version is the definitive one that means most to me.

      I hope to lighten things up for the holiday season with my next BOTB post.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I'm interested in your views on Trump even though I voted for Hillary. It was clear that the media was presenting him in the worst possible light and it was also clear the media was wrong about how the election would go. So yeah, tell me your side. I might not agree, but my writer's brain loves information and opinion when they have substance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara, I'm hoping that I'll clarify my point of view to the relatively few who will read my posts. I'll attempt to keep my posts substantive. We have seen some excellent comments on the previous posts of my series.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Lee, I was on the losing side this time. Should I riot? lol Okay, okay! I'm just being silly.

    Now moving on to your questions...

    Do you believe that many of our disagreement problems come about from filtering what we hear and not seeing things from the other side of the argument? I think rude disagreements simply come from being closed minded and having poor manners. I dare say most of us share similar beliefs on a given topic but none of us are 100% on track and for those who are completely off track then it's just a matter of being considered and kind in how you present yourselves to one another. If we all conducted ourselves accordingly then you wouldn't see all this mess floating around on social media or in public. People's hearts have changed to be less tolerant (of those with different opinions) and quick to argue. Unfortunately, I believe the media plays a lot into this which keeps the fire flamed.

    Do you think there is too much labeling going on? Definitely. It happens on both sides of the fence but it seems more name calling gets thrown at conservatives, though.

    Of all pejorative labels that might be used to describe a person, which one would you like least to be called? Gee, I haven't thought about this. I think all of them are offensive because none apply to who I am but because of my stance on many of the 'politically correct' issues then I'm sure all of these could be pinned to me. That being said, if someone choices to label me then so be it. I'm not going to crumble because they did nor am I going to participate in a shouting match. I choice to ignore and be happy instead of allowing someone trying to control my life with their hateful words. :)

    I'll be looking forward to your other posts. We should be a people who can talk about things without taking offense but decide to have the mindset of, 'we can agree that we disagree', and still keep friendships intact. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CATHY, your comment really made me laugh! But, hey, I think you're onto something there...

      From now on, we need to encourage BOTBers to riot, chant foul slogans, and punch each other any time the artist they voted for in a Battle loses. This is just what we need to give BOTB a bit more legitimacy and get some Mainstream Media attention.

      The Naked Emperors beat The Talentless Creeps in a BOTB contest, and you voted for The Creeps? Party like it's 1773! Toss tea, torch a ship, bust somebody's lip!

      C'mon, People, let's 'Make Battle Of The Bands Great Again'!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      MBOTBGA

      Delete
    2. Okay, now can somebody help me find my way out of the woods? I'm lost. But then that seems to be my current state of mind much of the time these days.

      Lee

      Delete
    3. Lee, what do you expect? It's Stephen stirring the pot! lol Who knew my one liner would insight this hilarious take but you know how passionate he is about politics and I can't say that I blame him.

      Hey Stephen, Let's all play together well. No rioting! Just good ole mewsic between good ole blog pals. ;) Honestly, you cracked me up with..."Party like it's 1773! Toss tea, torch a ship, bust somebody's lip!" :D

      Delete
  6. Your BOTBs keeps me coming back, Lee, and also the posts on Trump. I fail to see anything redeeming about the man, and I've watched a few elections, as well as voted in a couple before I came to Canada. I also noticed that many seemed eager to want to squash any comments from the 'other' side. (Yolanda's comment on your last post). For this to be a discussion, then all voices should be heard and not derided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DG, I didn't feel like comments were necessarily being squashed, but rebutted and in mostly a civil way I think. The issues at play in my series are ones that people on each side have strong beliefs about so I can understand the emotions at play here. As far as your view on Trump I would ask if you've been looking for and recognizing the actual positives that are there. There has been some good honest reporting on the man's background as well as the folks dredging up old news and putting a negative spin to reflect upon his current status. There are some very obvious points (to me at least) that I will probably bring up later that will address some of those Trump "negatives" that are being reported on unfairly in my opinion.

      I didn't sense that commenters after Yolanda were trying to squash her opinion--one that has been repeatedly stated in media and elsewhere--but they were just passionately countering her view with their view. I felt that the other commenters were respectful and wanted their side to be heard as well. And like Yolanda said, "Discussion is good." I think we are getting that so far.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Discussions as well as debates need to remain calm so as to really listen and understand both sides. Name-calling has no place in true discussions or debates. I think, anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria, I think you think right: Name calling just puts the other side in a defensive mode making it extra difficult to talk about real issues.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. I enjoy reading your posts even if I disagree but isn't that what makes the world go around. I find that when someone is passionate about their views, it can stir up others' passions and sometimes, in a negative way. For every point I can make why I am concerned about Trump, I am certain your could counter it and in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. i may not agree but I truly respect your thoughts and i am all for passion. Too many people do not have the passion for much these days and, therefore, don't choose which side of the fence they would like to sit on. I will say that the disruptive protesting, no matter what side does the protesting, is wrong when it disrupts traffic, people or becomes violent...that is awful. If a person calls another names etc... then they have lost their rationality and are choosing for the other to stop talking. In North America, we have the right to speak about our thoughts, views and opinions....we should never be jeered for this when it is done in an eloquent manner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I'm not as concerned about those who speak with "eloquence" as I am for just the regular people who don't have the sharpest skills for communication. We hear so much these days about bullying, but I think some people are being "bullied" for what they believe and they have a difficult time defending themselves thus resorting to unkind names and words. Those who are showing their disagreement with violence and disruption are not really getting any point across and are merely making the opposition dislike them even more.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. That's a lot of followers to lose...are you sure it was due to politics and not one of Blogger's 'clean sweep' of old blogs? I think they did that about a year ago'ish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, well maybe it's something else, but the followers didn't start disappearing until I started my series on Trump and to me that is more than coincidental. But maybe it's the time of year for clean-up and it all just seems like a coincidence.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I'm glad the Indigo Girls won. And I'm glad you brought them to the table: I hadn't thought about them in years. Was good to hear them again.

    Congrats on a nice close battle. That's fun!

    I don't know if I'm in the mood to do a holiday themed battle next month. We'll see...
    But I'll look forward to yours...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, I'm not sure I'd call my next Battles holiday themed, but they will be on the lighter side.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Hi Lee. I'm not sure which "IST" I'd least like to be thought of but there are definitely a few I'd love to be thought of; Artist, Christianist, Creationist, conservationist and so on.
    As far as your posts about the reasons you voted for Mr Trump are concerned, well I'll say this for him. Donald Trump is a businessman and not a career politician, he's not politically correct but he most certainly is "businessicaly" correct. He won't drag things out to the n'th degree just to make the people he is talking about or to feel happy the way the ruling political elite have done for centuries. He is a man of action and not a man of words. America is about to go through a tremendous change, whether those who are protesting agree with it or not, and that change is going to take some getting used to but it will do good for America in the end. How do I know this? I live in a country that has been turned on it's head and completely changed and you know what? It's actually a great country to live in now.
    As far as the followers who have left you,they'll either go away and never return or they'll come back again, nothing you can do about it. You have a right to vote for whomever you like and that's that.
    Hang in there my friend, I'll still be following you for quite a long time, oh, and reading every comment posted on your blog site.
    Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geoff, I appreciate your support. I'm disappointed if any regular readers and commmenters stop following, but life goes on and my life as a blogger will adapt to what comes just like you say that voters will adapt. I think Trump will be a president who gets things done rather than just letting things be up for endless discussion and compromise. But we don't really knows until things start happening be they good or bad.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Yep, many listen to only what they want to hear and then shout back their version. Come to my side, we're the best. Instead of hmm, maybe the other side has something, so let's talk this through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, stubborn resistance to understanding the other side is how wars come about. I'd rather just enjoy my life and not fight with anyone.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I have a lot of admiration for your courage in tackling this series, Lee. I've been smacked down for just talking about civility, good manners, and respect. Keep your wonderful sense of humor wrapped around you at all time. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, thank you for your support. Without a sense of humor I'd see this world as a doomed place which it probably is.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I've been finding your recent series of blog posts to be really interesting. I may not always agree with what you say, but I think it's important to listen (or read in this case) and try to understand the other's point of view. We do need to come together and we can only do this through trying to understand each other's perspective and beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellen, we need more people talking with each other and not at each other.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I think a lot of people get riled up by what they assume will happen. If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's never assume anything. Wait and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry, not much we can do about things so might as well focus on our own lives and just watch the rest. A positive outlook can make anything have a good side.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I work in an office all day and have dealt with those realistic sounding phone calls. When I realize it's a recording and they ask a question, I generally respond with "Cactus". It isn't too long before the line is disconnected.
    I too hate it when people love to talk, but won't let a word in edge-wise. It might not even be a debate. They just want someone to talk at. And if you do get a word in, it's dismissed so they can continue telling you what they want to say. I'm pretty good with being able to discuss how I feel about something, as well as listen to someone else tell me what they think. But then again, I was in debate class in Middle School. Perhaps more people should be involved in that. It might not ultimately solve problems, but it does teach people how to talk and how to listen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeffrey, debate and the art of civil conversation is something that schools probably should put more focus on. Critical thinking is so important and yet not many people seemed to be skilled in this art.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee