being an online contrarian
“The thing you are most afraid to write.
“I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.”
I get knocked down, but I get up again.
You’re never gonna keep me me down.
I am an online contrarian blogger.
I am a contrarian in general <blogging, online and offline>.
The difference with writing online is that … well … whatever you are, or are not, becomes part of the public domain and public opinion.
I have been called a pseudo intellectual <I am not>.
My writing has been called a “painful read” <it is on occasion>.
I have been told I am wrong <when I actually used research and facts>.
I have been told I am right <when I was actually being sarcastic>.
I have inspired a number of ‘contrarian to my contrarian’ rebuttal articles written <basically suggesting my contrarianism was stupid>.
I have even been called stupid <of which I will gladly wear that badge on occasion>.
I admit … I am not a writer I simply play one online.
And you know what? So do … well … everyone who writes anything online. And, yes, some are actual writers but without doing any research let me suggest that 95% of what you read online is created by a non-writer.
I will also suggest, without doing any research, 94.9% of everyone online is a critic <the other 5.1% are trying to make some money by publishing meaningless crap>.
To be clear.
Being a contrarian does not means doing and thinking in unconventional ways.
It just means you have a tendency to challenge the accepted, the status quo and the lazy thinking that is inherent and often seen as harmless.
Being a contrarian is more about challenging thinking … your own and everyone else’s. It is more about tearing apart what is known and unknown … your own and everyone else’s.
This point is really important … the truest of true contrarians aren’t stubborn with regard to their own views … rather … stubbornly challenging what they knew yesterday today.
I tend to believe we stubbornly challenge yesterday because, inherent in our weird ‘being a contrarian’ view of things & Life, we never underestimate the importance of abandoning the unnecessary shit. It is also quite possible we abandon some things before their true life expectancy.
This is sometimes a challenging way of life.
Let’s face it … a shitload of people don’t like a reality in which everything created can be logically torn apart.
And a shitload more of those people don’t like an online reality where they can read and see it all being torn apart.
I certainly have found, as a generalization, that most people don’t really think about shit.
It isn’t that people don’t know how to think <although lazy logic is fairly common> it is just easier to not have to think. It is quicker to not invest a lot of energy thinking about shit … and seemingly makes everyday life look a lot more efficient.
And, yeah, even when people do think … they, actually … almost all of us, myself included, tend to go with the path of least resistance thinking through things in ways that takes the least effort and ultimately reach a conclusion.
I believe contrarians may fight this natural impulse a little bit better than the majority of people.
And, I admit, as long as whatever I am thinking seems to make sense to myself … well … I can live with whatever response I may get.
And … whew … the responses certainly vary.
Some commenters love me, some hate me and some just want to send me to some gulag and never be heard from ever again <by the way … that is different than hating … because haters like to come along for the ride and hate on a continuous basis>.
I do note that one of the aligning features of haters and ‘hate ideology’ appears to be a relatively unhealthy relationship with their ‘caps lock’ key.
I will not bore you with a sampling of comments but suffice it to say they either think you are <a> full of shit, <b> a shit, <c> dumb as shit, or — interestingly — <d> look like shit.
I will admit.
I do not solicit comments … and a part of me wants to say …“if I wanted your opinion, I’d call the nuthouse and ask to speak with you.”
But I understand that contrarianism is annoying.
And I understand that not all annoying is created equal <and not all contrarians apply their contrianism as I do>.
Generally speaking … there are two basic types of contrarianism:
- There is “shut down” contrarianism.
- There is “enlightenment” contrarianism.
Although contrarians may behave in similar ways an American psychologist, Robert Sternberg, points out that not all contrarians are the same:
There’s a spectrum of behaviour, ranging from the person who’s irritated by consensus and bureaucracy, to the type who thinks rules are made to be broken and the counter-intuitive thinker whose intelligence gives them a different perspective on life.
The more creative a person is, the more contrarian they are likely to be.
‘There are also, though, contrarians who aren’t creative, they’re just disagreeable. And there are those who get their self-esteem from being contrary.’
Let me explain my two versions.
If you say white, the reflexively contrarian says black. If you say up, the reflexively contrarian says down. It doesn’t matter what you say or believe, the contrarian has to inform you (and anyone else who will listen) that there is another–opposite–view.
And they like to do this ALL THE FRICKIN’ TIME.
Suffice it to say … there is nothing to be gained by always taking the contrarian view.
This person almost feels like it is an obligation to be contrarian and to always be the devils advocate.
Some stupid shit needs to be clearly debunked and … well … shut down.
No one likes their thoughts simply shut down.
I will admit.
Contrarians who rely on ‘shut down contrianism’ are most likely assholes.
They do not seek to inform or enlighten … just to make themselves looks as smart as possible.
That is the definition of ‘asshole.’
This sometimes comes to life in pointing out an exception <but if you do that you are also responsible for saying what that exception means to the idea & thinking rather than using it solely to puncture someone else’s thought> and sometimes it comes to Life in a “have you thought about …?” type thought.
I tend to believe this is more of a troublemaker than an asshole. But good trouble in general.
Whether I am a ‘shut down’ or an ‘enlighten’ contrarian … most people just lump me in with all the other irascible contrarians.
I am kind of used to being berated & criticized by strangers as a contrarian. And being online and doing it simply means a greater depth & breadth of beration <I made that word up> and criticism.
I imagine if you were not used to it … well … it could take your breath away.
And, yet, these are the same people who, if you hunted them down on Iinstagram or facebook or tumblr, are these smiling milquetoast people with families, pets and inspirational quotes.
“I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones.”
Everyone utilizes whatever intelligence they have to the best of their ability and most likely in some different way than you … and me. I would like to think contrarianism is simply a different version of using whatever intelligence resides in my pea like brain.
What I do know is that contrarianism is always stimulating and threaded with some conflict.
While many people want to avoid conflict, there are braver we happy few who merrily can’t help but disagree with friends, colleagues or experts. We can’t help it because thinking is our drug — some good and some bad..
Maybe it is our oxygen.
Being an online contrarian I certainly cannot be accused of exploiting my contrarianism <although several people have suggested I am a troll being paid by some unidentified cabal>.
and while i have been tempted to exploit my contrianism by writing a book i realized one day that my most successful book idea is … well either a 2 page book or an index card:
“Say something meaningful in an interesting way.”
<author of “the shortest business book ever written”>
And I certainly don’t think I should be paid attention to as well as I am not sure what I write should be paid attention to. I am relatively sure, in most cases, I and my thoughts are kind of beside the point. My thoughts wander aimlessly online bumping into people here & there.
Therefore, I imagine my only measure of success is if any contrarian thing I wrote actually inspires even one person to think … well … that’s all that matters.
The rest is all kind of irrelevant.
I imagine I am really not different from many other contrarians. I also imagine that the following three thoughts which seem to encapsulate me and my contrarianism would be embraced by any and all contrarians:
“always looks ahead and don’t dwell on the past, the best is yet to come.”
“do not go gentle into the good night.”
“I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
In the rough & tumble world of thinking contrarians are fairly resilient.
We write things that some people are a little afraid to write.
We censor ourselves a little less.
We see ignorance as the enemy … our own as well as others.
And, in the infamous words of Chumbawumba, we get knocked down and just get back up again.